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  • Physical control and security of goods in a customs warehouse

    All excise equivalent goods (EEGs), except imported tobacco, that you place in a customs warehouse are under our control until you deliver them into the Australian domestic market (home consumption). You must not intentionally move, alter or interfere with such goods without our permission.

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    Imported tobacco

    From 1 July 2019, the Department of Home Affairs – Australian Border Force (Home Affairs) now manages:

    • imported tobacco products
    • permissions for imported tobacco.

    See also:

    Your responsibilities

    As a warehouse licence holder, it's your responsibility to ensure:

    • the physical security of goods
    • you can account for the goods
    • you meet all legal and licence conditions.

    Activities permitted in a licensed warehouse

    To ensure the security of warehoused goods, only certain activities are permitted in licensed warehouses, including:

    • storage
    • blending
    • unpacking, replacing and packaging of certain types of goods.

    Any activities that involve 'value adding' are not permitted in licensed warehouses.

    Conducting regular stocktakes

    As part of your licence obligations, you must conduct a stocktake at least once a year to:

    • check the accuracy of your stock records
    • identify omissions or errors in stock records
    • identify security issues (such as theft)
    • identify problems with plant and equipment.

    If you identify errors in your stock records, you need to contact us for advice.

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    Providing access for ATO officers

    You must provide ATO officers complete access to the customs warehouse specified in your licence. This is so our officers can perform compliance activities, such as examining, and taking account (stocktaking), of EEGs on the premises.

    Consequences of non-compliance

    You may need to make a payment if you:

    • fail to keep goods safely
    • can't account for warehoused goods to our satisfaction.

    The payment will be equal to the customs duty that would have been payable if the goods had been entered into the Australian domestic market on the day we demand the payment.

    The demand can be issued to multiple entities including the owner of the goods, the warehouse operator and any other person who has been entrusted with possession, custody or control of the goods.

    You may also be subject to a penalty infringement notice. We may impose a penalty where we believe you have breached the law relating to EEGs. The amount is determined by the offence committed and entity type.

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    Last modified: 15 Sep 2020QC 63586