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Customs warehouse responsibilities

Lists your obligations for excise equivalent goods (EEGs) as a warehouse licence holder.

Last updated 21 February 2023

Legal 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 requirements and licence conditions.

Permitted activities

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.

Check the quantities of deliveries received

When you receive underbond goods, check the quantities are correct. You may be liable to pay an amount equivalent to the customs duty, and GST on missing goods.

For example, if you sign for a full consignment but work out later that there's a discrepancy between the quantity listed on the documentation and actual quantity received you may need to pay for this.

Permission to move EEGs

You must have our permission before moving underbond EEGs between customs licensed premises.

Conduct 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.

For more information about stocktakes, visit Records for excise equivalent goods.

Account for lost or stolen goods

You must account for EEGs that:

  • you haven't paid duty on
  • are lost or stolen.

Lost does not simply mean can't be found. For example, a container of underbond alcohol may be damaged and the contents drain away and are unable to be recovered. The alcohol has been lost.

If the goods are:

  • lost, you need to apply for a remission of the duty to waive your customs duty liability
  • stolen, we consider they have entered the Australian domestic market, so you must pay customs duty on the goods.

Manage other registrations

If you're in business, you may need other registrations, licences and permissions. This will depend on your business structure and activities.

Keep accurate and complete records

You need to keep accurate and complete records of your business operations to meet the record keeping requirements.

Provide 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, for example, 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.