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How excise applies to tobacco

An overview of how excise works if you grow, produce, deal in, move, store or manufacture tobacco or products.

Last updated 1 March 2023

Producing or dealing in tobacco

Tobacco seed, plant and leaf are not excisable goods. However, you need an excise tobacco licence from us to produce (grow) or deal in tobacco. This applies even if you intend to use them for personal use. You also need our permission to move tobacco.

Growing tobacco

Currently, no one is licensed to grow tobacco seed, plant or leaf for commercial sale or personal use. These licences are:

  • subject to strict criteria and conditions
  • rarely granted.

Manufacturing tobacco goods

Cigarettes, cigars and loose tobacco are excisable tobacco goods (and subject to excise duty).

Currently there's no legal tobacco manufacture occurring in Australia. To manufacture excisable tobacco, you:

  • need a licence from us, even if you intend to use the tobacco for your personal use
  • must lodge an excise return and pay excise duty.

Importing tobacco

If you import tobacco or tobacco products into Australia, we call them excise equivalent goods (EEGs). Instead of paying excise duty on EEGs, you generally pay an equivalent customs duty.

If you import tobacco into Australia you have to pay all customs duty and taxes to the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) when the goods arrive at the Australian border. Home Affairs refers to tobacco as prohibited goodsExternal Link.


The sale of snuff is banned in Australia. You can import snuff for personal use as long as you do not sell or supply it to others. Duty still applies to snuff that is entered into the Australian market.

Illicit tobacco

Engaging in the illicit tobacco trade is a serious offence.

We are part of an Illicit Tobacco Taskforce, which enhances our ability, and our partner agencies, to protect Commonwealth revenue by proactively detecting, disrupting and dismantling serious organised crime syndicates that deal in illicit tobacco.