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Spirits Act 1906

Act No. 21 of 1906 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 10 of 1986
Registered 07 Dec 2009
Start Date 13 May 1986
End Date 30 Jun 1995
Date of repeal 01 Jul 2006
Repealed by Excise Laws Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Act 2006

SPIRITS ACT 1906
- Updated as at 1 November 1993 (HISTACT CHAP 1755 #DATE 01:11:1993)

*1* The Spirits Act 1906 as shown in this reprint comprises Act No. 21, 1906 amended as indicated in the Tables below.
Table of Acts
Act Date Date of Application
Number of Assent Commencement Saving or
Year transitional
provisions
Spirits Act 1906
21, 1906 12 Oct 1906 1 Jan 1907 (see Gazette
1907, p. 1)
Spirits Act 1915
14, 1915 19 June 1915 19 June 1915 -
Spirits Act 1918
35, 1918 12 Dec 1918 12 Dec 1918 -
Spirits Act 1923
6, 1923 11 Aug 1923 11 Aug 1923 -
Spirits Act 1932
12, 1932 16 May 1932 Ss. 3-5: 1 Oct 1993
Remainder: Royal Assent -
as amended by
23, 1933 24 Nov 1933 24 Nov 1933 S. 2
Spirits Act 1935
24, 1935 13 Apr 1935 13 Apr 1935 -
Spirits Act 1947
87, 1947 11 Dec 1947 8 Jan 1948 -
Spirits Act 1952
10, 1952 30 May 1952 27 June 1952 -
Statute Law Revision (Decimal Currency) Act 1966
93, 1966 29 Oct 1966 1 Dec 1966 -
Spirits Act 1968
110, 1968 2 Dec 1968 30 Dec 1968 -
Spirits Act 1969
6, 1969 8 Apr 1969 8 Apr 1969 -
Spirits Act 1972
25, 1972 17 May 1972 1 July 1972 -
Statute Law Revision Act 1973
216, 1973 19 Dec 1973 31 Dec 1973 Ss. 9 (1) and 10
Statute Law Revision Act 1981
61, 1981 12 June 1981 Part XX (ss. 91 and 92):
Royal Assent (a) S. 92 (2)
Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1984
72, 1984 25 June 1984 S. 3: 17 June 1985 (see
Gazette 1985, No. S207) (b)
Ss. 2 (24) and
5 (1)
Customs Administration (Transitional Provisions and Consequential
Amendments) Act 1985
39, 1985 29 May 1985 10 June 1985 (see s. 2 and
Gazette 1985, No. S194)
S. 4
Customs and Excise Legislation Amendment Act 1985
40, 1985 30 May 1985 Ss. 53 and 54:
27 June 1985 (c) S. 54 (2)
Customs Administration (Transitional Provisions and Consequential
Amendments) Act 1986
10, 1986 13 May 1986 13 May 1986 Ss. 2 (2) and 4
(a) The Spirits Act 1906 was amended by Part XX (sections 91 and 92) only of the Statute Law Revision Act 1981, subsection 2 (1) of which provides as follows:
"(1) Subject to this section, this Act shall come into operation on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent."
(b) The Spirits Act 1906 was amended by section 3 only of the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (No. 1) 1984, subsection 2 (20) of which provides as follows:
"(20) The amendments of the Spirits Act 1906 made by this Act shall come into operation on a day to be fixed by Proclamation."
(c) The Spirits Act 1906 was amended by sections 53 and 54) only of the Customs and Excise Legislation Amendment Act 1985, subsection 2 (1) of which provides as follows:
"(1) Subject to this section, this Act shall come into operation on the twenty-eighth day after the day on which it receives the Royal Assent."
Table of Amendments
ad=added or inserted am=amended rep=repealed rs=repealed and substituted
Provision affected How affected
S. 2A ad. No. 39, 1985
S. 3 am. No. 14, 1915; No. 35, 1918; No. 12,
1932; No. 24, 1935; No. 87, 1947; No.
10, 1952; No. 110, 1968; No. 6, 1969;
No. 25, 1972; No. 216, 1973; No. 72,
1984; No. 39, 1985
S. 4 am. No. 6, 1923
S. 5 rep. No. 216, 1973
S. 7 am. No. 72, 1984
S. 8 am. No. 93, 1966; No. 40, 1985
S. 9 am. No. 35, 1918; No. 10, 1952; No. 93,
1966; No. 72, 1984; No. 40, 1985
S. 10 am. No. 216, 1973; No. 72, 1984
Ss. 11, 12 am. No. 12, 1932; No. 24, 1935
rs. No. 10, 1952; No. 72, 1984
S. 13 am. No. 72, 1984; No. 10, 1986
S. 14 am. No. 12, 1932; No. 110, 1968
S. 15 am. No. 35, 1918; No. 93, 1966; No. 216,
1973; No. 40, 1985
S. 16 am. No. 35, 1918; No. 93, 1966; No. 110,
1968
rs. No. 216, 1973
am. No. 40, 1985
S. 17 am. No. 35, 1918; No. 110, 1968; No.
216, 1973
S. 18 am. No. 35, 1918; No. 110, 1968
S. 20 am. No. 110, 1968; No. 216, 1973; No.
61, 1981
S. 21 am. No. 93, 1966; No. 40, 1985
S. 22 am. No. 110, 1968
S. 23 am. No. 93, 1966; No. 110, 1968; No. 40,
1985
S. 25 am. No. 110, 1968
S. 26 am. No. 12, 1932; No. 93, 1966
The Schedule am. No. 25, 1972

