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  • Stills and distillation

    Stills used to distil alcohol

    To use a still of any capacity to distil alcohol such as spirits, you must have an excise manufacturer licence.

    Severe penalties apply for manufacturing spirits without an excise manufacturer licence.

    To be granted an excise manufacturer licence we will consider your circumstances, such as the security of your premises and that you will pay the correct amount of excise duty when required.

    Excise duty is generally payable on alcohol you distil, whether you have a licence to produce it or not.

    If eligible, you can claim a refund of 60% of the excise duty you have paid for your distilled products, to a maximum of $30,000 per financial year. From 1 July 2019, this amount will increase to a maximum of $100,000 per financial year.

    To manufacture alcohol you may also need to check with state liquor licensing and health agencies.

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    Stills used for other purposes

    You can own a still of five litres or less without permission but only if you're not using it to distil alcohol.

    For a still over five litres in capacity, if you're not a licensed excise manufacturer you must have permission from us to do any of the following:

    • manufacture the still
    • move or set up the still, for example at your home or commercial premises
    • sell or buy the still
    • import the still
    • have possession, custody or control of the still.

    Penalties apply if you don't have the appropriate permission for a still.

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    Last modified: 12 Apr 2019QC 18495