Citrus levy and charge

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

The citrus levy and export charge was first introduced 1 August 1988. Citrus that is produced in Australia and used by the producer in the production of other goods, sold by a producer or that is exported will attract a levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the citrus levy and charge.

Citrus levy and charge rates

Citrus means any fruit of any species of the genus Citrus, the genus Fortunella or any plant originating as a result of hybridisation between, or within, either of these genera. This includes the fruit of plants commonly known as calomindin, citrons, cumquats, grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, pummellos (pomelos), sevilles, tangelos, tangerines and tangors.

Retail sale means any sale of citrus by a producer except a sale to a first purchaser or through a buying agent or selling agent.

A container means sold in bulk when the mass of citrus in the container exceeds 30 kilograms.

A box means a container of a kind that is used in the Australian horticultural industry for packing citrus and ordinarily known in that industry as a bushel box or 30 litre box.

A case of grapefruit is 16.67 kilograms and a case for all other citrus is 20 kilograms if they are not packed in a box.

Sold in bulk means citrus that is transported or to be transported in a container, means sold where the mass of citrus in the container exceeds 30 kilograms.

The citrus 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:

CitrusR&DMarketingPHAEPPR TOTAL
Oranges in bulk75 cents per tonne $3.20 per tonne 30 cents per tonne $0.00 $4.25 per tonne
Oranges not in bulk1.5 cents per box6.4 cents per box 0.6 cents per box $0.00 8.5 cents per box
Other citrus in bulk-$3.20 per tonne 30 cents per tonne $0.00 $3.50 per tonne
Other citrus not in bulk-6.4 cents per box 0.6 cents per box $0.00 7 cents per box

The citrus levy and charge rate is calculated per kilogram. The citrus charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the citrus 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 citrus, the person who owns the citrus immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy.

If you produce citrus and sell your citrus by retail sale or you use your citrus in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product and the total quantity of citrus sold or used is greater than 500 boxes, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

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

Exemptions from paying the citrus levy and charge

A producer of citrus is not liable to pay the citrus levy and charge if the total quantity of citrus sold by retail sale or used in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product and the total quantity of citrus sold or used is less than 500 boxes.

A producer of citrus is also not liable to pay the citrus levy and charge if the citrus is sold for stockfeed.

How do I lodge a citrus 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.

The citrus levy and charge is based on a calendar year.

Quarterly returns and payments

Quarterly returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days of the end of March, June, September and December.

Example: for the quarter ending 30 June – if you bought, sold or exported citrus in the months of April, May and June – your quarterly return is due on or before 28 July.

Annual return and payment

As an intermediary or exporter of citrus you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 February in the next calendar year.

Example: the 2017 annual return and payment must be made on or before 28 February 2018.

To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total amount of citrus which you are likely to deal in, in a calendar year, amounts to less than $1,000 of levy or charge. You must also make an application to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If you would like to make an application please contact the department’s levies office in your state or territory.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of citrus who sold or used more than 500 boxes of citrus, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or 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 each class of citrus sold by retail sale or used in the production of fruit juice
  4. Amount of levy payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of citrus, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or 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 each class of citrus bought, sold or exported
  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 citrus, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or 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 each class of citrus exported
  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 citrus, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of each class of citrus sold by retail sale or used in the production of fruit juice and sold or used in the production of any processed product except fruit juice
  2. Amount of levy payable on each class of citrus, and
  3. Amount of levy paid on each class of citrus.

As an intermediary of citrus, 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 each class of citrus bought, sold or exported, used in the production of fruit juice or used in the production of any processed product except fruit juice
  2. Amount of levy or charge payable on each class of citrus, and
  3. Amount of levy or charge paid on each class of citrus

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

  1. Quantity of each class of citrus exported
  2. Amount of charge payable on each class of citrus, and
  3. Amount of charge paid on each class of citrus.

Primary Industries Legislation

The citrus 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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