Why is there a levy/export charge on avocados?
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 levy and export charge on fresh avocados funds Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIA Ltd) avocado research and development (R&D) and marketing, and the levy on avocados directed to processing funds HAL R&D only. To find out more, visit Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited.
What is the levy/export charge payable on?
- Levy is payable on fresh avocados produced and sold in Australia.
- Levy is also payable on avocados produced in Australia and directed to processing.
- Export charge is payable on fresh avocados produced in and exported from Australia. No export charge is payable if domestic levy has been paid on the product prior to export.
Who pays the levy/export charge? Who submits returns?
The producer (the person who owns the avocados 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 a producer sells avocados to a processor, the processor must pay levy and submit all return forms on behalf of the producer. The processor can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid, by offset or otherwise.
If the producer sells avocados by retail sale—for example, direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales—they must pay any levy liability over $100 incurred in a levy year 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 avocados?
- Avocados (levy and export charge): 7.5 cents per kilogram
- Avocados processing (levy): 1 cent per kilogram
- Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?
Levy is not payable:
- when avocados are sold by retail sale and the total levy liability on retail sales would otherwise be less than $100 in a levy year
- levy has already been paid on the avocados because of a previous sale.
Levy is payable only once. If avocados are resold or exported after initial purchase, no further levy or charge is payable.
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. 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.
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on or before 28 February in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for 2017 must be lodged by 28 February 2018.
Producers who sell fresh avocados directly to the public must submit returns and payments directly to the Department of Agriculture - Levies annually if they incur a levy liability greater than $100 in a levy year*.
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 the levy/export charge quantity of avocados they deal with in the year will be under 36 tonnes (36 000 kilograms). If the Department of Agriculture - Levies grants an exemption, they 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.
'Processing avocados' are:
- sold by the producer to a first purchaser, or through a buying agent or a selling agent, for use in the production of a processed product in Australia, or
- used by the producer in the production of a processed product.
A 'retail sale' is a sale by the producer of the avocados 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 avocados 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 Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991
- Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
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.