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Excise licences for fuel and petroleum products

How to get an excise licence to manufacture, produce or store excisable fuel or petroleum products in Australia.

Last updated 14 May 2023

When you need an excise licence

If you manufacture, produce or store excisable fuel or petroleum products in Australia, you need an excise licence. Without an excise licence it is an offence under the Excise Act 1901 and criminal penalties may apply.

Make sure you understand:

  • what excise licences you need to hold for your business or situation
  • the conditions of the licence you hold
  • your obligations as an excise licence holder.

There are no application or renewal fees for excise licences. However, we may ask you to lodge a financial security so we can ensure we protect excise duty revenue.

How to apply for an excise licence

Find out the excise licence you need and apply for a:

Manufacturer licence

You need a manufacturer licence to:

  • manufacture or produce fuel and petroleum products
  • recycle petroleum products
  • store underbond fuel and petroleum products, including products you will use in the manufacture or production of other excisable goods.
Apply for a licence to manufacture excisable products – fuel

Storage licence

When you store underbond fuel in bulk tanks, we would issue you with a manufacturer licence as blending fuels is considered to be excise manufacture.

We issue fuel storage licences only if you deal in underbond packaged or drummed fuel where no further manufacture takes place.

Apply for a licence to store excisable products – fuel

How long the licence lasts

Your licence will be valid from the day we grant it until the next 30 September after the second anniversary of the day we grant it (unless we cancel it earlier).

For example, if we granted a licence on:

  • 15 October 2022, it would expire on 30 September 2025
  • 15 September 2022, it would expire on 30 September 2024.

If we renew your licence it will be valid for 3 years, expiring on 30 September of the relevant year.

When we may suspend or cancel your licence

Your licence remains valid until it expires or is cancelled.

Licence suspension

If we suspend your licence, the activities you are approved to do under your licence may be restricted. Suspension may be a temporary measure or may lead to the cancellation of your licence.

Licence cancellation

We can cancel your excise licence when:

  • you ask us to (for example, where you intend to cease business)
  • we decide to because one or more of the following occurs 
    • you or an associate are not fit and proper
    • the company is not fit and proper
    • a director, officer or shareholder who participates in the management or control of the company is not a fit and proper person
    • you don't have, or have available to you, the skills and experience required to carry out the activity authorised by the licence
    • the physical security of the premises is inadequate
    • the plant and equipment used at the premises are inadequate to protect the excise revenue related to the goods at the premises
    • you have no market for the goods covered by the licence
    • you aren't keeping proper books of account for audit purposes
    • you have breached a condition of your licence
    • you have made a false or misleading statement to us
    • cancellation is needed to protect the related excise revenue
    • cancellation is needed to ensure you comply with excise law.

For more information, see Excise guidelines for the fuel industry – section 4 Licensing: Suspension & cancellation.

Your obligations as a licence holder

As an excise licence holder, you have obligations you need to meet, including:

Your licence will set out what you need to do. If you manufacture or produce excisable fuel or petroleum products, you will also need to:

Obtaining licence information for third parties

You can contact us for information about the excise licences and permissions of third parties you deal with.

Other registrations

If you're in business, you may also need other licences, registrations and permissions. For more information, see:

Changing or ceasing your business situation

If you hold an excise licence and you change or cease your business operations, you need to notify us.

You must tell us within 30 days of changes to your business, including:

  • change in ownership
  • change in people who manage or control your business
  • criminal charge or conviction of you or others who manage or control of your business
  • receivership, administration, liquidation or bankruptcy
  • change in premises
  • change that substantially affects the physical security of the premises or plant and equipment used in relation to excisable goods at the premises
  • change in the type of excisable goods you manufacture or store
  • change in the type of excise equivalent goods (EEGs) you store or use in excise manufacture
  • cessation of manufacturing or storing excisable goods or EEGs.

Ceasing your business operation

As a condition of your excise licence you must write to us within 30 days of ceasing to operate your business, to request we cancel your licence.

Before we cancel your licence, we need to ensure you no longer have any excisable or customable products. To do this we:

  • conduct a final audit of goods at the licensed premises
  • work out if you're liable to pay any excise duty.

If you decide to sell your business inclusive of stock, we'll try to cancel your licence at the same time as we approve the licence for the new owner. That way there will be continuity of licensing for the premises and goods. However, this doesn't mean we will automatically grant the new owner a licence.

If you don't intend to sell the goods with your business, you can either:

  • pay any outstanding excise duty on goods held at the licensed premises and then dispose of the goods as you wish
  • move the goods to another licence holder's premises if you have permission from us.

If you're ceasing your excise activities and closing down your business permanently, you'll also need to cancel your GST and cancel your ABNExternal Link registrations.

For more information see Changing, selling or closing your business. You can also contact us.