Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Spirits Act 1906

Act No. 21 of 1906 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 216 of 1973
Registered 07 Dec 2009
Start Date 31 Dec 1973
End Date 11 Jun 1981
Date of repeal 01 Jul 2006
Repealed by Excise Laws Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Act 2006

SPIRITS ACT 1906
- Reprinted as at 19 December 1973 (HISTACT2 CHAP 385 #DATE 19:12:1973)

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - TABLE OF PROVISIONS

TABLE


SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973

TABLE OF PROVISIONS
Section
1. Short title
2. Commencement
3. Interpretation
4. Incorporation of Parts of Customs Act 1901
5. (Repealed)
6. Amendments of Distillation Act 1901
7. Certificates and marking in relation to spirits
8. Forging or falsely applying spirit marks
9. Penalty for describing spirits contrary to Act
10. Brandy delivered for human consumption to be distilled from grape
wine
11. Imported spirits to be matured
12. Australian spirits to be matured
13. Inferior spirits
14. Methylated spirits and their use
15. Penalty for refining, &c., methylated spirits
16. Penalty for selling, &c., illicit methylated spirits
17. Forfeiture of illicit methylated spirits
18. Spirits, containing methylating substances
19. Spirits methylated before Act
20. Licences to make and sell methylated spirits
21. Sale or possession of methylated spirits in quantity
22. Power to enter and take samples
23. Penalty for refusing to supply samples
24. Power to enter and search
25. Power to seize
26. Power to make regulations

THE SCHEDULE

Standard for Industrial Spirits
Standard for Mineralized Spirits

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 1.
Short title.

SECT

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973

An Act relating to Spirits.
Short title amended; No. 32, 1918, s. 2.
1. This Act may be cited as the Spirits Act 1906-1973.*

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 2.
Commencement.

SECT

2. This Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation.*

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 3.
Interpretation.

SECT

Amended by No. 14, 1915, s. 2; No. 35, 1918, s. 2; No. 12, 1932, s. 3; No. 24, 1935, s. 2; No. 87, 1947, s. 2; No. 10, 1952, s. 2; No. 110, 1968, s. 2; No. 6, 1969, s. 3; No. 25, 1972, s. 3; and No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
3. (1) In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears-

''Alcohol'' means ethyl alcohol;

''Article of food or drink'' includes every article used for food or drink by man, and any article that enters into or is used in the composition or preparation of food or drink, and also includes confectionery, spices, condiments, and flavouring substances;

''Collector'' and ''Collector of Customs'' have the same meaning as ''Collector'' has in the Customs Act 1901-1951;

''Medicines'' includes medicines for internal or external application, other than such veterinary medicines, liniments and medicines for external application as may from time to time be prescribed under Departmental By-laws;

''Methylating substance'' means any substance required by any regulation to be mixed with spirits in order to make methylated spirits, and includes any fractional part or ingredient of any such substance, and particularly any such fractional part or ingredient as may serve to aid detection by means of chemical analysis of the presence in any article of food or drink or any medicines of a methylating substance;

''Methylated'' means mixed with any prescribed methylating substance in the prescribed quantity, and in the prescribed manner;

''Methylated Spirits'' means any spirits, whether imported or made in Australia, which have been methylated either before or after the commencement of this Act, and whether the methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof has afterwards been removed from the spirit or not, and includes all spirit, whether imported or made in Australia, which has been entered for home consumption as methylated spirit;

''Illicit Methylated Spirits'' means methylated spirits from which any methylating substance has been abstracted, or which has been refined, distilled, treated or dealt with in contravention of this Act or the regulations, and subject to this Act, includes any methylated spirits (not subject to the control of the Customs) which are in any respect below the standards prescribed for industrial spirits or mineralized spirits;

''Officer'' or ''Officer of Customs'' means a person who is an officer within the meaning of the Customs Act 1901-1973;

''Pure Australian Standard Brandy'' means brandy which complies with the following requisites:-

(a) It must have been distilled wholly from wine the fermented juice of fresh grapes by a pot still or similar process and contain not more than eighty-three per cent. by volume of alcohol;

(b) It must have been matured, while subject to the control of the Customs, by storage in wood for a period of not less than two years; and

