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The Role and Responsibility of a Bonded Warehouse in Australia for Storing Excise Equivalent Goods and Excisable Goods

In Australia, bonded warehouses are pivotal to the regulatory framework governing excise equivalent goods (EEG) storage, with a spotlight on alcoholic beverages regulated under Section 79 (S79) of the Customs Act 1901 and the Excise Act 1901. Bonded warehouses are entrusted with ensuring lawful storage and handling of EEG, under the licensing regimes of the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Bonded Warehouses in Australia

These secure, closely regulated facilities allow goods, including alcohol, to be stored without immediate excise duty or Goods and Services Tax (GST) payment. The stored goods remain in a “bonded” status until cleared for delivery into home consumption or export.

Role of a Bonded Warehouse

  1. Secure Storage: The primary function is to offer a secure environment for EEG storage, including alcoholic beverages. Stringent security measures are in place to prevent unauthorised access and protect against theft or damage.
  2. Customs Compliance: Bonded warehouses defer the payment of duties and taxes from the time of importation to the date the goods are released into home consumption. Warehouses are obligated to comply with customs related laws, specifically S79 of the Customs Act 1901.
  3. Inventory Management: Accurate records and inventory management are vital, with all movements documented and subject to regular ATO audits.
  4. Quality Control: Quality control and inspection facilities help maintain the quality of alcoholic beverages, which can degrade over time.

Responsibilities of a Bonded Warehouse for Alcoholic Beverages

  1. Payment of Excise Duty: Bonded warehouses are responsible for the safe storage of EEG until duties and taxes are paid or goods are released under periodic settlement permission or are exported.
  2. Record-Keeping: Detailed records of storage, movement, and release of alcoholic beverages are maintained and reported accurately to the ATO.
  3. Security Measures: Robust security measures are implemented to prevent theft, tampering, and unauthorised access.
  4. Environmental Compliance: Environmental and safety regulations are followed to safeguard against potential risks related to alcohol storage.
  5. Audit and Reporting: Bonded warehouses cooperate fully during periodic ATO and ABF audits to ensure compliance under both Acts.

Bonded warehouses in Australia play a crucial role in protecting the revenue and ensuring the safety and security of stored products, particularly alcoholic beverages. They provide secure storage, customs compliance, accurate record-keeping, and quality control. For alcohol, responsibilities include meticulous record-keeping, security measures, environmental compliance, and audit readiness.

If you require assistance with bond storage or bond related services, please reach out to your Harders representative for a confidential conversation.

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