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Excise guidelines for the tobacco industry

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What these Guidelines are about

Relying on these Guidelines

We are committed to providing you with accurate, consistent and clear information to help you understand your rights and entitlements and your obligations.

If you follow our information and it turns out to be incorrect, or it is misleading and you make a mistake as a result, we will take that into account when determining what action, if any, we should take.

Some of the information in these Guidelines applies to a specific financial year. This is clearly marked. Make sure you have the information for the right year before making decisions based on that information.

This guide is intended to be a reference tool for the tobacco industry to assist its members to meet their excise obligations. It contains information about the excise system and how it applies to tobacco products (being plant, seed and leaf) and excisable tobacco goods that are produced or manufactured in Australia.

The guide will provide you with a broad outline of excise law, our administration of the law and your compliance obligations - it does not cover every aspect of how excise law applies to every situation.

Throughout this guide you will find important notes (look for the exclamation symbol) that will help you with key information you should note.

You will also find 'more information' boxes (look for the right direction symbol) that will show any further steps you may need to take or supplementary information you may need to refer to.

The 'danger' notes (look for the danger symbol) give prominence to information that is critical to compliance. They suggest the highest level of urgency or facts you must comply with.

If this guide does not fully cover your circumstances, please seek help from us or a professional adviser.

You can contact us as follows:

  • Australian Taxation Office
  • PO Box 3514
  • ALBURY NSW 2640

Terms we use in these Guidelines

The technical terms used in these Guidelines are shown in bold when first used and are explained in Terms we use in these Guidelines . Some of these definitions are from the excise legislation, others are not.

When we say you in these Guidelines, we mean you as a member of the tobacco industry, who is either registered or wishes to register for excise.

When we say us or we in these Guidelines, we mean the terms CEO, Collector or Commissioner as used in the excise legislation to refer to various officers.

The information in this publication is current at December 2021.


You are free to copy, adapt, modify, transmit and distribute this material as you wish (but not in any way that suggests the ATO or the Commonwealth endorses you or any of your services or products).

Excise guidelines for the tobacco industry
  Date: Version:
  1 July 2006 Original document
  1 September 2014 Updated document
  1 April 2015 Updated document
You are here 17 December 2021 Current document

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