Forest growers levy information

​​​​​​Important—You can lodge your forest growers return online.

Please read the May 2016 Levies notice for information on the Forest growers levy changes commencing 1 July 2016

Why is there a levy on forest growers?

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 forest growers levy is imposed on logs produced in Australia and funds Forest & Wood Products Australia (FWPA) forestry industry research and development (R&D) and marketing and Plant Health Australia (PHA) plant health programs. To find out more, visit Forest and Wood Products Australia and Plant Health Australia.

What is the levy payable on?

Levy is payable on logs produced in Australia.

Who pays the levy? Who submits returns?

The producer (the person who owns the logs immediately after the trees from which the logs are produced are felled) 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 export agent, 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.

If the producer uses logs in the production of other goods or exports logs, they must pay levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies.

Download a return form or contact your Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies state office.

Please note that this levy is separate from the Forest and Wood Products Levy and Export Charge. Please refer to the fact sheet 'Information on Forest and Wood Products Levy and Export Charge'.

What is the levy rate on forest growers?

Type Current Rate
(up to 30 June 2016)
New Rate
(commencing 1 July 2016)
Plantation Logs – Exotic Softwood (Pinus sp.)5.5 cents per m3 10.5 cents per m3
Plantation Logs – Other5.5 cents per m3
Other Logs5 cents per m3 5 cents per m3

Australian Government levies exclude GST.

Are there any exemptions from this levy?

Levy is not payable on:

  • logs used by the producer for domestic purposes
  • products and by-products of processing the logs used by the operator of a mill for domestic purposes
  • logs produced from trees that were grown on a farm operated by the operator of a mill and the products and by-products of processing the logs for use on that farm
  • logs processed for producing fuel wood
  • logs produced either as a result of landscaping or after removing trees that were a safety hazard and which were processed at the site of production
  • logs processed at a mobile mill that is not permanently sited and are processed for the purposes of producing timber products that are not chip or pulp and for which the amount of levy payable by the processor in a levy year** would be $100 or less, or
  • logs that are owned by state or territory government bodies*.

* State and territory bodies have agreed to make voluntary payments, equivalent to the levy, direct to FWPA. People who receive logs from these bodies cannot collect levy on those exempt logs. However, if such a body makes a voluntary payment equivalent to the levy to the receiver of logs, that person should pay those moneys to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies. Contact your Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies state office for more information.

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 quarters of March, June, September and December. For example, the return and payment for the quarter ending 31 March—that is, for the months of January, February and March—are due on or before 28 April.

Annual returns

A person 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 payable in the levy year** will be less than $1000.

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies on or before 28 August in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for the 2013-14 levy year** are due on or before 28 August 2014.

Please contact your Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies state office for more information on whether you qualify to submit returns annually.

General information and definitions

The levy rate is calculated per cubic metre.

'Logs' are logs that have not undergone any form of processing other than:

  • debarking, or
  • any other process prescribed by regulations. Current regulations do not include any prescribed processes other than debarking.

‘Plantation’ means an intensively managed stand of trees of either native or exotic species that is created by the regular placement of seedlings or seeds.

'Domestic purposes' means household or home-related purposes.

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

What legislation covers this levy?

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 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 and Water Resources 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.