Home brewing beer is now illegal!!

Discussion in 'Geek Grog & Homebrew' started by 1shot1kill, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. 1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    Of course, I could be wrong, but that's my interpretation of the Excise Act 1901.
    The Act.

    Have a look, let me know what you think.

    Pay particular attention to Part III, Division 1. I don't see any exclusions for beer or wine. That, of course, doesn't mean that there aren't exceptions made for beer or wine, just that I can't see them.

    Also pay attention to the definition of an excisable good:

    Excisable goods means goods in respect of which excise duty is imposed by the Parliament, and includes goods the subject of an Excise Tariff or Excise Tariff alteration proposed in the Parliament.

    Beer is subject to an Excise Tariff. However, IANAL and I could be very wrong. For the sceptics amongst you, this is all due to recent changes (July '06) changes to some legislation. Specifically, the Distillation Act 1901 was repealed and the relevant parts were added to the Excise Act 1901. But not a lot of thought appears to have been put into it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2006
  2. anc001

    anc001 Member

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    uhuh.... :rolleyes:

    I'm off to tip it all down the drain....
     
  3. noboundaries-au

    noboundaries-au Member

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    Why would homebrewing beer be in the distillation act... its probably outlined somewhere else... as for distillation.... its been illegal (or at least of dubious legality) forever.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    It's not in the Distillation Act, 'cos such an act no longer exists. I've fixed the link now, so go read what the Excise Act 1901 says about manufacturing excisable goods.

    Beer, Wine, Spirits, Fuel, Tobacco are all excisable goods, the manufacture of which without a license is illegal.
     
  5. systemdown

    systemdown Member

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    While I don't doubt that what you've discovered is interesting, I also am not a "legal eagle" so I won't attempt to confirm/deny your findings. Doesn't worry me either way however (whether brewing is technically "illegal" or not) - it's my God given right to brew beer, and I shall do so if I wish (haven't done so for quite a while, but that's not the point).
     
  6. pugsley

    pugsley Member

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    Call me silly but i think that if home brewing was illegal because of that act, then it would have been illegal from 1901... Am i right?
     
  7. Break the Cycle

    Break the Cycle Member

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    Yes. You are very wrong :)

    An excise tax is a tax on the production and manufacture of goods, and any stage of distribution, reserved to the commonwealth by the application of s90 of the constitution.

    Further more a tax bill cannot serve any other purpose than to impose a tax.

    s55 of the Const.

    Tax Bill


    Laws imposing taxation shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

    Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.


    All that means is places like U-Brew it and other microbreweries of such nature can't get around paying excise, just because you are technically brewing it. It's a loophole theyve been using for ages. "Hey you cant charge me an excise tax, because they are brewing it themselves (even if they are using all our equipment in a commercial arrangement)." These ammendments close that loophole.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2006
  8. OP
    OP
    1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    You're wrong, 'cos the relevant section was only added in July of this year.


    So what you're effectively saying is that the Excise Act 1901 can't prohibit owning a still, right? :p
     
  9. Break the Cycle

    Break the Cycle Member

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    I'm not saying anything, the constitution is though :p (yes that is correct)

    Im not sure if the prohibitive sections of the DA have been moved somewhere else, or if the government has just come to its senses and removed the completely draconian act all together.
     
  10. Smoke87

    Smoke87 Member

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    also keep in mind that courts interpret and apply the substantive law, i.e. legislation, according to parliamentary intentions, object of the act, etc. and not just a strict reading and construction of the act.
     
  11. PostModern

    PostModern Angry Brewer

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    It is my understanding that excise is payable on the commercial production of beer. Homebrew cannot be sold, so it is exempt from excise. This Act has nothing to do with the fermentation of malt beverages in the home for private consumption.

    Let's keep our wits about us!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    But I can't see anything in the act that excludes home brewed beer. Beer is an excisable good therefore the manufacture of it is prohibited. The same goes for wine and spirits.
     
  13. protecon

    protecon Member

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    If that's true then why is it illegal to produce your own biodiesel?
    As far as I can interpret, it's due to the Government recognising a significant threat to excise contributions though the private manufacture of alternative fuels.
    At this stage, homebrewing doesn't pose a similar economical "coup" due to the quantities being produced in relation to the overall commercial consumption?
     
  14. noboundaries-au

    noboundaries-au Member

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    True... but whats the chance you'll actually be caught :Pirate:
     
  15. OP
    OP
    1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    I bet this guy had the same philosophy as you.
     
  16. bensykes

    bensykes Member

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    Read the Excise Tariff Act, not the Excise Act, they are 2 separate Acts.

    FFS, get your facts right before scare-mongering.

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Leg...998A517786B49688CA2571A70081BC03?OpenDocument

     
  17. bensykes

    bensykes Member

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    The tariff for "brewed on premises" beer, however, is only $2.50 or so per litre of alcohol. Much less than the excise on normally brewed commercial beer (about 15x that amount, or about 8x for draught kegs).
     
  18. OP
    OP
    1shot1kill

    1shot1kill Member

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    Scaremongering? Hardly. It was as I explained in my original post. I read the Excise Act 1901 and it appeared that making beer at home is illegal. I also said that I may be wrong.

    But it also appears that it's now no longer illegal to own a still of any capacity!
     
  19. bensykes

    bensykes Member

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    Would've been better if you said you were wrong :p

    Just illegal to actually have any spirit produced from said still without paying excise ;) Keep it quiet and nobody's going to know. Start doing silly stuff (selling it mainly, or putting it into wider distribution than a couple of good mates) and you will have a problem.
     
  20. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    The same basic argument that 1shot1kill has presented would seem to apply equally to biodiesel, but does anybody actually know if it is really illegal?

    I mean, biodiesel production has been well publicised in a positive light, and there have been major stories in the media promoting it, and specifically showing names and faces of people who are producing it privately.
     

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