The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has made some important changes regarding takeaway beer and mixed drinks in an effort to support businesses in the alcohol industry facing difficulties in trading due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Of particular interest to bars and other licensed premises is the fact that venues operating under COVID-19 restrictions can repackage kegged beer for takeaway in sealed containers without needing an excise manufacturer licence, or to pay further excise duty. 

The ATO has also updated their ongoing position on takeaway mixed alcoholic beverages, i.e. cocktails. Read the statement from the ATO below for all the details:


Takeaway beer

The ATO recognises the difficulties many businesses in the alcohol service industry are facing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, to support affected businesses, from 29 July to 31 October 2021 alcohol service venues facing COVID-19 restrictions can repackage duty-paid kegged beer for takeaway sale in sealed containers (such as growlers), without needing:

  • an excise manufacturer licence
  • to pay further excise duty.

This applies to alcohol service venues operating under COVID-19 restrictions, for example they:

  • are restricted to takeaway service only
  • have to apply the four-square metre rule
  • have limits on the number of customers allowed in an enclosed space.

Takeaway mixed alcoholic beverages

The ATO has updated their ongoing position on takeaway mixed alcoholic beverages.

The following situation is not considered to be manufacture of a new excisable alcohol product that requires an excise manufacturer licence, or that further excise duty applies to:

  • where a bartender uses excise or customs duty-paid alcohol to prepare mixed alcoholic beverages (for example, cocktails) for a customer to take away in a sealed, single-serve container and consume soon after purchase
  • the container cannot be one designed for medium to long-term storage, such as the types of cans or bottles that are used in manufacturing Ready-To-Drink beverages (RTDs).

You can find out more about these changes on the ATO’s website.

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