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Legality of exporting under aged whiskey

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I'm from Australia and currently in the process of starting my own distillery. I plan on initially making Vodka and Gin as I do not have the capital to purchase and store barrels to make Whiskey. I was recently contacted by a friend of mine in Asia who would like me to whiskey for him. He would import it into his country and bottle and label it under his own brand.

I told him that in Australia whiskey must be aged in a wood barrel for a minimum of 2 years. He told me that these rules do not apply in his country and whiskey aged for a couple of months on oak chips would suffice.

In Australia the law states that:

Excise Act 1901  
For Australian manufactured goods, the Excise Act 1901 as amended by “The Excise Laws Amendment (Fuel Tax Reform and Other Measures) Act 2006” stipulates: 
“Section 77FI - Delivery from CEO’s control of brandy, whisky or rum (1) Brandy, whisky or rum manufactured in Australia must not be delivered from the CEO’s control unless it has been matured by storage in wood for at least 2 years. 

Does anyone have any experience with exporting or selling whiskey aged on oak chips for less than 2 years? Is there any way to get around this law?

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to Silk City Distillers:

I have some conflicting info about making white whiskey and rum. There are two paragraphs in the law document that suggest it is illegal. There is the law I posted above for manufacture in Australia and this paragraph for importation into Australia.

Customs Act 1901 
For imported products, Section 105A outlines the requirements of: 
(1) Brandy, whisky or rum imported into Australia must not be delivered from the control of the Customs unless a Collector is satisfied that it has been matured by storage in wood for at least 2 years. 

However, when you look online at Australian liquor retailers they are all importing and selling white whiskey that clearly states that is has been aged for less than 2 years.

Ideally I would like to make and sell oak chipped aged whiskey that has colour, as a clear whiskey would probably be a novelty to most and not sell as well.



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