Bills Digest no. 118 2007–08
Customs Tariff Amendment (Tobacco Content) Bill
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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Customs Tariff Amendment (Tobacco
Content) Bill 2008
introduced: 28 May
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Home Affairs
The amendments are taken
to have commenced on 1 November 1999. The Act itself commences
upon Royal Assent.
relevant links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second
reading speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
Schedule 1 of the Bill will amend
the Customs Tariff Act 1995 (the Customs Tariff Act) to
incorporate a definition of tobacco content . The definition will
have retrospective application from 1 November 1999.
presently no definition of the term tobacco content in the Customs
Tariff Act. However, according to the Bill s Second Reading
Speech, the proposed definition reflects the practice adopted by
the Australian Customs Service (ACS) and industry alike since
Notwithstanding, there is a perceived risk to revenue as a result
of uncertainty surrounding the term.
Schedule 3 of the Customs Tariff Act provides the rate of excise
duty which tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes attract.
The rate is calculated according to the weight of tobacco content.
For example, some cigarettes containing tobacco attract an excise
of $235.90 per kilogram of tobacco content .
Under the proposed definition, tobacco content will include any
thing (including moisture) added to the tobacco leaf during
manufacturing or processing. Such a definition ensures that any
excise payable is calculated on the total weight of the goods. For
comparative purposes, tobacco is defined in the Schedule to the
Commonwealth s Excise Tariff Act 1921 as tobacco leaf
subjected to any process other than curing the leaf as stripped
from the plant .
The Explanatory Memorandum states that the Bill will have no
Item 1 of Schedule 1 amends
subsection 3(1) of the Customs Tariff Act by inserting a definition
of tobacco content . The term is defined to include any thing added
to the tobacco leaf during manufacturing or processing. The
Explanatory Memorandum elaborates that this includes sugar,
flavour, additives, or any thing else (including moisture) added to
the tobacco leaf during manufacturing or processing.
Application: The amendments contained in
Schedule 1 apply to goods imported from 1 November 1999 and to
goods imported prior to this date, if the requisite deadline for
calculating the rate of import duty had not occurred by 1 November
3 June 2008
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