(c) It must have been certified by an officer to be pure brandy containing all the essential elements of brandy;

''Australian Blended Brandy'' means brandy which complies with the following requisites:-

(a) It must have been distilled wholly from wine the fermented juice of fresh grapes, and must contain not less than twenty-five per cent. of pure wine spirit which has been separately distilled from the fermented juice of fresh grapes by a pot still or similar process and contains not more than eighty-three per cent. by volume of alcohol;

(b) It must have been matured, while subject to the control of the Customs, by storage in wood for a period not less than two years; and

(c) It must have been certified by an officer to be brandy blended and matured in accordance with this definition;

''Australian Standard Malt Whisky'' means whisky which complies with the following requisites:-

(a) It must have been distilled wholly from barley malt by a pot still or similar process and contain not more than eighty-three per cent. by volume of alcohol;

(b) It must have been matured, while subject to the control of the Customs, by storage in wood for a period of not less than two years; and

(c) It must have been certified by an officer to be pure whisky containing all the essential elements of pure malt whisky;

''Australian Blended Whisky'' means whisky which complies with the following requisites:-

(a) It must have been distilled partly from barley malt and partly from grain, and must consist of not less than twenty-five per cent. of pure malt whisky which has been separately distilled by a pot still or similar process and contains not more than eighty-three per cent. by volume of alcohol;

(b) It must have been matured, while subject to the control of the Customs, by storage in wood for at least two years; and

(c) It must have been certified by an officer to be whisky blended and matured in accordance with this definition;

''Australian Standard Rum'' means rum which complies with the following requisites:-

(a) It must have been distilled wholly from sugar, sugar syrup, molasses, or the refuse of sugar cane, by a pot still or similar process and contain not more than eighty-three per cent. by volume of alcohol;

(b) It must have been matured, while subject to the control of the Customs, by storage in wood for a period of not less than two years; and

(c) It must have been certified by an officer to be pure rum containing all the essential elements of rum.
Added by No. 25, 1972, s. 3.

(2) For the purposes of this Act-

(a) the volume of alcohol contained in spirits shall be taken to be the volume that would be the volume of that alcohol if the alcohol were measured at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius; and

(b) a calculation made for the purpose of ascertaining the volume of alcohol by reference to the specific gravity of alcohol shall be made on the basis that, at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius and in vacuum, the specific gravity of alcohol in relation to water is 0.79067.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 4.
Incorporation of Parts of Customs Act 1901.

SECT

Amended by No. 6, 1923, s. 2.
4. The provisions of Parts XI, XII, XIII, XIV and XV of the Customs Act 1901 shall, so far as applicable, be incorporated with this Act.
Section 5 repealed by No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
* * * * * * * *

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 6.
Amendments of Distillation Act 1901.

SECT

6. The Distillation Act 1901 is amended as follows:-

(a) by omitting from section fifty-eight the words ''and of a strength of at least thirty degrees above proof in the case of wine spirit and of at least sixty degrees above proof in the case of any other spirit''.

(b) by omitting from section fifty-nine the word ''thirty-five'' and inserting the word ''forty'' in lieu thereof; and

(c) by omitting from section seventy-six paragraph (ii) the word ''thirty-five'' and inserting the word ''forty'' in lieu thereof.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 7.
Certificates and marking in relation to spirits.

SECT

7. (1) An officer may at the request of the distiller or blender of any spirits give a certificate in the prescribed form certifying that the spirits are ''Pure Australian Standard Brandy'' or ''Australian Blended Brandy'' or ''Australian Standard Malt Whisky'' or ''Australian Blended Whisky'' or ''Australian Standard Rum'', as the case requires.

(2) When an officer has given a certificate that any spirits are ''Pure Australian Standard Brandy'' or ''Australian Blended Brandy'' or ''Australian Standard Malt Whisky'' or ''Australian Blended Whisky'' or ''Australian Standard Rum'', he may, at the request of the owner of the spirits, mark or cause to be marked the description of the spirits on the cask or vessel containing them together with a prescribed stamp or seal, or, if the spirits are in bottles, place a label or seal thereon in the prescribed manner.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 8.
Forging or falsely applying spirit marks.

