Farmed prawns levy information

​​​Why is there a levy/export charge on farmed prawns?

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 farmed prawns levy and export charge funds the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) farmed prawns research and development (R&D). To find out more, visit FRDC.

What is the levy/export charge payable on?

Levy is payable on farmed prawns produced in Australia where the producer sells the product, uses it in the production of other goods or delivers it to a person other than for storage.

Export charge is payable on farmed prawns 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 farmed prawns immediately after harvest) is liable to pay the levy. They must pay levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - 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 - 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 - 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 - Levies state office.

What is the levy/export charge rate on farmed prawns?

Domestic and export: 3.64 cents per kilogram of whole farmed prawns.

Rates are current as at 1 October 2013.

Australian Government levies exclude GST.

Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?

No exemptions apply.

When is the payment due?

Quarterly returns

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies within 28 days of the end of the quarters of March, June, September and December. For example, the return and payment for the quarter ending 30 June—that is, for the months of April, May and June—are due on or before 28 July.

Annual returns

A person may apply through the Department of Agriculture - Levies for an exemption from the requirement to lodge quarterly returns for a levy (financial) year* if they have reasonable grounds to believe that they will be liable to pay levy/export charge on less than 10 000 kg of farmed prawns.

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on or before 28 August in the next levy year*. For example, the return and payment for the 2012-13 levy year* are due on or before 28 August 2013.

Please contact your Department of Agriculture - 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 on the weight (in kilograms) of whole farmed prawns, weighed before any part of the prawn is removed.

'Farmed prawns' are prawns that are produced in Australia by aquaculture and include:

  • banana prawns (Penaeus merguiensis)
  • black tiger prawns (Penaeus monodon)
  • brown tiger prawns (Penaeus esculentis)
  • kuruma prawns (Penaeus japonicus)
  • school prawns (Metapenaeus macleayi)

Farmed prawns are defined as 'harvested' after they are removed from the pond.

*A levy year is a financial year—that is, 1 July to 30 June.

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 Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

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 ComLaw 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.