Queensland Container Refund Scheme – CDS Expansion Date Updates
From 1 November 2023, the Queensland Container Refund Scheme (“CRS”) will be expanded to include wine bottles. Consumers in Queensland will be able to redeem their wine bottles for a 10-cent refund within Queensland, and ‘beverage manufacturers’ (defined by legislation as either the maker, importer or distributor of the packaged beverage) will need to pay the scheme price on their eligible containers from 1 November 2023. The scheme price for glass bottles in Queensland is currently 13.9 cents per container plus GST.
An update from AGW, Wine Victoria & all state wine associations
New requirements for selling wine into Queensland.
From the 1st of November, there are new requirements for selling wine into Queensland. Wineries will be required to register with Container Exchange through the Beverage Manufacturer Registration Portal, this involves establishing a Container Recovery Agreement with COEX and then registering your products. Find further information on the process and register at the COEX Website
Key dates: 1st November 2023 & 1 January 2027
1st of November deadline
To lawfully sell wine into Queensland from 1 November 2023, beverage manufacturers must have:
- A Container Recovery Agreement (“CRA”) in force
- Registered their eligible beverage products with COEX
- A barcode on their eligible beverage products
Registration is free. Find further information and to complete the registration process, visit the COEX Website
The legislation requires relevant beverage containers sold into Queensland to have a barcode from 1 November 2023.
Australian Grape & Wine in conjunction with the state wine industry associations continue to lobby for the use of label recognition technology in the Queensland scheme, that would negate the need for barcodes to be added to containers.
Learn more on the COEX Website
Reporting & Invoicing
The scheme requires strict reporting and invoicing processes for manufacturers selling into eligible products into Queensland such as monthly reporting via COEX Business Partner Portal.
It is important to note that:
- Beverage manufacturers that sell fewer than 100,000 units of eligible beverage products into Queensland will be required to report and pay annually, but have the option to report monthly or quarterly.
- Beverage manufacturers that sell between 100,000 and 300,000 units annually will be required to report and pay quarterly, but also have the option to report and pay monthly.
- Those that sell more than 300,000 units annually will be required to report and pay monthly.
- COEX has indicated that it will issue invoices on or around the 21st day of the month following the end of the relevant reporting period, and payment terms are five (5) days.
- If you do not make any sales in a month, you must still log in and report ‘Nil’. If you fail to report at all, COEX will generate an invoice for that reporting period based on your historical sales.
More information can be found on the COEX Website
Weekly Online Q&A Sessions
The COEX Beverage Manufacturer Support Team will be hosting weekly online Q&A sessions. These sessions are a great opportunity for anyone new to the scheme to ask questions or raise any concerns about these new processes.
Q&A sessions are held weekly on Wednesdays from October 11th. Please register via the COEX website.
By 1 January 2027:
All eligible wine and beverage products sold into Queensland must contain a 10-cent refund mark on labels. The refund mark is a statement on the label of the container that identifies it as eligible for a 10-cent refund. COEX advises that “there are no prescribed words to be used, however the most common wording on products is: 10c Refund at Collection Depots/Points in Participating State/Territory of Purchase”. The marking or labelling must be of a colour and size that is clear and legible for the container.
Our Key Areas of Concern
Lack of Consultation & Unrealistic Timeframes
- The consultation process by the Department of Environment and Science (“DES” “the department”) has been vague. Many key questions remain unanswered in order to be compliant with the new legislation despite continuous efforts to work with the department.
- Unrealistic timeframes – COEX may not be able to onboard all new beverage manufacturers prior to the scheme commencement on 1 November 2023.
- COEX has indicated that it will prioritise onboarding of new beverage manufacturers based on size from largest to smallest, however this puts the risk of being-non-compliant on to those who can afford it least – small and medium sized manufacturers.
Who is liable to contribute to the scheme – “First sale”:
- COEX have provided this documentation to assist new eligible beverage manufacturers in determining who is the entity liable for contributions to the Queensland scheme. Unlike in other jurisdictions, the Queensland scheme does not limit the definition of “beverage manufacturer” to the maker of the beverage product. The legislation provides that the “beverage manufacturer” can be the person who makes the product (either themselves or contracts someone else to do so on their behalf), the importer or the retailer/distributor.
- According to COEX’s First sale guide, the “manufacturer is referred to as the person or entity who first sells a beverage product into Queensland to a consumer or to a distributor or retailer for on-selling to a consumer.”
- Further, “The relevant point in the supply chain is the first movement within or into Queensland to the point where the product is intended to be used or consumed or on sold to a consumer.”
- There is a table on page three of the COEX First sale guide that has various scenarios listed to provide advice as to the responsible entity.Unfortunately, these scenarios result in ambiguity and are open to interpretation.
The “Container Recovery Agreement” contains payment terms of five (5) days with interest payable on the overdue amount at the Penalty Interest Rate from the date on which payment was due and payable until the date on which payment is made in full. This is unacceptable and unworkable, and we continue to lobby the Queensland government for a change to this requirement.
- AGW and Wine Victoria in conjunction with the state wine industry associations continue to lobby the Queensland government for a grace period on compliance and enforcement activities until manufacturers have been given the opportunity to be onboarded by COEX, noting the unreasonable timeframe provided to comply.
- The department has offered to provide written advice from the regulator acknowledging the transition, “best endeavours” by manufacturers to comply by the 1 November deadline, and that they will take an “education first” approach to compliance and enforcement. We expected to receive the written advice in the week commencing Monday 11th September 2023, however it has not yet been provided – we will continue to share updates as they arise.
AGW and state wine associations encourage all members who sell wine into Queensland to attend the online Q&A sessions to find out more about the new requirements and take the opportunity to let COEX know the impact of this scheme expansion and unrealistic timeframes may have on your business.
We have communicated the detrimental impacts of this expansion repeatedly and extensively, however we need to unite as an industry and share our concerns. COEX needs from the businesses directly who are affected by this changes.
Australian Grape & Wine, Wine Victoria, and all other state wine associations will continue to advocate on your behalf and fight for changes to this scheme.