Key excise legislation introduced

The Coalition yesterday introduced new legislation to the lower house to deliver on its May Budget promise to extend support to craft brewers and distillers.

Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert said in a media release that the amendments to the Treasury LawsandExcise Tariff Actsdeliver on the Government’s promise to give more support to craft brewers.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Bill 2019increases the alcohol excise refund scheme cap from $30,000 to $100,000 per financial year for Australian brewers, distillers and producers of other fermented beverages such as non-traditional cider.

The changes still see a significant difference in the treatment afforded to brewers and wineries, with wineries eligible for a $350,000 refund under the WET scheme.

The change to the excise refund cap has been implemented through an amendment to the Excise Regulation. The new regulation was approved in November 2018 and will apply from July 1, 2019.

The Excise Tariff Amendment (Supporting Craft Brewers) Bill 2019 will amend the current excise tariff laws that lower excise duty rates for beer in containers larger than 48 litres to now cover smaller containers of 8 litres or more from July 1, 2019.

The Explanatory Notes accompanying the Bill explicitly state the changes apply to beer for sale to commercially licences premises, excluding the practice of selling growlers.

“Currently, any beer that is entered for home consumption in individual containers exceeding 48 litres – and is ordinarily eligible for the lower duty rates – which is subsequently repackaged into containers with a smaller capacity, is treated as being subject to further manufacturing and therefore subject to duty at the applicable non-concessional rates.”

Current excise on a keg of beer* exceeding 3.5% ABV that holds up to and including 48 litres is $50.40 per litre of alcohol. This is compared with $35.50 per litre of alcohol for kegs over 48 litres.

Amendments to the Excise Tariff and Treasury Acts will apply in relation to goods entered for home consumption on or after July 1, 2019.

*February 4, 2019.

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