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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2397

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Bonner (QUEENSLAND) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows)-

Minister for Customs and Excise Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. 13 November 1974

Dear Senator McClelland,

During the hearing on 31 October by Estimates Committee A into the Estimates of the Department of Customs and Excise, I undertook to supply the Committee with answers to two questions raised by Senator Jessop.

In his first question Senator Jessop was apparently referring to the detention of a shipment of Austrian brandy which had been mentioned in the Adelaide press.

I have been advised that four shipments of brandy are at present detained in circumstances similar to those quoted by Senator Jessop. These are as follows: 86 cartons Austrian brandy detained in Port Adelaide 15 cases ex Portugal detained since November 1973 in Sydney 250 cases ex France held in Melbourne since 12 September 1974 2 cases ex Portugal held in Fremantle.

In each case the goods have been refused entry as brandy because the certification requirements of the Spirits Act have not been complied with. Before Collectors of Customs permit imported brandy to be entered as such they must be satisfied by the production of certificates from the responsible Government authorities of the country of manufacture that the liquor described as brandy is:

(   1 ) distilled wholly from grape wine, and

(   2 ) has been matured in wood for at least two years.

In each of the four cases mentioned these certificates have yet to be produced and as a consequence the liquor will remain under Customs control until either the certificates are produced or the goods are re-exported

In answer to Senator Jessop's second question I have obtained the following statistics for Australian brandy cleared for home consumption and the duty paid thereon in the years ended 3 1 August 1 973 and 3 1 August 1 974:


In the Budget of 2 1 August 1 973 the excise duty on brandy was increased from $3 per litre of alcohol to $6 per litre of alcohol. This was further increased on 23 July 1974 to $8.55 per litre of alcohol.

The figures given above show that the volume of clearances in the year 1973-74 fell 23 per cent but the revenue from brandy increased by 53 per cent.

Yours sincerely, Lionel Murphy

Senator J.McClelland, Chairman,

Senate Estimates Committee A,

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600.

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