Excise guidelines for the fuel industry
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05 MOVEMENT PERMISSIONS
This chapter deals with:
- why you need a movement permission
- different movement permission types
- whether you can get a movement permission
- what is included in a movement permission
- whether the receiving premises have to be licensed
- whether you will need to pay a security
- what happens when your movement permission is granted
- your responsibilities
- what happens if your application for a movement permission is not approved
- when and how a movement permission can be revoked or cancelled
- how to apply for a movement permission
- how to amend a continuing movement permission, and
- penalties that can apply to offences in relation to movement permissions.
Under the excise system, control of goods from the time of creation to the point of authorised delivery of the goods into home consumption , or export, lies with the Commissioner. To maintain this control, the Excise Act 1901 ( Excise Act) requires that excisable goods are not to be moved without permission. 
We refer to this form of permission as a movement permission. It is a permission we provide in writing that authorises you to move specified goods from a specified place to another specified place without excise duty being payable.  This permission may be subject to conditions.
The permission holder retains responsibility for any excise liability arising on the excisable fuel products until they are taken up into the stock of the new premises.
Depending on your circumstances, you may apply for a permission to move excisable fuel products once (single permission) or on a continuing basis (continuing permission). Continuing permissions are used where you have a need to move excisable fuel products in a regular pattern (for example, a delivery each week to the same premises). A single permission is used when movements are not to a continuing or regular pattern to the same premises.
There are four types of movement permission:
- Single movement permission (non-export) - a permission to move excisable fuel products from one specified place to another specified place (effective for one movement)
- Continuing movement permission (non-export) - a permission to move excisable fuel products of a kind specified from one specified place to another specified place on a continuing basis
- Single movement permission (export) - a permission to move excisable fuel products to a place of export (effective for one movement), or
- Continuing movement permission (export) - a permission to move excisable fuel products of a kind specified to a place of export on a continuing basis.
An export movement permission is not an authority to export. You must obtain this separately from Customs.
You can be granted a movement permission if you are the owner of:
- the licensed place from where the goods are despatched or
- the licensed place where the goods are received.
You can also be granted a movement permission if you are the owner of the goods even if you do not hold a current excise licence.
Each movement permission we approve contains three parts:
- The permission
- the permission holder, and
- the goods by tariff item or general description that can be moved under the permission.
- The conditions
Movement permissions can be subject to conditions that are necessary to protect the revenue or ensure compliance with the Excise Act. In general, the conditions listed below are considered necessary to do that.
As a standard condition, you must provide to both the despatching and receiving premises a consecutively numbered document with each movement of goods that specifies:
- the despatching premises and destination
- the date of despatch
- the number and type of packages
- a description of the goods
- a statement that the goods are underbond , and
- any other information necessary to permit the goods to be dealt with at the destination.
A condition can also have a restriction limiting the volume of goods that can be moved within a specific period of time, or at any one time.
- The schedule
- the premises from which the goods can be removed
- the premises to which the goods can be moved, and
- for single movement permissions, the period or dates in which the goods may be moved.
If you own both the licensed premises between which goods are being moved, the schedule may not specify all these details but only that any movement of goods between premises licensed to you is approved.
The type of goods may be expressed generally (for example 'excisable goods', or 'excisable fuel products') or specifically, by tariff item number or description.
A single movement permission will specify the kind and quantity of the goods that can be moved, for example 100,000 litres of diesel classified to excise tariff subitem 10.10.
Generally, the receiving premises should be licensed. However, we may authorise underbond movement of goods to an unlicensed 'specified place', for example a waste destruction facility.
Prior to granting a movement permission, we may also require you to provide a security to protect the revenue or ensure compliance with the Excise Act. Even if we don't require a security prior to the granting of the movement permission, we may ask for a security at a later time. We can also ask you to increase the value of any security you may already have given. 
A security can be a bond, guarantee, cash deposit or similar financial product for an amount of money which may be forfeited if there is a failure to comply with the Excise Act. It is not necessary for a liability to arise as a result of the failure to comply, for the security to be forfeit. There is no statutory limit to the amount of a security but the amount is generally set by reference to the level of revenue at risk.
As part of assessing your application for a movement permission, we will decide whether you must provide a security. We will take into account:
- whether you currently hold an excise licence
- whether the despatching and receiving premises are licensed
- the type of goods involved
- the amount of the liability on the goods
- the tax compliance record of
- the applicant for the permission
- the despatching premises
- the receiving premises, and
- the susceptibility of the goods to be lost or diverted into home consumption without the payment of duty.
We cannot apply these securities against other tax debts.
We review securities linked to continuous movement permissions every three years, at which time they may be extended, revised or cancelled. Compliance with a single movement permission is assessed on completion of the movement of the excisable goods covered by the permission.
The decision to require a security is not a reviewable decision under the objection process. However, there may be other avenues for review, for example you may seek an informal review of our decision.
For information about your review rights refer to Chapter 8 - Reviews and objections.
When your movement permission is granted, it will be sent to you. You can then move your goods in accordance with the schedule. You will need to keep appropriate records to track the movement of your goods.
