Cherries levy and charge

​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your cherries return online.

The cherries levy and charge was first introduced 15 November 1993. Cherries that are produced in Australia and used by the producer in the production of other goods, sold by a producer or exported will attract a levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the cherries levy and charge.

Cherries levy and charge rates

Cherry means a fruit of the species Prunus avium.

A process in relation to cherries does not include cleaning, sorting, grading and packing.

Retail sale means any sale of cherries by a producer that is not a sale to a first purchaser, exporter or through a buying agent, exporting agent or selling agent.

The cherries levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), marketing, PHA membership and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Levy componentCherries levy and charge rate
EPPR$0.00
Marketing3 cents per kilogram
PHA0.03 cents per kilogram
R&D 3.97 cents per kilogram
TOTAL 7 cents per kilogram

The cherries levy and charge rate is calculated per kilogram. The cherries charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the cherries prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

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

A producer of cherries, the person who owns the cherries immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy. If you produce cherries and sell your cherries by retail sale you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce cherries and sell your produce through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the amount of levy they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

If you are an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

If you export cherries—that is, you are the person who owns the cherries at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the cherries levy and charge

A producer of cherries is not liable to pay the levy or charge if the producer sells or uses the cherries for processing in a levy year, which is between 1 April and 31 March in the next year.

How do I lodge a cherries 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 horticulture return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy or charge late you will incur a penalty that is calculated daily at a compounding rate of 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.

A levy year for cherries begins 1 April and ends 31 March in the next year.

Annual return and payments

Annual returns and payments must be lodged with the department once a year that is on or before 28 April in the next levy year.

Example: the return and payment for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 is due to the department on or before 28 April 2018.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of cherries, your return for a levy year must set out in respect of that levy year :

  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 leviable cherries used or sold, in kilograms
  4. Amount of levy payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy and export charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy and export charge paid.

As an intermediary of cherries, including as a first purchaser, buying agent selling agent or exporting agent, your return for a levy year must set out for that levy year :

  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 leviable cherries bought, sold or exported, in kilograms
  4. Amount of levy and charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy and charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy and charge paid.

As an exporter of cherries, your return for a levy year must set out for that levy year :

  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 cherries exported, in kilograms
  4. Amount of charge payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of charge payable, and
  6. Total amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of cherries, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of cherries sold at the first point of sale or by retail sale, in kilograms
  2. Amount of levy payable
  3. Amount of levy paid, and
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf the cherries was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and Australian Business Number (ABN), if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its Australian Company Number (ACN).

As an intermediary of cherries, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of cherries bought or sold at the first point of sale, in kilograms
  2. Amount of levy and charge payable
  3. Amount of levy and charge paid, and
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf the cherries was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

As an exporter of cherries, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of cherries exported, in kilograms
  2. Amount of charge payable
  3. Amount of charge paid, and
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf the cherries was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name, business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

Primary Industries Legislation

The cherries levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

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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