SECT

Sub-section (1) amended by No. 93, 1966, s. 3.
8. (1) A person shall not-

(a) forge any prescribed stamp seal or label, or

(b) falsely apply any prescribed stamp seal or label to any spirits, or

(c) represent any stamp seal or label to be a prescribed stamp seal or label.

Penalty: Two hundred dollars.

(2) A person shall be deemed to forge a prescribed stamp seal or label if he, without authority of the Comptroller-General of Customs, makes a fac-simile of it, or makes any stamp seal or label so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.

(3) A person shall be deemed to falsely apply a prescribed stamp seal or label if he, without the authority of an officer, applies it, or any stamp seal or label so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive, to any spirits.

(4) A stamp seal or label shall be deemed to be applied to spirits if it is on the vessel or bottle in which the spirits are contained.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 9.
Penalty for describing spirits contrary to Act.

SECT

Amended by No. 35, 1918, s. 3; No. 10, 1952, s. 3; and No. 93, 1966, s. 3.
9. In relation to trade and commerce with other countries and among the States, no person shall-

(a) describe any spirits as ''Pure Australian Standard Brandy'' or ''Australian Blended Brandy'' or ''Australian Standard Malt Whisky'' or ''Australian Blended Whisky'' or ''Australian Standard Rum'' unless the spirits are respectively ''Pure Australian Standard Brandy'' or ''Australian Blended Brandy'' or ''Australian Standard Malt Whisky'' or ''Australian Blended Whisky'' or ''Australian Standard Rum'' as defined by this Act;

(b) describe as brandy any spirit not distilled wholly from wine the fermented juice of fresh grapes;

(c) describe any spirits as ''Old'', or in a way which could reasonably lead to the belief that the spirits had been matured for a period of not less than five years, unless the spirits have been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than five years; or

(d) describe any spirits as ''Very Old'', or in a way which could reasonably lead to the belief that the spirits had been matured for a period of not less than ten years, unless the spirits have been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than ten years.

Penalty: One hundred dollars.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 10.
Brandy delivered for human consumption to be distilled from grape wine.

SECT

Amended by No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
10. No spirit described as brandy shall be delivered for human consumption until the Collector is satisfied by the production of an official certificate given in the country of origin that the spirit is distilled wholly from grape wine.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 11.
Imported spirits to be matured.

SECT

Substituted by No. 10, 1952, s. 4.
11. Imported spirits, or imported distilled spirituous liquors, ordinarily used for human consumption (other than gin, Geneva, Hollands, schnapps, vodka, aquavit, arak, liqueurs and such other spirits and distilled spirituous liquors as are prescribed) shall not be delivered from the control of the Customs unless the Collector of Customs is satisfied-

(a) in the case of whisky, that the whisky has been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than three years; and

(b) in any other case, that the spirits or distilled spirituous liquors have been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than two years.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 12.
Australian spirits to be matured.

SECT

Substituted by No. 10, 1952, s. 4.
12. Spirits, or distilled spirituous liquors, made in Australia and ordinarily used for human consumption (other than gin, Geneva, Hollands, schnapps, vodka, aquavit, arak, liqueurs, spirit for fortifying Australian wine and such other spirits and distilled spirituous liquors as are prescribed) shall not be delivered from the control of the Customs unless they have been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than two years.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 13.
Inferior spirits.

SECT

13. If, after examining a sample of any spirits subject to the control of the Customs, a Commonwealth analyst certifies that the spirits are of bad or inferior quality and unsuitable for human consumption, the Minister may order that the spirits shall not be delivered until they have been methylated, and thereupon the spirits shall be methylated accordingly before they are delivered, or, in the case of imported spirits, the Minister may permit the spirits to be exported or to be redistilled in Australia.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 14.
Methylated spirits and their use.

SECT

Amended by No. 12, 1932, s. 6; and No. 110, 1968, s. 3.
14. (1) Spirits distilled in Australia and imported spirits may be methylated in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

(2) There shall be four classes of methylated spirits as follows:-

(a) Industrial spirits for use in the arts and manufactures (other than the manufacture of articles of food or drink, essences, tinctures, or medicines);

(b) Mineralized spirits for lighting, heating and power purposes;

(c) Spirits for special manufactures or special purposes;

(d) Spirits to be used for purposes of scientific investigation in connexion with Universities or Public Institutions.