Where you have had possession, custody or control of goods we may request you (the permission holder) to account for the goods. If you are able to demonstrate that the goods have been lawfully moved under a movement permission, this will be considered a satisfactory accounting. It is important that you keep good records of any movement of goods both to and from your premises.
If you cannot satisfactorily account for the goods or failed to keep them safe, we may demand an amount equal to the duty that would have been payable on the goods. 
The permission holder is accountable for the goods:
- from the time they are removed from the despatching premises, and
- until they are delivered to the receiving premises and taken up into stock.
Accountability then transfers to the receiving premises. If the permission holder is the owner of the receiving premises then transfer of accountability occurs when the goods leave despatching premises. If the permission holder owns the goods but is not licensed, then they would generally be accountable for the goods from the time they are removed from the despatching premises until they are delivered to the receiving premises and taken up into stock.
If there is a discrepancy between the quantity shown in the delivery documentation and the physical quantity received you should contact us.
In the exceptional case where the goods are moved to unlicensed premises, accountability for the goods remains with you, as the permission holder.
If we do not approve your application for a movement permission, or to amend your existing movement permission, we will notify you in writing. If you are not satisfied with our decision, you can ask us to review it. You will not be able to move the goods to the place nominated in the application without first paying the excise duty.
For information about your review rights refer to Chapter 8 - Reviews and objections.
A continuing movement permission remains in effect until it is revoked or cancelled. 
We can cancel your movement permission if:
- you ask us to do so
- we consider that there is a risk to the revenue, or
- we have cancelled the licence of the receiving or despatching premises and this is the only premises listed on the permission.
If we decide to cancel your movement permission, we will notify you in writing. The cancellation will take effect from the time:
- you are served with the cancellation notice, or
- specified on the cancellation notice.
A decision to revoke or cancel a movement permission is not a reviewable decision.
For information about your review rights refer to Chapter 8 - Reviews and objections .
To apply for a movement permission, you should complete the relevant form, available on our website.
If you do not have control of the proposed receiving premises (licensed or unlicensed), we require you to obtain a letter from the operator of these premises stating that they will accept responsibility for the underbond goods when received. The application forms contain details of the statement required from the operator of the receiving premises.
If you need to deliver goods to new premises within specified periods please ensure that you allow sufficient time for your application to be determined. Generally, we will make a decision on your application within 28 days unless we need further information.
If you wish to amend your existing continuing movement permission (for example, change the schedule of receiving premises), you must send us either:
- a new application form with the amending details, or
- a letter including the permission number and necessary changes.
If you wish to add new receiving premises to your existing permission, you must also provide us with a letter from the operator of the receiving premises accepting responsibility for the underbond goods when received. The application form contains details of the statement required from an operator of the receiving premises.
We will consider your request and send you a new or amended permission if approved. In the meantime you cannot move goods outside your current permission.
If you need more information on movement permissions contact us as follows:
- phone 1300 137 290
- fax 1300 130 916
- email us at ATO-EXC-Petroleum@ato.gov.au , or
- write to us at
Australian Taxation Office
PO Box 3514
ALBURY NSW 2640
We will ordinarily respond to written information requests within 28 days. If we cannot respond within 28 days, we will contact you within 14 days to obtain more information or negotiate an extended response date.
The following are the penalties that may apply after conviction for an offence.
If you move excisable fuel products without a movement permission  , or contrary to your movement permission  ,the penalty is a maximum of two years in prison or the greater of 500 penalty units and 5 times the amount of duty on the excisable fuel products.
Excisable fuel products
Excisable goods are goods on which excise duty is imposed. Excise duty is imposed on goods that are manufactured or produced in Australia and listed in the Schedule to the Excise Tariff Act.
As these guidelines deal with fuel products, we have used the term excisable fuel products.
Excisable fuel products include:
- renewable diesel
- crude petroleum oil
- heating oil
- fuel ethanol
- compressed natural gas (CNG)
- liquefied natural gas (LNG), and
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Home Consumption 
'Home consumption' is the term used in the Excise Act and this guide to describe when excisable fuel products are released into the Australian market for consumption. The term used in the legislation is 'deliver for home consumption'.
Normally this will be by delivering the goods away from licensed premises but includes using those goods within the licensed premises (for example using fuel to run equipment in your licensed premises). It does not include goods delivered for export or the movement of goods underbond (see definition below) to another licensed site.
The term 'home consumption' is not defined in the Excise Act and there is no definitive case law that looks at the issue in question. However there are several cases where issues closely related to it are considered. 
The conclusion drawn from those cases is that 'home consumption' refers to the destination of goods as being within Australia as opposed to exporting them.
A penalty unit is specified in section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 and, at the time of writing, is $210.
This is an expression not found in excise legislation but it is widely used to describe goods that are subject to excise control. Excisable goods that are subject to excise control are commonly referred to as 'underbond goods' or as being 'underbond'. This includes goods that have not yet been delivered into home consumption and goods moving between premises under a movement permission.
In this chapter we have referred to the following legislation: