The Morrison Government is safeguarding Australia’s tobacco revenue collection, as part of a significant reform package to address the illicit tobacco black market.
Today, the Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Stuart Robert MP and the Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC, have introduced legislation into the Parliament to deliver on the Government’s 2018-19 Budget commitment to crack down on illicit tobacco.
The new legislation will establish a framework to require duties on tobacco to be paid when the tobacco is imported into Australia, or when it is domestically manufactured. This framework will deny criminal networks the opportunity to obtain tobacco on which duty has not been paid.
“This legislation will make it harder for criminals to defraud the Commonwealth of revenue that secures essential services for all Australians,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
“Importers will be required to pay all duty liabilities when tobacco is imported into Australia, rather than as it leaves a licensed warehouse and enters the domestic market. The point of taxation will be the same for any future local manufacturers” said Assistant Minister Reynolds.
Together with the newly established, Australian Border Force-led Illicit Tobacco Taskforce and the proposed import permit requirement for tobacco announced in the 2018-19 Budget, the Government is ensuring the Australian border is even more resilient to organised criminal groups that facilitate tobacco smuggling.
“Tackling duty evasion and black economy activities in the tobacco warehouse environment will disrupt illicit tobacco supply chains and deny organised crime syndicates access to the illicit profits that fund their other criminal and black economy activities,” said Assistant Treasurer Robert.
“This will reduce criminal activity, protect law-abiding local businesses and provide an estimated $3 billion in revenue to the Commonwealth,” Assistant Treasurer Robert said.
The new legislation reflects stakeholder views which were sought through a consultation process. The legislation can be found on the Australian Parliament House website at:
Today’s announcement builds on the Government action to strengthen illicit tobacco offences and establish a new Illicit Tobacco Taskforce.