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Alcohol excise and key terms

Understand your excise obligations and key terms if your business manufactures, produces or stores excisable alcohol.

Last updated 14 May 2023

Excise duty

Excise duty is a commodity-based tax on:

If you manufacture, produce or store these excisable goods in Australia, you:

  • generally need to have an excise licence
  • may need to pay excise duty.

Excisable alcohol products

Beer, spirits and other excisable beverages are all excisable alcohol products. They are generally subject to excise duty if you manufacture or produce them in Australia.

Wine is subject to wine equalisation tax and not excise duty.

Understanding the classification of your products is an important step to ensure you correctly meet your excise obligations.

If you donate excisable goods, such as beer or spirits, they are still subject to excise duty. You will need to report and pay excise duty on these.

Excise equivalent goods (imports)

Excise equivalent goods (EEGs) are imported alcohol, tobacco, or fuel and petroleum products that would be subject to excise if they were manufactured or produced in Australia. Instead of paying excise duty on EEGs, you generally pay an equivalent customs duty.

EEGs can be used in the manufacture of excisable goods.

If you import these goods, you have customs duty obligations, including registration, licensing, lodgment, payment and record keeping.

Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages

From 1 July 2021 eligible alcohol manufacturers can receive a full (100%) automatic remission of excise duty on alcoholic beverages they manufacture, up to a maximum of $350,000 per financial year. This is known as the Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages or the Remission scheme.

This applies to eligible alcoholic beverages that you enter for home consumption on or after 1 July 2021.

Excise guidelines for the alcohol industry

We publish the Excise guidelines for the alcohol industry on our Legal database. This provides a broad outline of the excise laws and compliance obligations for the alcohol industry. It's a reference tool to help you get things right, and contains more detailed information and further examples.

Find out more about ATO advice and guidance and Our commitment to you.

Excise statistics

We publish statistics and data on aspects of the excise system at:

Key excise terms

General excise terms



Automatic remission

An excise remission that does not require you to submit an application.

If you're eligible for the remission scheme you still need to report it on your excise return.

In all cases you must maintain appropriate records.

Deliver into the Australian domestic market

When excisable alcohol products are released into domestic consumption. The term used in the legislation is 'deliver for home consumption'.

Normally this will be by delivering the goods away from the excise-licensed premises but also includes:

  • using those goods yourself
  • selling the goods for consumption on site.

'Home consumption' is explained in the table below.

Excisable goods

Goods that are subject to excise duty as specified in the Schedule to the Excise Tariff Act 1921.

Excise duty

A commodity-based tax on alcohol, tobacco, and fuel and petroleum products manufactured or produced in Australia.

Excise drawback

A repayment of the excise duty you've paid (either directly or in the purchase price) on goods that you subsequently exported.

Excise-licensed premises

One that is licensed by us, under the Excise Act 1901. The premises covered will be specified on the excise licence.

Excise refund

A refund you can claim from us for excise duty you've paid on goods delivered for domestic consumption in certain situations. Any refund you receive is assessable income for income tax purposes, so you need to include it in your tax return.

Excise remission

A remission cancels the liability to pay excise duty.

Excise licence

An excise licence enables you to legally manufacture, produce and / or store excisable goods in Australia. There are different types and they each have conditions and obligations you need to comply with.

Excise equivalent goods (EEGs)

Imported alcohol, tobacco, or fuel and petroleum products that would be subject to excise duty if they were manufactured or produced in Australia. Instead of paying excise duty on EEGs, you generally pay an equivalent customs duty.

Home consumption

Refers to the destination of the excisable goods as being within Australia rather than exporting them.

Movement permission

Enables you to legally move underbond excisable goods between excise-licensed premises or to a place of export.

Periodic settlement permission (PSP)

Allows you to:

  • deliver excisable goods into the Australian domestic market over a specified period (settlement period)
  • defer when you lodge your excise return and pay excise duty until a specified date.



Excisable goods are underbond while they are subject to our control. Our control ceases when excisable goods have been delivered into the Australian domestic market, exported or a remission has been applied.

The excisable goods are no longer underbond in the following examples:

  • the product has been delivered into the Australian domestic market for home consumption under a periodic settlement permission
  • a remission has been applied in relation to product that was unfit for human consumption
  • you have applied the Excise remission scheme for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria).


Excisable alcohol terms



Brew on premises shops (BOPS)

Commercial facilities that produce beer for non-commercial purposes. The public can use these facilities and equipment to make their own beer for personal use, but not for sale. Individual customers do the packaging.

Bulk container

A container with the capacity to have packaged in it more than 2 litres of liquid.


Any article capable of holding liquids.

Concessional spirit

Typically very high-strength spirits that are excise free when used for concessional purposes or made unfit for human consumption (denatured).


Feints are low quality spirits obtained during the distillation process.


Abbreviation for total litres of pure alcohol contained in a product. You need to know the LALs in your excisable alcohol product in order to calculate how much excise duty is payable.


When we refer to manufacturing or producing excisable alcohol products, we mean all the processes used to produce them.

See Excise Ruling ER 2012/1 Excise: the meaning of the expression 'manufactured or produced' for the purposes of the Excise Acts.

Other excisable beverages (OEBs)

Beverages containing more than 1.15% alcohol by volume excluding beer, brandy or wine. Other excisable beverages include:

  • liqueurs
  • pre-mixed spirit-based drinks (a type of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage)
  • fermented products that aren't beer or wine (for example, cider that wine equalisation tax doesn't apply to).


For more information on excise definitions and guidelines, see: