Excise guidelines for the tobacco industry

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05 - MOVEMENT PERMISSIONS

5.1 PURPOSE

5.2 INTRODUCTION

5.3 POLICY AND PRACTICE

5.3.1 WHAT DIFFERENT PERMISSION TYPES ARE THERE?

5.3.2 CAN I GET A MOVEMENT PERMISSION?

5.3.3 WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A MOVEMENT PERMISSION?

5.3.4 DOES THE RECEIVING PREMISES HAVE TO BE LICENSED?

5.3.5 WILL I NEED TO PAY A SECURITY?

5.3.6 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY MOVEMENT PERMISSION IS GRANTED?

5.3.7 WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES?

5.3.8 WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION IS NOT APPROVED?

5.3.9 WHEN AND HOW CAN A MOVEMENT PERMISSION BE REVOKED OR CANCELLED?

5.4 PROCEDURES

5.4.1 HOW DO I APPLY FOR A MOVEMENT PERMISSION?

5.4.2 HOW DO I AMEND MY CONTINUING MOVEMENT PERMISSION?

5.5 WHAT PENALTIES CAN APPLY TO OFFENCES IN RELATION TO MOVEMENT PERMISSIONS?

5.6 TERMS USED

5.7 LEGISLATION (QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE)

5.1 PURPOSE

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.

5.2 INTRODUCTION

Under the excise system, control of goods from the time of creation to the point of payment of the liability lies with the Commissioner. To maintain this control, the 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 one specified place to another. [143] This permission may be subject to conditions. The permission holder retains responsibility for any liability arising on the tobacco leaf and excisable tobacco products until they are taken up into the stock of the new premises. The legislation differentiates between tobacco seed, plant and leaf, all of which are not excisable goods, and manufactured tobacco products, which are excisable goods. Even though the legislation differentiates between the two the effect is the essentially the same. You need permission to move these goods from one place to another place. [144]
In this chapter, 'goods' refers to both tobacco seed, plant and/or leaf and excisable tobacco products.

5.3 POLICY AND PRACTICE

5.3.1 WHAT DIFFERENT PERMISSION TYPES ARE THERE? Depending on your circumstances, you may apply for a permission to move specified goods once (single permission) or goods of a particular kind on a continuing basis (continuing permission). Continuing permissions are used where you have a need to move goods 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 specified goods from one specified place to another specified place (effective for one movement)
  • Continuing movement permission (non-export) - a permission to move goods of a kind specified from one specified place to another specified place on a continuing basis
  • Single movement permission (export) - a permission to move specified goods to a place of export (effective for one movement), or
  • Continuing movement permission (export) - a permission to move goods 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.
5.3.2 CAN I GET A MOVEMENT PERMISSION? 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. 5.3.3 WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A MOVEMENT PERMISSION? Each movement permission we approve contains three parts:
  1. The permission This specifies
    • the permission holder.
  2. 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. A condition that is imposed by the law on movement permissions for tobacco leaf requires each tobacco bale to have a tobacco bale label attached. The tobacco bale label must remain attached to the bale while the bale is not on premises specified in a manufacturer, producer or dealer licence. Tobacco bale labels are available from us and serve to uniquely identify each tobacco bale. The requirement for a tobacco bale label can be waived but we need to give you specific written permission. This would be considered where you can demonstrate reasons why the tobacco leaf cannot be put into bales. [145]  
  3. The Schedule This specifies:
    • the premises from which the goods can be removed
    • the premises to which the goods can be moved
    • the goods by tariff item that can be moved under the permission, 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 tobacco 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 20 (outer cartons) x 20 (inner packs) x 250 cigarettes = 100,000 sticks classified to excise tariff sub-item 5.1.
5.3.4 DOES THE RECEIVING PREMISES HAVE TO BE LICENSED? 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. [146] 5.3.5 WILL I NEED TO PAY A SECURITY? 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. [147] 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 reviewable under the objection process.

For information about your review rights refer to chapter 8 - Reviews and objections .
5.3.6 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY MOVEMENT PERMISSION IS GRANTED? 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.  5.3.7 WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES? 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 movements of goods from your premises. If you cannot satisfactorily account for the goods, we may demand an amount equal to the duty that would have been payable on the goods. [148] 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.
Accountability then transfers to the receiving premises. 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.
5.3.8 WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION IS NOT APPROVED? 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.

