Why is there a levy/export charge on apples and pears?
The Australian Government introduces levies and export charges at the request of industry. These levies variously fund research and development, marketing, residue testing, plant and animal biosecurity programs and emergency responses for industry.
The apples and pears (excluding nashi) levy and export charge funds Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL) apple and pear research and development (R&D) and marketing, National Residue Survey (NRS) testing and Plant Health Australia (PHA) plant health programs. To find out more, visit Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, Plant Health Australia website and Department of Agriculture - National Residue Survey website.
What is the levy/export charge payable on?
Levy is payable on apples and pears (excluding nashi) produced in Australia where the producer either sells the product or uses it in the production of other goods.
Export charge is payable on apples and pears (excluding nashi) produced in and exported from Australia. No export charge is payable if domestic levy has been paid on the product to be exported.
Who pays the levy/export charge? Who submits returns?
The producer (the person who owns the apples and pears immediately after harvest) is liable to pay the levy.
If the producer sells their produce through an intermediary, such as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or merchant, the intermediary must pay levy and submit all return forms on behalf of the producer. The intermediary can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid, by offset or otherwise.
If the producer sells apples and pears by retail sale—for example, direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales—or uses them to produce fruit juice or another processed product, they must pay levy and submit all return forms directly to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
The producer—that is, the person who owns the product at the time of export from Australia—is liable to pay the export charge and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
If the producer exports the product through an exporting agent, the agent must pay the charge and submit all return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on behalf of the producer. The agent can recover from the producer the amount of charge paid from the producer (the owner of the product at the time of export).
Download a return form or contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office.
What is the levy/export charge rate on apples and pears (excluding nashi)?
Apples*: 1.845 cents per kilogram
Pears (excluding nashi)*: 2.099 cents per kilogram
Juicing Apples: $2.75 per tonne
Juicing Pears (excluding nashi): $2.95 per tonne
Processing Apples: $5.50 per tonne
Processing Pears (excluding nashi): $5.90 per tonne
Levy rates are current as at 1 October 2013.
*The rates for apples and pears (excluding nashi) include an export charge.
Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?
Levy is not payable:
- on apples or pears that, in a levy year*, are sold by the producer by retail sale or used by the producer in the production of fruit juice or another processed product if the total quantity of fruit is not greater than 9000 kilograms
- on apples or pears sold for stockfeed
- on processing pears where levy has already been paid under the dried fruit levy
- on processing pears or juicing pears used in the production of canned fruit.
When is the payment due?
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies within 28 days of the end of the quarters of March, June, September and December in which the produce were sold or exported. For example, the return and payment for the quarter ending 30 June—that is, for the months of April, May and June—are due on or before 28 July.
Producers who sell apples or pears by retail sale—that is, directly to the consumer—or who use the fruit in the production of other goods must submit an annual return to the Department of Agriculture - Levies. The return and payment are due on or before 28 February in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for 2012 levy year* are due on or before 28 February 2013.
A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporter may apply through the Department of Agriculture - Levies for an exemption from the requirement to lodge quarterly returns for a levy year* if they have reasonable grounds to believe that their levy/export charge liability will be less than $2000. If the Department of Agriculture - Levies grants an exemption, the person must lodge returns annually.
Please contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office for an application for exemption form or for more information on annual returns.
General information and definitions
The levy/export charge rates are calculated per kilogram, except when fruit is used for juicing or processing.
The levy/export charge rates for fruit used for juicing or processing are calculated per tonne.
A 'retail sale' is a sale by the producer of the apples and/or pears direct to the consumer—that is, at a roadside stall or by shed or farm gate sale—and not to a first purchaser or through an agent.
*A levy year for apples and pears is a calendar year—that is, 1 January to 31 December.
What legislation covers this levy/export charge?
A legislative framework of imposition, collection and disbursement legislation authorises and supports Australia’s primary industries levies system. These are the relevant Acts:
Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999
Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998
National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998
Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991
Please note that, under section 27 of the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991, an authorised Department of Agriculture officer can release the names and addresses of levy payers to industry bodies and levy recipient organisations.
Download the legislation from ComLaw or call CanPrint Information Services on 02 6293 8383 to purchase a copy.
This information sheet is a guide only and does not substitute for the relevant legislation.