Citrus levy information

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

Please read the May 2016 Levies notice for information on the Citrus levy changes commencing 1 July 2016​

Why is there a levy/export charge on citrus?

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 citrus levy and export charge funds Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL)​ citrus research and development (R&D) and marketing and Plant Health Australia (PHA) plant health programs.  To find out more, visit Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited​ and Plant Health Australia.

What is the levy/export charge payable on?

Levy is imposed on citrus produced in Australia where the producer either sells the product or uses it in the production of other goods.

Export charge is imposed on citrus produced in and exported from Australia. No export charge is payable if domestic levy has already been paid on the product to be exported.

Who pays the levy/export charge? Who submits returns?

The producer (the person who owns the citrus 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 citrus by retail sale—for example, direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales—they must pay levy and submit all return forms directly to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - 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 and Water Resources - 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 and Water Resources - 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 and Wat​er Resources - Levies state office.

What is the levy/export charge rate on citrus?

TypeCurrent Levy Rate
(up to 30 June 2016)
New Levy Rate
(commencing 1 July 2016)
Citrus - oranges in bulk$2.75 per tonne$4.25 per tonne
Citrus - oranges not in bulk5.5 cents per box*8.5 cents per box*
Citrus - other citrus in bulk$2.00 per tonne$3.50 per tonne
Citrus - other citrus not in bulk4 cents per box*7 cents per box*

Australian Government levies exclude GST.

* See 'General information and definitions' for defined box weights.

Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?

Levy is not imposed if a producer sells citrus by retail sale and the total quantity of citrus sold by retail sale or used by the producer in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product in a levy year is not more than 500 boxes.

Levy is not imposed on citrus used or sold for stockfeed.

When is the payment due?

Quarterly returns

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies within 28 days of the end of the quarter in which the citrus was purchased, processed, sold or exported. For example, the return and payment for the quarter ending 30 September—that is, for the months of July, August and September—are due on or before 28 October.

Annual returns

Producers who sell citrus by retail sale or who use citrus in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product, and who use a total of 500 boxes or more, must pay levy annually. The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies on or before 28 February in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for the 2012 levy year* must be lodged by 28 February 2013.

A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporter may apply through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - 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 payable will be less than $1000. If the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies grants an exemption, they must lodge returns annually.

Please contact your Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - 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 tonne and per box.

A ‘box’ is defined as 20 kilograms for oranges and other citrus (excluding grapefruit) and 16.67 kilograms for grapefruit.

A 'retail sale' is a sale by the producer of the citrus 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 citrus 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

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 www.legislation.gov.au 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.