Cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge

​​​​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) return online.

The cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge was first introduced 16 June 1977. Cattle, other than dairy cattle, that are produced in Australia and exported will attract the cattle (exporters) charge. Goats, lambs and sheep that are produced in Australia and exported will attract the livestock (exporters) charge.

The Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp), Animal Health Australia (AHA) and the National Residue Survey (NRS) are responsible for the expenditure of the cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge.

Cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge rates

Cattle means bovine animals other than buffalo.

Livestock means goats, lambs that have not cut a permanent incisor tooth and sheep.

Dairy cattle means cattle that, if not exported from Australia, would be likely to be held on a licensed dairy premises for a purpose that is related to commercial milk production, including but without limiting to bulls, calves and replacement heifers.

For the purposes of calculating the charge rate for cattle, the weight of cattle is their liveweight described in the bill of lading or similar document of title facilitating the export of such cattle. Where the liveweight of cattle exported is not described in the bill of lading or similar document of title then the liveweight of the cattle is taken to be 480 kilograms per head.

The cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge comprises marketing and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Cattle (exporters) charge Marketing R&D TOTAL
Cattle79.36 cents per kilogram15.87 cents per kilogram 95.23 cents per kilogram

The cattle (exporters) charge is calculated per kilogram. GST is not applied to Australian Government charges.

Livestock (exporters) chargeMarketing R&D TOTAL
Goats40 cents per head10 cents per head 50 cents per head
Sheep50 cents per head10 cents per head 60 cents per head
Lambs50 cents per head10 cents per head 60 cents per head

The livestock (exporters) charge is calculated per head. GST is not applied to Australian Government charges.

Do I need to lodge a return and make a payment?

As a producer of cattle or livestock, the person who owns the cattle or livestock immediately before export from Australia is liable to pay the charge.

If you produce cattle or livestock and you export your cattle or livestock through an exporting agent, the amount of charge they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

If you are an exporting agent of cattle or livestock you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of charge paid to the department by offset or otherwise.

If you export cattle or livestock—that is, you own the cattle or livestock at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the cattle and livestock charge

The cattle (exporters) charge does not apply to exported dairy cattle.

No exemptions apply to the livestock (exporters) charge.

How do I lodge a cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual cattle and livestock export return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your charge late you will incur a penalty that is calculated daily at a compounding rate of two (2) per cent of the unpaid amount each month, including any penalties you have already accrued, until you have paid the outstanding amount in full.

The cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charges are based on a financial year.

Monthly returns and payments

Monthly returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days after the end of that month.

Example: for the month of July, the return and payment is due to the department on or before 28 August.

What must be included in my return?

As producer or exporting agent who exported cattle in a month, your return for that month must include:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. Australian Business Number (ABN), or if you are a company the Australian Company Number (ACN)
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of cattle exported on which charge is not payable
  4. Quantity of chargeable cattle exported
  5. Total quantity of cattle exported
  6. Total live weight, in kilograms, of cattle exported, and
  7. Total amount of charge.

As a producer or exporting agent who exported livestock in a month, your return for that month must include:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of sheep, lambs or goats exported
  4. Rates of charge payable on each kind of livestock
  5. Total amount of charge payable on each kind of livestock exported, and
  6. Total amount of charge paid for each kind livestock exported.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer who exported cattle in a month, you must keep records for five (5) years, setting out for each month, the:

  1. Total number of cattle exported
  2. Total live weight, in kilograms, of cattle exported
  3. Total amount of charge
  4. Bills of lading or similar documents showing details of the chargeable cattle exported
  5. Date when each consignment of cattle was entered for export, and
  6. Copy of the return.

As an exporting agent who exported cattle in a month, you must keep records for five (5) years, setting out for each month, the:

  1. Full name and business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) for the person on whose behalf the cattle were exported and the person’s ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN– its ACN.
  2. For the cattle exported, the total:
    1. number of cattle
    2. live weight, in kilogram, of cattle exported, and
    3. amount of charge.
  3. Bills of lading or similar documents showing details of cattle exported, and
  4. Date when the consignment was entered for export, and
  5. Copy of the return. 

As a producer who exported chargeable livestock, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each month, the:

  1. Total number of each kind of livestock exported
  2. Total amount of charge for each kind of livestock
  3. Bills of lading or similar documents showing details of the chargeable livestock exported
  4. Date when each consignment was entered for export, and
  5. Copy of the return.

As an exporting agent who exported chargeable livestock, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each month, the:

  1. Full name and business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) for the person on whose behalf the livestock were exported and the person’s ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN–its ACN.
  2. Total number of each kind of livestock exported
  3. Total amount of charge for each kind of livestock
  4. Bills of lading or similar documents showing details of the chargeable livestock exported
  5. Date when each consignment was entered for export, and
  6. Copy of the return.

Primary Industries Legislation

The cattle (exporters) and livestock (exporters) charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999, and

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991.

This information is a guide only. If you are required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department, it is your responsibility to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.

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