Customs Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Bill 2006

Second Reading Speech

Senator Kemp (Minister for the Arts and Sport)

I table revised explanatory memoranda relating to the Age Discrimination Amendment Bill 2006 and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Bill 2006 and move:

That these bills be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speeches incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The Customs Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Bill 2006 contains several amendments to the Customs Act 1901 (the Act). This bill is part of a package of Bills dealing with fuel tax and excise reform.

First, the bill will repeal provisions in the Customs Act designed to address fuel penalty surcharge legislation. These amendments will ensure that the Act is consistent with the Government's proposals to replace all existing rebates and subsidies for fuel products, including concessional and free rates of duty, with a fuel tax credit scheme.

Secondly, the bill will amend the Act to strengthen and clarify the compliance and other arrangements that apply to the use of imported excise-equivalent goods in the manufacture of excisable goods. These amendments will ensure that the revenue is more adequately protected, and will bring existing practices into line with the conditions under the Excise Act 1901.

The bill will establish that the manufacture of excisable goods may occur in a customs warehouse and will provide that such manufacture using excise equivalent goods must occur at a place licensed under both customs and excise legislation. The bill will also establish that Customs control of excise-equivalent goods continues until such a time that an excisable liability has been created under the Excise Act, or the goods are entered into home consumption and relevant duties paid, or the goods are exported.

Other amendments will identify when liability is extinguished for Customs duty on excise equivalent goods used in excise manufacture, and how owners of these goods will account for such goods to Customs.

The bill will include a provision that deals with the maturation period of certain imported spirits. This provision currently resides in the Spirits Act 1906, which will be repealed by the Excise Laws Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Bill 2006.