COVID-19: Find information and support for business on our coronavirus page. If your business is based in Victoria, you can find information about business restrictions on Business Victoria’s website.

Coronavirus information and support for business

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus, check out our coronavirus information and support for business to help your business. 

Coronavirus work health and safety for your industry

It’s important to keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19. You can find the latest information and resources for your industry on the Safe Work Australia website.

Business types in this industry

The manufacturing industry includes:

  • food 
  • beverage and tobacco
  • textiles, leather, clothing and footwear
  • wood products
  • pulp and paper 
  • printing
  • chemicals including – fertilisers, pesticides, pharmaceutical, medicinal, cleaning products, toiletries, cosmetics, photographic and explosive
  • metals and plastics 
  • machinery and equipment
  • furniture

Legislation, standards and initiatives

You must be aware of the laws that apply to the manufacturing industry. Key legislation includes:

Manufacturing standards

In additional to legislation, you should understand the manufacturing and processing standards to ensure your products, services and systems are safe and reliable. These standards include:

Packaging and labelling codes and standards

Manufacturers who package goods for distribution must understand specific packaging and labelling codes and standards that are specific to certain goods, including:

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) guides

Find the licences and permits you need for your business

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find information on the licences you may need.


The manufacturing industry has specific Goods and Services Tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Visit the ATO website to learn more about the GST requirements for food producers in the manufacturing industry.

Certain Inputs to Manufacture

The Certain Inputs to Manufacture program provides import duty concessions on certain imported raw materials and intermediate goods, such as chemical, plastics or paper products. The program also covers metal materials and goods used for food packaging.

Employ people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the manufacturing industry.

Browse a list of industry and occupation awards to find the one that applies to your industry.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

All business must comply with general occupational health and safety regulations. The manufacturing industry has specific WHS requirements to safely design and test their products and prevent risks to workers through the production process.

In the event of a work-related accident or illness, you must provide access to first aid, fair workers compensation and return to work rehabilitation.

You may also have a responsibility to provide safety information to end users. You can provide this information through an instruction manual or proper labels.

If a product you manufactured has a design or manufacturing fault, you may need to recall your product.

Learn more about state-specific WHS requirements.


Businesses in the manufacturing industry often rely heavily on the environment and see the greatest benefits and impacts. Businesses that make environmentally conscious decision can reduce their impact on the environment. The main environmental issues that businesses in the manufacturing industry should understand include:

  • dealing with resource shortages
  • sustainable practices
  • environmental reporting
  • proper disposal of trade waste 
  • biodegradable packaging options
  • waste management and reduction

Intellectual property

As well as trade marks, manufacturing businesses may have other relevant IP rights:

  • Patents protect a method, device or system that is new and inventive
  • Confidentiality/trade secrets stop employees from revealing secret knowledge during and after their employment.
  • Registered designs protects the visual appearance of a manufactured product by preventing others from using the design without permission.
  • Circuit layout rights automatically protects original layout designs for integrated circuits and computer chips.

Learn more about the IP options available to you.


Alongside compulsory insurances, the manufacturing industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • General liability
  • Assets and revenue insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Machinery breakdown insurance
  • Business interruption insurance

Insurance can help you protect your business in case of machinery breakdown, consumer product liability and property damage or theft.

Government organisations

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Further advice and assistance

Check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business.

For further advice and assistance, consider contacting your accountant, solicitor, business adviser or industry association.