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  • Types of excise licences – alcohol

    If you manufacture or store excisable alcohol products you must have the right excise licence from us.

    There are no application or renewal fees for excise licences. We may ask you to lodge a financial security so we can protect the revenue. In general terms, this means that we need to ensure that clients comply with their excise obligations and pay the correct amount of excise duty.

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    Manufacturer licence

    You need a manufacturer licence to:

    • manufacture beer
    • distil spirits (we do not grant licences to distil spirits for personal consumption)
    • undertake maturation of spirits, including when you have already paid excise or customs duty on them
    • generally, blend or reduce the strength of spirits, including when you have already paid excise or customs duty on them
    • manufacture liqueurs and other excisable beverages
    • generally, repackage duty-paid beer, including into growlers and squealers
    • store the excisable alcohol products you manufacture at your excise-licensed premises
    • denature alcohol.

    A manufacturer licence will specify the type of excisable alcohol products you can manufacture, and the location of the premises.

    The licence will also specify the activities you can do with those goods.

    Repackaging duty-paid beer

    Packaging isn't generally a manufacturing process for excise purposes. However, manufacturing beer has an extended meaning to cover repackaging duty-paid bulk beer in certain circumstances.

    You need a manufacturer's licence if you:

    • buy beer in kegs or containers (on which you have paid excise duty at a concessional rate), and
    • repackage it into individual sealed containers that are  
      • less than eight litres
      • 8–48 litres (inclusive), where the container is not designed to connect to a pressurised gas or pump delivery system, or other prescribed system.

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    Storage licence

    You need a storage licence to store underbond excisable goods.

    Excisable goods are underbond if excise duty has not yet been paid.

    A storage licence will specify:

    • the type of excisable alcohol products you can store
    • the location the goods can be stored
    • the activities, if any, you can do with those goods
    • whose excisable goods you can store.

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    Licence to brew on premises

    If you brew beer for non-commercial purposes using commercial facilities or equipment – for example, brew on premises shops – it will be subject to excise duty.

    It is the responsibility of the operator or proprietor of the shop to hold an excise licence and pay the excise duty, even though shop customers are brewing the beer.

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    Licence for duty-free sales

    To store excisable alcohol products and sell these products duty free, you need to be registered as an excise client and licensed by us as a duty-free operator.

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    Last modified: 25 May 2021QC 63592