Cotton and seed cotton levy information

​Important—You can lodge your cotton and seed cotton return online.

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Cotton levy and seed cotton levy and charge rates

The cotton levy was first introduced 1 March 1983 and the seed cotton levy and charge commenced 1 April 2017. Cotton that is produced and processed in Australia will attract the cotton levy. Harvested seed cotton that is intended for export will attract a levy or charge. The Cotton Research and Development Corporation and Plant Health Australia (PHA) manage the expenditure of the cotton and seed cotton levy and charge.

Leviable cotton means the natural fibrous hairs, produced from seed cotton, separated from the seeds and not further processed.

Seed cotton means cotton seed, with the natural fibrous hairs attached, as extracted from the ripened bolls of a cotton plant.
The cotton levy and seed cotton levy and charge rates comprise research and development (R&D), PHA membership and Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), as set out in the table below:

Levy component Cotton levy rate Seed cotton levy and charge rate
R&D$2.21 per 227 kilograms$3.99 per tonne
PHA4 cents per 227 kilograms$3.99 per tonne
EPPR$0.00$0.00
TOTAL $2.25 per 227 kilograms $4.06 per tonne

The cotton levy rate is calculated per 227 kilograms of cotton. An Australian cotton bale weighs, on average, 227 kilograms. The seed cotton levy and charge rates are calculated per tonne. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges. The seed cotton charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the seed cotton prior to export.

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

A producer (the person who owns the leviable cotton or the person who owns the seed cotton immediately after harvest or exports the seed cotton) is liable to pay the cotton levy or the seed cotton levy and charge.

For leviable cotton: As an intermediary, including a receiver (the person who received cotton for processing) or a processor (the person who produced the leviable cotton), you must submit a return and make a payment to the department. An intermediary can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

For seed cotton: As an intermediary, including a selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent, you must submit a return and make a payment to the department. An intermediary can recover from the producer the amount of levy or charge paid to the department on behalf of the producer, by offset or otherwise.

If you export seed cotton – that is, you own the seed cotton at the time of export – you must submit a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the cotton and seed cotton levy and export charge

No exemptions apply to the cotton levy.

The seed cotton levy or charge is not payable if the seed cotton was processed in Australia.

How do I submit a return for cotton and seed cotton?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can submit your first return.
To submit your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual cotton return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy or charge late you will incur a penalty 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 cotton and seed cotton levy and charge is based on a financial year.

Monthly returns and payments

Monthly returns and payments must be submitted to 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 a processor of leviable cotton, your return for a month must set out, the:

  1. Quantity of cotton produced or received
  2. Amount of levy payable for the leviable cotton
  3. Amount of levy paid for the leviable cotton and
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf the leviable cotton was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address (not the address of a PO Box or PO Bag) and
    3. ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

As an intermediary, including a selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent of seed cotton, your return for a month must set out, the:

  1. Quantity of seed cotton, in tonnes
  2. Amount of levy or charge payable and
  3. Details of the person (if any) from whom the seed cotton was purchased or to whom the seed cotton was sold, the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address (not the address of a PO Box or PO Bag) and
    3. ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

As an exporter of seed cotton, your return for a month must set out, the:

  1. Quantity of seed cotton, in tonnes
  2. Amount of charge payable for the seed cotton
  3. Amount of charge paid for the seed cotton and
  4. Your personal details:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address (not the address of a PO Box or PO Bag and
    3. ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

What records do I need to keep?

As a processor of seed cotton, you must keep records showing for five (5) years, setting out for each month, the:

  1. Quantity of leviable cotton produced or received in the month
  2. Amount of levy payable for the leviable cotton and
  3. Amount of levy paid for the leviable cotton.

As an intermediary, including as a selling agent, buying agent exporting agent of seed cotton, you must keep records showing for five (5) years, setting out for each month, the:

  1. Quantity of harvested seed cotton, in tonnes, bought, sold or exported in the month
  2. Amount of levy and export charge payable for the seed cotton
  3. Amount of levy and export charge paid for the seed cotton
  4. Details for each person on whose behalf the seed cotton was dealt with, the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag and
    3. ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.
  5. Copy of the return and bills of lading or similar documents showing details of the export and
  6. The date on which each consignment of seed cotton is entered for export.

A producer who harvested and exported seed cotton on which levy was imposed was must keep records showing for five (5) years, setting out:

  1. Quantity of harvested seed cotton in tonnes
  2. Amount of levy payable for the seed cotton
  3. Amount of levy deducted by an intermediary for the quantity of seed cotton
  4. The personal details of the person (if any) to whom the seed cotton was sold, the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag and
    3. ABN, if any, or if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

Primary Industries Legislation

The cotton levy and charge is provided for under:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999
Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991

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