Tobacco Products

The Customs Regulations 1926 were amended on 8 November 2012. The amendments relate to the requirements for exporting tobacco products and the introduction of a temporary refund provision for branded tobacco products that do not meet the plain packaging requirements introduced by the Australian Government.

Information on the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (TPP Act) can be found at Federal Register of Legislation.

Australian Customs Notices

ACN 2012/60 - Customs duty refund - tobacco and tobacco products

ACN 2012/61 - Changes to Customs duty drawbacks - tobacco and tobacco products only

Frequently asked questions

When will it be an offence to sell, supply, purchase, package or manufacture non-plain packaged (branded) tobacco and tobacco products in the Australian domestic market?

From 1 December 2012 all tobacco products sold, offered for sale or supplied within Australian must be in plain packaging.  This is the date legislated in the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (TPP Act).

What branded tobacco products are affected?

The Department of Health website provides comprehensive information in relation to changes to the sale of tobacco products in Australia.

I am a tobacco/cigarette retailer.  What do I do with tobacco products that I am not permitted to sell under the plain packaging rules after 1 December 2012?

Queries concerning tobacco products which are not compliant with the new packaging requirements should be directed to your product supplier.

What if my supplier won’t accept return of my unsold branded imported tobacco products?

You can apply for a duty refund or duty drawback but you will need to meet certain requirements (see duty refund requirements below or duty drawback requirements under Tobacco Duty Drawback FAQs).

How do I tell if my unsold branded tobacco products were manufactured in Australia or imported into Australia?

If you are unsure about the origin of your tobacco products, speak to your supplier or examine the tobacco products for country of origin markings.

For inquiries related to excisable tobacco products manufactured in Australia, contact the Australian Taxation Office the ATO on 1300 137 290 or email your enquiry to

Temporary refund provision for non-compliant (branded) tobacco products

Tobacco Temporary Refund FAQs (PDF)

Customs duty drawback provision for imported and duty paid tobacco products

Tobacco Duty Drawback FAQs (PDF)


The following forms are required to apply for the refund / destruction provision:


The following form is required for the duty drawback scheme:



Frequently Asked Questions