(3) The prescribed standards for industrial spirits and mineralized spirits shall, until altered by regulation, be as set out in the Schedule.
Amended by No. 12, 1932, s. 6.

(4) Spirits for any special manufacture or for any special purpose shall be methylated as prescribed and shall only be used under the control of the Customs and in accordance with the regulations.

(5) Spirits for use in scientific investigation shall be treated and dealt with in manner prescribed.
Amended by No. 110, 1968, s. 3.

(6) No methylated spirits shall be used in the manufacture or preparation of any articles of food or drink, or of any essences, tinctures, or medicines.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 15.
Penalty for refining, &c., methylated spirits.

SECT

Sub-section (1) amended by No. 35, 1918, s. 4; and No. 93, 1966, s. 3.
15. (1) A person shall not-

(a) abstract any methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof from any methylated spirits; or

(b) except as allowed by the regulations, refine or distil any methylated spirits; or

(c) treat, deal with or use any methylated spirits or spirits containing any fractional part or ingredient of a methylating substance in contravention of this Act or the regulations.

Penalty: One thousand dollars.
Sub-section (2) omitted by No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
* * * * * * * *

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 16.
Penalty for selling, &c., illicit methylated spirits.

SECT

Substituted by No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
16. (1) A person shall not-

(a) sell or have in his possession any illicit methylated spirits; or

(b) sell or have in his possession any article of food or drink, or any scent, essence, tincture or medicine, containing any methylated spirits or methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof.

Penalty: $200.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence against paragraph (b) of sub- section (1) it is a defence if the defendant proves that he did not knowingly sell or have in his possession the goods forming the subject of the prosecution.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 17.
Forfeiture of illicit methylated spirits.

SECT

Amended by No. 35, 1918, s. 6; No. 110, 1968, s. 5; and No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
17. All illicit methylated spirits, and all articles of food or drink essences tinctures and medicines containing methylated spirits, or methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof shall be forfeited to the Crown.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 18.
Spirits containing methylating substances.

SECT

Amended by No. 35, 1918, s. 7; and No. 110, 1968, s. 6.
18. Any spirits containing any methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof, and any articles of food or drink essences tinctures or medicines (other than veterinary medicines and liniments as prescribed under by-law) containing spirits and any methylating substance or any fractional part or ingredient thereof, shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to be methylated spirits or to contain methylated spirits as the case requires.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 19.
Spirits methylated before Act.

SECT

19. Spirits which have been lawfully methylated in accordance with any Act or regulation in force at the time they were so methylated, and which have not been refined distilled or treated, shall not be deemed to be illicit methylated spirits.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 20.
Licences to make and sell methylated spirits.

SECT

Amended by No. 110, 1968, s. 7; and No. 216, 1973, s. 3.
20. The Collector of Customs for a State or Territory may, subject to the regulations, grant licences to persons to make or sell methylated spirits.

Provided that a distiller holding a spirit maker's general licence under the Distillation Act 1901 may, subject to the regulations, make and sell methylated spirits without any further licence.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 21.
Sale or possession of methylated spirits in quantity.

SECT

Amended by No. 93, 1966, s. 3.
21. Except as allowed by the regulations, no person shall-

(a) sell, at any one time, a greater quantity of methylated spirits than the prescribed quantity, or

(b) have in his possession, at any one time, a greater quantity of methylated spirits than the prescribed quantity.

Penalty: One hundred dollars.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 22.
Power to enter and take samples.

SECT

Sub-section (1) amended by No. 110, 1968, s. 8.
22. (1) Any officer may, at any time in the day during ordinary business hours, enter any shop, factory, warehouse, business premises, or building, and examine and take samples of any spirits, or any article of food or drink, or any essence, tincture, or medicine.

(2) The officer shall pay or tender a reasonable price for the samples taken by him.

(3) Samples taken by an officer shall be dealt with as prescribed.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 23.
Penalty for refusing to supply samples.

SECT

Amended by No. 93, 1966, s. 3; and No. 110, 1968, s. 9.
23. A person being the owner of or in possession of any spirits or any article of food or drink, or any essence, tincture, or medicine, shall not refuse to deliver to an officer such samples thereof as the officer requires, on tender by the officer of a reasonable price therefor.

