Farmed prawns levy and charge

​​The farmed prawns levy was first introduced 1 October 2001. Farmed prawns that are produced in Australia and sold by a producer, used by the producer in the production of other goods, delivered to a person other than for storage, or exported will attract a levy or charge. The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation is responsible for managing the expenditure of the farmed prawns levy and charge.

Farmed prawns levy and charge rates

Farmed prawns means prawns that are harvested after they are removed from the pond.

The farmed prawns levy and charge rate is:

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
Research and Development3.64 cents per kilogram of whole farmed prawns

The farmed prawns levy and charge is calculated per kilogram, based on the weight of farmed prawns before any part of the prawn is removed. The charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the prawns prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

What types of farmed prawns attract a levy and charge?

The farmed prawns levy and charge applies to:

  • Banana Prawns (Penaeus merguiensis)
  • Black Tiger Prawns (Penaeus monodon)
  • Brown Tiger Prawns (Penaeus esculentis)
  • Kuruma Prawns (Penaeus japonicus), and
  • School Prawns (Metapenaeus macleayi).

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

A producer, the person who owns the farmed prawns immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy and charge.

If you export farmed prawns—that is you own the farmed prawns at the time of export—you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce farmed prawns and export your farmed prawns through an exporting agent, the amount of charge they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you, by offset or otherwise.

If you export farmed prawns on behalf of a producer, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of charge paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

Exemptions from paying the farmed prawns levy and charge

No exemptions apply to the farmed prawns levy and charge.

How do I lodge a farmed prawns levy return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return you must complete a manual farmed prawns 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 farmed prawns levy and charge is based on a financial year.

Quarterly returns and payments

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

Example: for the quarter ending 30 September—if you produced, delivered or sold farmed prawns in the months of July, August and September— your quarterly return and payment is due to the department on or before 28 October.

Annual return and payment

As a farmed prawns levy or charge payer you may be eligible to lodge your return with the department and make a payment once a year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year.

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

To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of farmed prawns which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year, amounts to less than 10,000 kilograms. 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 farmed prawns, your return for the quarter or levy year must set out:

  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. Total weight of the farmed prawns produced
  4. Total weight of the farmed prawns delivered for storage
  5. Total weight on which levy is payable
  6. Amount of levy payable
  7. Amount of levy paid
  8. Total weight of farmed prawns exported
  9. Amount of charge payable, and
  10. Amount of charge paid.

As an exporting agent of farmed prawns, your return for the quarter or levy year must set out:

  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. Weight of the farmed prawns exported
  4. Amount of charge payable, and
  5. Amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

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

  1. Total weight of farmed prawns delivered, other than for storage to another person 
  2. Total weight of farmed prawns sold
  3. Total weight of farmed prawns used in the production of other goods
  4. Amount of levy payable
  5. Amount of levy paid
  6. Total weight of farmed prawns exported
  7. Amount of charge payable, and
  8. Amount of charge paid.

As an exporting agent of farmed prawns, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each producer on whose behalf you exported farmed prawns and for each quarter of the levy year, the:

  1. The producers:
    1. Full name, business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag, postal address and Australian Business Number (ABN), if any, and if the person is a company and does not have an ABN—its Australian Compnay Number.
  2. Total weight of farmed prawns exported
  3. Amount of charge payable
  4. Amount of charge paid
  5. Total weight of farmed prawns exported
  6. Total amount of charge payable
  7. Total amount of charge paid, and
  8. Bills of lading or similar documents showing details of the farmed prawns exported.

Primary Industries Legislation

The farmed prawns levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies 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.

​​​