On 8 October 2018, Ministers: O’Dwyer (for Women), Hunt (for Health) and Freidenberg (Treasurer) announced the Government is getting on with the job of removing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on feminine hygiene products, following the State Treasurers approving this change in the GST base.

The proposed definition, which includes tampons, pads and cups, was drafted in consultation with the Department of Health and the Office of Women and considered at the Treasurers’ meeting last week.

More particularly, the following draft definition of feminine hygiene products is proposed to be included in a Health Minister’s determination to make these products GST-free.

Feminine hygiene products’ refers to:

(a) products that are specifically designed to absorb or collect menstrual or vaginal blood, such as tampons, pads and menstrual cups; and

(b) panty liners and maternity pads specifically designed to absorb or collect menstrual or vaginal blood.

Consultation on the proposed definition will run until 22 October 2018 (14 days).

So the exemption can take effect from 1 January 2019, we are undertaking a two week consultation process on the draft definition.

Following the consultation, a Ministerial Determination will be made, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament later this year, under s38-47 of the GST Act (which is about other GST-free health goods that the Health Minister ‘Determines’ (in writing) should be GST-free). The Determination will be a Statutory Instrument (and hence must be tabled in Parliament and on the Federal Register of Legislation).

The proposal is to have the GST-free treatment start from 1 January 2019.

[Treasury website: Treasurer’s Media Release, Consultation Page, Consultation Paper; LTN 193, 8/10/18; Tax Month – October 2018]

FJM 12.10.18


CPD questions (answers available)

  1. Is the proposal to make ‘feminine hygiene’ products GST-free?
  2. Is this a purely a question of the Commonweath amending a Commonwealth law?
  3. Is there consultation on the definition GST-free products?
  4. Is the consultation open for 2 months?
  5. Will this change involve amending the GST Act?
  6. Will this exemption start on 1 July 2019?





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