Scheme expansion

Queensland is the first state in Australia to accept glass wine and spirit bottles for 10-cent refunds in its container refund scheme.

What does this mean for beverage manufacturers?

If you sell glass wine and pure spirit bottles into Queensland you will need to register with Container Exchange through our Beverage Manufacturer Registration Portal. This will involve establishing a Container Recovery Agreement with us and then registering your products so you can meet your obligations under Queensland legislation.

A beverage manufacturer is classified as:

  • a person making the beverage product, or engaging another person under contract to make the product; or
  • an importer of a beverage product from a foreign country; or
  • a person arranging for the distribution of a beverage product in Queensland that was manufactured outside Queensland.

Register with us

Use our Beverage Manufacturer Registration Portal to start your application with us today.
Register now

Frequently asked questions


Will there be a grace period to incorporate barcodes and the refund mark?

Yes, the Department of Environment and Science (DES) does not expect beverage manufacturers to label existing stock without a barcode/refund mark and acknowledges that unlabelled stock may be sold in the future (past transition period).

DES has provided a 12-month grace period until 1 November 2024 for beverage manufacturers to obtain a barcode to support the registration process.

A three-year grace period applies until 1 January 2027 for beverage manufactures to display a refund mark.

How does the container refund scheme affect who pays WET on my products?

For guidance on Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) and Container Deposit/Refund Schemes please see Paragraph 128 of WET Ruling 2009/1. Based on this Ruling the container refund/deposit amount forms part of the taxable value which means WET will ultimately be payable on the deposit amount whether by the producer or another entity later in the supply chain.

Do I need to register my products one by one or can they be uploaded in bulk?

The products for registration can be uploaded in bulk. We have provided a template you can use, including instructions on completing. Download here.

All my wine is sold in Tasmania, then transported around the country. Do I need to be registered?

If products are sold into Queensland, the products need to be registered with COEX and the beverage manufacturer needs to report on sales into Queensland only.

You can find out more information in our First Sale Guide.

We are a beverage manufacturer outside of Queensland, but we do sell online to customers in Queensland. Do we still need to participate in the scheme?

If you sell wine and pure spirit bottles into Queensland, even just online, you will need to register with Container Exchange via our Business Partner Portal to operate legally in Queensland. 

After registering your business, you will need to register your products in the same portal. 

If I have entered into a current Container Recovery Agreement with COEX for beverages that were previously eligible in the scheme can I start registering the newly eligible products?

Yes, existing manufacturers can start registering glass wine and pure spirit products online now via the Business Partner Portal.

Do gift packs or packaging that hold wine and spirits require barcodes and the refund marking?

Packaging that carries eligible bottles do not need barcodes or the refund marking.

Have you considered using label recognition software instead of barcodes?

While some of our container refund points use technology to read barcodes, many of our depots check for eligibility and count containers manually. Barcodes can be recognised by the human eye as well as by technology, making them the best identifier to use across the scheme.

If people return eligible wine and spirit bottles without barcodes, do they still get the 10 cents?

Consumers will still be able to get a 10-cent refund for now.

Do the reverse vending machines read 2D barcodes?

Yes, as long as the product is registered with COEX. 

Can I register existing barcodes?

Yes, once you have a Container Refund Agreement in place with COEX, you can register eligible products on our Business Partner Portal. You don’t need to create additional barcodes specific to the scheme.

Can the barcode and refund marking be on a separate label to the main label?

Yes, the only recommendation is that the barcode and refund marking are clear, legible for the container and placed in a position that can easily be scanned and identified as suitable for recycling. View the legislation here.

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”.

Why do bottles require barcodes?

Barcodes are a legal requirement to sell scheme-eligible beverages in Queensland. They are also required so manufacturers can register products on COEX’s register of approved containers and report sales into the Queensland market as part of the Scheme.  

Barcodes also enable eligible containers to be scanned in our reverse vending machines (RVMs) or recognised by container refund point staff to enable customers to receive their 10-cent refund. 

Can the same barcode be used for products with different vintage?

Yes, if multiple characteristics are the same – bottle height, material type, diameter, weight and capacity the same barcode can be used for products with different vintages. The product needs to be registered with COEX.



What if I have bottles without barcodes? e.g. small batch releases or bottles sold from my cellar door?

We understand some manufacturers may not have barcodes on product labels from 1 November 2023. In these cases, manufacturers should search for a barcode provider online to generate a barcode for these products to enable product registration to be completed. Please note these providers are external to COEX and fees may apply.

Who is Container Exchange?

Container Exchange (COEX) is the not-for-profit organisation appointed by the Queensland Government to manage and provide governance for the State’s container refund scheme Containers for Change.

COEX establishes Container Recovery Agreements (CRA) with beverage manufacturers which outline their requirements to register their eligible products, report monthly sales and provide funds to administer the scheme.



What does this change mean for beverage manufacturers?

If you sell wine and pure spirit bottles into Queensland, you will need to establish a Container Recovery Agreement with COEX through our Beverage Manufacturer Registration portal and then register your eligible products.

Who is classified as a beverage manufacturer in Queensland’s container refund scheme?

Under the regulations, there are a few different classifications of a beverage manufacturer depending on the point in the supply chain when the product moves into Queensland with the intent for it to be consumed or further on sold for consumption.

We refer to this as the First Sale. Some examples of these classifications could include:

  • beverage manufacturers (the maker of the product)
  • distributors
  • importers
  • retailers.

You can find out more about First Sale in our First Sale Guide.

What happens if I change the material type and size of the containers I sell my products in? e.g. glass to aluminium.

COEX recommends you create and register a new barcode. By doing so the products will easily be separated at our refund points.

Do glass wine and spirit bottles incur the same scheme price as existing glass products like beer bottles?

Yes, view our scheme pricing table here.

This price applies to all glass wine and pure spirit bottles sold in Queensland.

In April 2024, COEX will announce the scheme pricing for the period August 2024 to February 2025 based on forecast scheme performance.

Will there be any allowances made for manufacturers who produce small amounts of the newly eligible products?

Yes. A number of concessions have been made to help reduce the administrative burden for manufacturers and some of these take into account how much product they sell into Queensland.

Reporting and invoicing: 

  • Beverage manufacturers are required to report their beverage sales in Queensland on a monthly basis, with COEX then issuing invoices for scheme price payments based on those reports. As these reports are submitted in arrears, manufacturers do not pay the scheme price on a product until they have sold it.

Reduced reporting options: 

  • New beverage manufacturers that sell less than 100,000 eligible glass products in Queensland are automatically classified as Relevant Beverage Manufacturers (micro beverage manufacturers) and are only required to report annually. However, they also have the option to report monthly or quarterly if this better aligns with their business operations.

More information

Queensland Government
The Department of Environment and Science website.
Government Regulation
Waste Reduction and Recycling (Expansion of Container Refund Scheme) Amendment Regulation 2023.
First Sale Guide
A guide for the beverage industry on first sale/ first supplier definitions.
Containers for Change
Wine and spirit bottles are now included for refunds.

Have more questions?

Contact our beverage manufacturer team for further support.

Contact us today