For information about your review rights refer to chapter 8 - Reviews and objections
5.3.9 WHEN AND HOW CAN A MOVEMENT PERMISSION BE REVOKED OR CANCELLED? A continuing permission remains in effect until it is cancelled. [149] 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.
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 permission is not a reviewable decision.

For information about your review rights refer to chapter 8 - Reviews and objections .

5.4 PROCEDURES

5.4.1 HOW DO I APPLY FOR A MOVEMENT PERMISSION? 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.
5.4.2 HOW DO I AMEND MY CONTINUING MOVEMENT PERMISSION? 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. 5.4.3 WHAT DO I DO IF I NEED MORE INFORMATION? If you need more information on movement permissions contact us as follows:
  • phone 1300 137 295
  • fax (03) 9285 1168 , or
  • write to us at

    Australian Taxation Office

    PO Box 3001

    PENRITH, NSW, 2740
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.

5.5 WHAT PENALTIES CAN APPLY TO OFFENCES IN RELATION TO MOVEMENT PERMISSIONS?

The following are the penalties that may apply after conviction for an offence. Move If you move tobacco seed or plant without a movement permission, the penalty is a maximum of two years in prison or up to 500 penalty units . [150] If you move tobacco leaf without a 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 that would have been payable if tobacco leaf had been manufactured into excisable goods. [151] If you move excisable tobacco products without a 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 tobacco products. [152] If you move tobacco seed or plant contrary to your movement permission, the penalty is a maximum of two years in prison or 500 penalty units. [153] If you move tobacco leaf 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 that would have been payable if tobacco leaf had been manufactured into excisable goods. [154] If you move excisable tobacco products 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 tobacco products. [155]

5.6 TERMS USED

Excisable tobacco 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. As these guidelines deal with tobacco products, we have used the term excisable tobacco products. Excisable tobacco products include:
  • tobacco
  • cigars
  • cigarettes, and
  • snuff.
Penalty units A penalty unit is specified in section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 and, at the time of writing, is $110. Tobacco Tobacco means tobacco leaf subjected to any process other than curing the leaf as stripped from the plant. [156] This means that until tobacco leaf is subjected to processes after curing it is not excisable. The species of the Nicotiana genus that are generally used for smoking, chewing or snuff are considered to produce tobacco leaf. Those species are currently Nicotiana tabacum, Nicotiana rusticum and Nicotiana sylvestris. Underbond 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 the Australian domestic market and goods moving between premises under a movement permission.

5.7 LEGISLATION (quick reference guide)

In this chapter we have referred to the following legislation: 5.7.1 Excise Act 1901 Section 16 - Right to require security Section 17 - Form of security Section 18 - General security may be given Section 19 - Cancellation of bonds Section 20 - New sureties Section 21 - Form of security Section 22 - Effect of security Section 44 - Permission to move tobacco seed, tobacco plant and tobacco leaf Section 60 - Persons to keep excisable goods safely Section 61A - Permission to remove goods that are subject to the CEO's control Section 75 - Destruction of waste tobacco Section 77AA - Tobacco leaf stock may be checked Section 117A - Unlawfully moving excisable goods Section 117D - Unlawfully moving tobacco leaf 5.7.2 Excise Tariff Act 1921 The Schedule 5.7.3 Crimes Act 1914 4AA 5.7.4 Acts Interpretation Act 1901 Section 33 - Exercise of powers and duties
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU The information in this publication is current at August 2008. This publication is an expression of the Commissioner's opinion on the operation of tobacco excise legislation. This publication is not legally or administratively binding on the Commissioner and is not a 'public ruling' for the purposes of Section 105-60 or Division 358 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953 . The law does not provide for legally binding rulings on tobacco excise legislation. If you feel this publication does not fully cover your circumstances, please seek help from the Tax Office or a professional adviser. 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 www.ato.gov.au
Excise guidelines for the tobacco industry
  Date: Version:
You are here 1 July 2006 Original document
  1 September 2014 Updated document
  1 April 2015 Current document

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