Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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Issued by the authority of the Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs

Excise Act 1901

Excise Regulations (Amendment)

Section 164 of the Excise Act 1901 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations not inconsistent with the Act prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act or as may be necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to the Act or for the conduct of any business relating to the Excise.

Section 4 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 provides that where an Act, being an Act that is not to come into operation immediately upon its enactment, is expressed to confer power to make an instrument of a legislative character, then, unless the contrary intention appears, the power may be excercised, and anything may be done for the purpose of enabling the excercise of the power or bringing the instrument into effect, before the Act concerned comes into operation.


During the Winter Sittings 1997 the Parliament passed the Customs and Excise Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1997, which revised the Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme (DFRS) Scheme in 2 ways:

Firstly, eligibility under the Scheme in relation to the "mining" category was tightened up, and these provisions were proclaimed to commence on 1 August 1997.

Secondly, the DFRS was modernised to take account of an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report, which criticised the Scheme for its lack of accountability. These modernisation measures introduced document retention provisions, audit provisions and sanctions to, amongst other things, introduce penalty options where there is a failure to provide necessary information to enable claims to be verified. These measures have a statutory commencement of 1 January 1998, which is 6 months after the day on which the Amendment Act received the Royal Assent.

Purpose of the Regulations

These Regulations prescribe the documentary evidence relating to identity and eligibility that is required to accompany applications for diesel fuel rebate under the DFRS, as part of the modernising, process.

Details of the regulations are set out in the Attachment

The regulations are complementary to similar amendments made to the Customs Regulations.

The Regulations commenced on 1 January 1998, which is the date of commencement of the relevant provisions of the Customs and Excise Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 1997.



Excise Regulations (Amendment)

Regulation 3 replaces existing regulations 57A and 57B with new regulations 57A, 57B and 57C.

Identity of Applicant

New Regulation 57A itemises categories of documents which an applicant for rebate may rely upon in establishing identity and address in applying for rebate.

For this purpose, different categories of document are prescribed

1. for individuals, or members of a partnership - subregulation 57A(2),

2. for companies - subregulation 57A(3); and

3. for other organisations - subregulation 57A(4),

The requirement to provide documentary evidence for this purpose is similar to the requirement to establish bonafides when opening a bank account, and the intention of the provision is to limit the opportunity for fraudulent claims on the Scheme by bogus persons or other entities who enjoy existence only on paper.

This requirement applies only to new applicants under the Scheme. Persons or bodies who had lodged an application before 1 January 1998 are "grandfathered" from this provision by operation of new subregulation 57C(4).

Records to be given with application

New Regulation 57B itemises categories of documents which an applicant for rebate must provide with an application for rebate, if so requested.

For this purpose, different classes of document are prescribed for each of the rebate eligibility categories under the Scheme, as follows:

new subregulation 57B(2):       Mining Operations

new subregulation 57B(3):       Generation of electricity at residential premises

new subregulation 57B(4):       Hospital, Nursing Home etc;

new subregulation 57B(5):       Agriculture

new subregulation 57B(6):       Fishing Operations

new subregulation 57B(7):       Forestry

Copies of documents sufficient

New Regulation 57C provides that it is sufficient compliance with new regulations 57A and 57B to provide a copy of a document which has been witnessed by an "appropriate person " -defined as a person before whom a statutory declaration may be made under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959

New subregulation 57C(4) is a "grandfather" provision which exempts existing claimants from the requirement to provide evidence of identity and address under new subregulation 57A

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