Penalty: Forty dollars.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 24.
Power to enter and search.

SECT

24. Any officer, having with him a writ of assistance or a customs warrant under the Customs Act 1901, may, at any time in the day or night, enter and search any house, premises, or place for the purpose of ascertaining whether any methylated spirits are used therein in contravention of this Act or the regulations, or whether any goods forfeited under this Act are to be found therein.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 25.
Power to seize.

SECT

Amended by No. 110, 1968, s. 10.
25. Any officer may seize any methylated spirits, or any article of food or drink, or any essences, tinctures, or medicines which are forfeited, or which he has reasonable cause to believe are forfeited.

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - SECT. 26.
Power to make regulations.

SECT

Amended by No. 12, 1932, s. 12; and No. 93, 1966, s. 3.
26. The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed, or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act, and in particular-

(a) for prescribing standards for industrial spirits and for mineralized spirits;

(b) for prescribing the purposes for and the conditions under which methylated spirits for any special manufacture or for any special purpose may be used;

(c) for licensing persons to make or sell methylated spirits or any class of methylated spirits;

(d) for prescribing the fees to be paid for licences and for the services of officers supervising any manufacture in which methylated spirits for special manufactures are used;

(e) for requiring persons desiring to use spirits methylated for any special manufacture or for any special purpose to give security that the methylated spirits shall be used for that manufacture or that purpose only;

(f) for requiring packages containing methylated spirits to be marked in the prescribed manner with the prescribed words or marks; and

(g) for prescribing penalties, not exceeding One hundred dollars for any one offence, for breaches of the regulations.

-----------

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - THE SCHEDULE

SCH


THE SCHEDULE

STANDARD FOR INDUSTRIAL SPIRITS
Amended by No. 25, 1972, s. 4.
The spirit before methylation to contain not less than ninety-four per cent. by volume of alcohol, and to be methylated by the addition of two per cent. of wood naphtha and one-half per cent. of pyridine liquid.

STANDARD FOR MINERALIZED SPIRITS

The spirit before methylation to contain not less than ninety-four per cent. by volume of alcohol, and to be methylated by the addition of one per cent. of wood naphtha, one-quarter per cent. of pyridine, two to twenty per cent. of benzine, and one-quarter per cent. of a solution of aniline violet or blue dye.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

SPIRITS ACT 1906-1973 - NOTE


NOTE
1. The Spirits Act 1906-1973 comprises the Spirits Act 1906 as amended by the other Acts specified in the following table:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number Date of
Act and year Date of
Assent commencement
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spirits Act 1906 No. 21, 1906 12 Oct 1906 1 Jan 1907 (see
Gazette 1907, p. 1)
Spirits Act 1915 No. 14, 1915 19 June 1915 17 July 1915
Spirits Act 1918 No. 35, 1918 12 Dec 1918 12 Dec 1918
Spirits Act 1923 No. 6, 1923 11 Aug 1923 8 Sept 1923
Spirits Act 1932 No. 12, 1932 16 May 1932 14 June 1932 (a)
Spirits Act 1935 No. 24, 1935 13 Apr 1935 11 May 1935
Spirits Act 1947 No. 87, 1947 11 Dec 1947 8 Jan 1948
Spirits Act 1952 No. 10, 1952 30 May 1952 27 June 1952
Statute Law Revision
(Decimal Currency) Act
1966 No. 93, 1966 29 Oct 1966 1 Dec 1966
Spirits Act 1968 No. 110, 1968 2 Dec 1968 30 Dec 1968
Spirits Act 1969 No. 6, 1969 8 Apr 1969 8 Apr 1969
Spirits Act 1972 No. 25, 1972 17 May 1972 1 July 1972
Statute Law Revision Act
1973 No. 216, 1973 19 Dec 1973 31 Dec 1973
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) By section 2 of the Spirits Act 1932, sections three, four and five of that Act were to commence on 1 October, 1933. The operation of those sections was however suspended by the Spirits Act 1933 until 1 October 1935, but that Act was in turn repealed by the Spirits Act 1935, which came into operation on 11 May 1935.