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Excise guidelines for the alcohol industry

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This guide is intended to be a reference tool for the alcohol industry to assist its members to meet their excise obligations. It contains information about the excise system and how it applies to alcohol and alcohol products that are manufactured or produced (hereafter the reference to 'manufacture' or 'manufactured' is a reference to 'manufactured or produced', 'manufacture or produce' or 'manufacture or production' having regard to the relevant context unless otherwise specified) in Australia.

The guide will provide you with a broad outline of excise 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

symbol) that will help you with key information you should note.

You will also find 'more information' boxes (look for the

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

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 via:

the Business Portal

phone on 1300 137 290
fax at 1300 130 916 ,
email at , or
mail to
Australian Taxation Office

PO Box 3514


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.


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

Some technical terms used in this guide may be new to you - some are defined in the legislation, others are not. They are shown in bold when first used and are explained at the end of that chapter.

The terms CEO, Collector, and Commissioner are all used in the legislation in reference to various officers. In most instances in this guide we have not used these specific terms and simply refer to 'us' or 'we'.


The information in this publication is current at Februrary 2018.

This publication is an expression of the Commissioner's opinion on the operation of the Excise Act 1901 and Excise Tariff Act 1921 as they relate to alcohol. This publication is not legally or administratively binding on the Commissioner and is not a 'public ruling' for the purposes of Division 358 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 .

Since we regularly revise our publications to take account of any changes to the law, you should make sure this edition is the latest. The easiest way to do this is by checking for a more recent version on our website at

Excise guidelines for the alcohol industry
  Date: Version:
  1 July 2013 Original document
  1 July 2015 Updated document
  7 September 2017 Updated document
You are here 21 February 2018 Updated document
  5 August 2019 Updated document
  4 June 2021 Updated document
  9 July 2021 Updated document
  23 December 2021 Updated document
  25 February 2022 Current document

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