Getting brew through customs is easy with a bit of forethought and the right information. The key is to LABEL YOUR PRODUCT. The more “commercial” your label looks the fewer problems your are likely to have. At minimum your label should include:
- Your mundane name and/or your brewery name and your postal address.
- An approximate alcohol percentage.
- The country of origin.
An ingredients list is not essential but can be helpful.
Getting Mead and Melomels into NZ.
New Zealand has particularly strict regulations regarding the importation of honey and bee products. If your brew contains honey it is recommended that, in addition to your labeling, you attach a letter stating again your name and/or brewery name and address, declaring yourself to be the manufacturer of the product and specifying that the product contains less than 50 percent honey and that the bee product ingredient has undergone one of the following heat treatments in which the core temperature has reached:
65°C for a minimum of 8 hours; or 70°C for a minimum of 1 hour and 48 minutes; or 80°C for a minimum of 22 minutes; or 82°C for a minimum of 20 minutes; or 90°C or more for a minimum of 5 minutes; or 130°C or more for a minimum of 1 second.
You should quote Section 22 of the Biosecurity Act 1993 Clauses 7.3.2 ii, 7.4.3 ii and 7.4.4 ii in your letter.
Australian policy is not as strict and can be found here.
In Australia Home-brewed beer (that is, beer produced for non-commercial purposes using non-commercial facilities and equipment) is exempt from excise duty. http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Excise/
New Zealand does not have excise tax.
Duty Free Allowance
The duty free allowance of alcohol coming into New Zealand is a massive:
4.5 litres of wine or 4.5 litres of beer.
Three bottles (or other containers) each containing not more than 1,125ml of spirits, liqueur, or other spirituous beverages.
- The alcohol must be for personal use , or as a gift and not for sale.
- The traveller must be aged 17 years or over.
The duty free allowance of alcohol coming into Australia is a fairly small:
2.25 litres of alcoholic beverages total.
- The traveler must be aged 18 years or over.
Restrictions on the volume of liquids that can be carried on board the aircraft mean this can not go in your carry on bags and must be packed in hold luggage.
(If anyone has additional information regarding trans-tasman brew moving please let the Guild Clerk know, quoting sources)