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - TABLE OF PROVISIONS

TABLE

TABLE OF PROVISIONS
Section
1. Short title
2. Commencement
2A. General administration of Act
3. Interpretation
4. Incorporation of Parts of Customs Act 1901
6. Amendments of the 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
11. Certain imported spirits to be matured
12. Certain Australian spirits to be matured
13. Inferior spirits
14. Methylated spirits and their use
15. Penalty for refining etc. methylated spirits
16. Penalty for selling etc. 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 - LONG TITLE

SECT

An Act relating to Spirits

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 1
Short title

SECT

1. This Act may be cited as the Spirits Act 1906.*1* SEE NOTES TO FIRST ARTICLE OF THIS CHAPTER .

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 2
Commencement

SECT

2. This Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation.*1* SEE NOTES TO FIRST ARTICLE OF THIS CHAPTER .

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 2A
General administration of Act

SECT

2A. The Comptroller-General of Customs has the general administration of this Act.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 3
Interpretation

SECT

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;
"Brandy" means a spirit distilled from wine in such a manner that the spirit possesses the taste, aroma and other characteristics generally attributed to brandy, being a spirit that contains not less than 25% of spirit distilled at a strength of not more than 83% by volume of alcohol;
"Collector" and "Collector of Customs" have the same meanings as in the Customs Act 1901;
"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" has the same meaning as in the Customs Act 1901;
"Rum" means a spirit obtained by the distillation of a fermented liquor derived from the products of sugar cane, being distillation carried out in such a manner that the spirit possesses the taste, aroma and other characteristics generally attributed to rum;
"Whisky" means a spirit obtained by the distillation of a fermented liquor of a mash of cereal grain in such a manner that the spirit possesses the taste, aroma and other characteristics generally attributed to whisky.

(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 - SECT 4
Incorporation of Parts of Customs Act 1901

SECT

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.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 6
Amendments of the Distillation Act 1901

SECT

6.*2* * * * * *
*2* S. 6 - The amendments made by section 6 have been incorporated in the reprint of the Distillation Act 1906 which is published separately.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - 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 brandy, whisky or rum, as the case requires.

(2) When an officer has given a certificate that any spirits are brandy, whisky or 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 - SECT 8
Forging or falsely applying spirit marks

SECT

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: $1,000.

(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 facsimile 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 - SECT 9
Penalty for describing spirits contrary to Act

SECT

9. In relation to trade and commerce with other countries and among the States, no person shall:
(a) describe any spirits as brandy, as whisky, or as rum unless the spirits are brandy, whisky or rum;
(b) describe as brandy any spirit not distilled wholly from wine that has been produced from:
(i) grapes;
(ii) products derived solely from grapes; or
(iii) both grapes and such products.
(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: $1,000.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 10
Brandy delivered for human consumption

SECT

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:
(a) grapes;
(b) products derived solely from grapes; or
(c) both grapes and such products.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 11
Certain imported spirits to be matured

SECT

11. Imported brandy, whisky or rum shall not be delivered from the control of the Customs unless the Collector of Customs is satisfied that the brandy, whisky or rum, as the case may be, has been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than 2 years.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 12
Certain Australian spirits to be matured

SECT

12. Brandy, whisky or rum made in Australia shall not be delivered from the control of the Customs unless the brandy, whisky or rum, as the case may be, has been matured by storage in wood for a period of not less than 2 years.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - 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 or contain more than 8 grams of methanol per litre of ethanol, the Comptroller-General of Customs 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 Comptroller-General of Customs may permit the spirits to be exported or to be redistilled in Australia.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 14
Methylated spirits and their use

SECT

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.

(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.

(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 - SECT 15
Penalty for refining etc. methylated spirits

SECT

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: $5,000.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - SECT 16
Penalty for selling etc. illicit methylated spirits

SECT

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: $5,000.

(2) In a prosecution for an offence against paragraph (b) of subsection (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 - SECT 17
Forfeiture of illicit methylated spirits

SECT

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 - SECT 18
Spirits containing methylating substances

SECT

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 - 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 - SECT 20
Licences to make and sell methylated spirits

SECT

20. (1) 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.

(2) An application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of a decision of a Collector of Customs under subsection (1).

(3) In subsection (2), "decision" has the same meaning as in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975.

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

SECT

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: $5,000.

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

SECT

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 - SECT 23
Penalty for refusing to supply samples

SECT

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: $1,000.

SPIRITS ACT 1906 - 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 - SECT 25
Power to seize

SECT

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 - SECT 26
Power to make regulations

SECT

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 - SCHEDULE

SCH

THE SCHEDULE
STANDARD FOR INDUSTRIAL 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
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 ninty-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.