On 26.11.18, Health Minister Hunt, made the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) (GST–free Health Goods) Determination 2018, which removes GST on feminine hygiene products from 1 January 2019.

This has been done by way of a ‘determination’ under s38-47(1) of the GST Act, which provides that the Health Minister may make the supply of goods GST-free, by making a ‘determination’ describing those goods.

The scope of the goods, the supply of which, will be GST-free, is as follows.

maternity pads, menstrual cups, menstrual pads and liners, menstrual underwear, tampons, and other similar products specifically designed to absorb or collect lochia, menses or vaginal discharge

In his joint Media Release, The Treasurer stated that this definition was developed in collaboration with the Department of Health, and approved by the Office for Women.

The Treasurer also stated that he has directed the ACCC to “monitor the market of these products”.

There is a Private Member’s Bill (moved by Greens Senator Janet Rice) still before Parliament, that sought to achieve the same outcome, ie the Treasury Laws Amendment (Axe the Tampon Tax) Bill 2018. This would amend the GST Act by inserting a new s38-65, making the supply of ‘sanitary products’ GST-free, and including a definition of ‘sanitary products’ (in s195-1) as follows.

sanitary products means tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges and other products used in connection with menstruation.

This Bill will probably not proceed, now, but we don’t know that for certain.

FJM 10.12.18

[Treasury website: Minister’s Media Release; Federal Register of Legislation: Tampon Determination, Explanatory Memorandum; LTN 231, 29/11/18; Tax Month – November 2018]


CPD questions

  1. Does this determination make the supply of ‘tampons’ and like products GST-free.
  2. What section of the GST Act makes the supply of goods listed in such determinations, GST-free.
  3. What experts collaborated, with Treasury, in developing the relevant definition (of goods, the supply of which, would be GST-free)?
  4. Is there a private member’s bill, aimed at the same GST-free treatment?
  5. By what means did that Bill aim to do the same thing?



Click here - to sign up ($11 per month)


LOG IN - to see the whole article.

About the author