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Excise refunds, drawbacks and remissions on fuel

How to claim a refund, drawback or remission on excisable fuel and petroleum-based products.

Last updated 2 July 2024

Claim a refund

You can claim a refund of excise duty you have paid in certain situations. Examples include duty paid goods:

  • returned to licensed premises for further manufacture
  • where the duty was paid by mistake.

The time limits for lodging refund claims are generally:

  • 12 months after the day excise duty was paid, when paid on or before 30 June 2024
  • 4 years after the day excise duty was paid, when paid on or after 1 July 2024.

You can contact us to confirm timeframes if you're unsure.

Find out more on how to claim an excise refund or drawback – remember you must keep detailed records to substantiate your claims.

If your application is approved, we will issue a refund into your nominated bank account. Any refund you receive is assessable income for income tax purposes, so you will need to include it in your tax return.

For more information, see section 7 of the Excise guidelines for the fuel industry.

You may be able to claim a refund of customs duty you have paid for imported petroleum goods which have been used in the manufacture of excisable goods.

Applications for a refund of customs duty must be made to the Department of Home AffairsOpens in a new window.

Claim a drawback

You can claim a drawback of the excise duty you have paid (either directly or in the purchase price) on goods that you subsequently exported.

A drawback claim must be lodged within 12 months from the day after the goods are exported and must be at least $50.

Find out more on how to claim an excise refund or drawback – remember you must keep detailed records to substantiate your claims.

If your application is approved, we will issue a refund into your nominated bank account. Any drawback you receive is assessable income for income tax purposes, so you will need to include it in your tax return.

For more information, see section 7 of the Excise guidelines for the fuel industry.

Claim a remission

You may be eligible for a remission (waiver) of excise duty you would have had to pay on your goods if:

  • your goods can't be delivered into the Australian domestic market, or
  • you meet another remission circumstance.

This means you won't have to pay excise duty for these goods.

Generally, you will be required to apply to us for a remission of excise duty, but there may be circumstances where a remission without application (automatic remission) applies to you.

Excisable goods you can claim a remission for

You can claim a remission for excisable goods that haven't been delivered into the Australian domestic market if they:

  • deteriorated
  • are damaged, lost or destroyed while they are underbond
  • are supplied as bunker fuels to certain vessels in commercial shipping – this applies from 1 January 2024
  • are supplied as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for non-transport use
  • have been chemically transformed (other than by combustion) into a non-excisable product.

For more information, see section 7.3.1 of the Excise guidelines for the fuel industry.

How to claim a remission

Find out more on how to apply for an excise remission and seek permission to destroy excisable goods.

Remission for bunker fuel

Bunker fuel refers to fuel that is stored to power a ship or its auxiliary equipment, it is not cargo. You don't need to complete a remission application if an automatic remission applies.

From 1 January 2025, there is an automatic remission of excise duty for bunker fuel where all of the following apply:

  • the fuel (other than aviation fuels) is for the use of passengers or crew of a ship, or for the service of a ship that's not an overseas ship as defined by the Excise Act
  • the fuel is supplied directly from an excise licensed premises to a person who will use it for the purpose of carrying on a business
  • the fuel is supplied to a ship with a gross tonnage of at least 400 tonnes.

Ships coming from overseas with bunker fuel onboard that meet the above may be eligible to apply for a customs remission.

For more information, see Bunker fuel and commercial shipping.

Remission for transport LPG and LNG

A full automatic remission of excise duty applies to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) you supply for non-transport use only. You don’t need to complete a remission application if a full automatic remission applies.

An automatic remission doesn't apply to LPG or LNG when:

  • you supply LPG or LNG for mixed use (both transport and non-transport) and the LPG or LNG is delivered into one tank
  • the end use of the LPG or LNG is unknown at the time of supply.

If you supply LPG or LNG duty unpaid, on the basis that an automatic remission of the duty applies (that is, the goods are for non-transport use), you must have a reasonable expectation that the goods will not be used as a transport fuel.

Penalties can apply to both the supplier and end user if LPG or LNG was supplied with an automatic remission of the duty but is then used as a transport fuel.

If you are supplying LPG with an automatic remission of the duty, you should include the following notice on your invoices:

'Not to be used, or supplied, for transport use. Penalties apply.'

The notice is not required when you supply the LPG in containers 210 kilograms or less, or to a residential premises and is not for business use.

Supplying excisable fuel products under automatic remission

If you hold an excise manufacturer licence or excise storage licence and a periodic settlement permission (PSP), you can supply some excisable fuel products, duty unpaid, to the following purchasers. The goods you supply will effectively be excise-free as you get an automatic remission of the excise duty.

When you supply excisable goods duty unpaid, ensure you understand who you are supplying to and the relevant restrictions and requirements.

You must keep detailed records of the goods you supply excise duty unpaid.

Who you can supply excise duty unpaid goods to

You can supply excise duty unpaid goods to the following purchasers:

  • the Governor-General or any member of the Governor-General’s family, if the goods are for official use
  • state governors or any member of a state governor’s family, if the goods are for official use
  • certain international organisations specified in the law, or officials of those organisations, if the goods are not for the purposes of trade
  • the government of another country under an agreement between that government and the Australian Government, if the goods are for official use and not for the purposes of trade
  • people covered by a Status of Forces Agreement, if the goods are for official use
  • official use by diplomatic missions and consular posts, and personal use of certain people working for those organisations
  • people who get LPG and LNG for non-transport use, including use in a forklift
  • people who get bunker fuel as ship stores for vessels with gross tonnage of at least 400 tonnes, from 1 January 2025.

What you need to do

If you supply goods excise duty unpaid in the situations described above, you're entitled to an automatic remission or refund of excise duty on those goods.

However, you must also ensure that the end user is entitled to receive the goods excise duty unpaid under an automatic remission or refund. You can do this by ensuring you follow the requirements for official stationery and periodic settlement permission.

Official stationery

Each order you receive must be on official stationery.

This includes the Governor-General, state governors, certain international organisations, the government of a country other than Australia, and those covered by a Status of Forces Agreement. Orders must include confirmation that the goods are for official use.

Orders from diplomatic missions and consular posts must indicate whether the goods are for official or personal use.

For more information, see in section 7 of the Excise guidelines for the fuel industry. This includes the full list of who you can supply excisable goods duty unpaid to, what you need to do, and records you need to keep.

Periodic settlement permission

A periodic settlement permission (PSP) allows you to deliver excisable goods into the Australian domestic market (for home consumption) over a specified period (settlement period).

In some circumstances, you need to hold a PSP to supply goods under automatic remission. You don't need to report these sales unless we ask you to.

You don't need approval from us before you release goods subject to automatic remission. You therefore don't have to:

  • enter these goods on an excise return, or
  • apply for an excise remission.

For more information, see Permissions to move excisable fuel and petroleum products.

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