Honey levy and charge information

​​​​​​​​​Important - You can lodge your honey return online

Why is there a levy/export charge on honey?

The Australian Government introduces levies and export charges at the request of industry. These levies variously fund research and dev​elopment, marketing, residue testing, plant and animal biosecurity programs and emergency responses for industry.

The honey levy and export charge funds the Honeybee Research and Development Committee of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), National Residue Survey (NRS) testing, Plant Health Australia (PHA) programs and the Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) Fund.

To find out more, visit RIRDC, National Residue Survey and Plant Health Australia.

What is the levy/export charge payable on?

Levy is payable on honey produced in Australia, and sold in Australia or used in the production of other goods.

Export charge is payable on honey 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 owned the honey immediately before sale or who used the honey in the production of other goods) is liable to pay the levy.

If the producer sells their produce through an intermediary, such as a first purchaser, buying agent or selling 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, by offset or otherwise.

If the producer sells honey by retail sale—for example, direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales—they must pay levy annually and submit all return forms directly to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies. If the producer uses honey in the production of other goods, they must pay levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - 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 and Water Resources - 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 and Water Resources - 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 and Water Resources - Levies state office.

What is the levy/export charge rate on honey?

The levy and export charge rates for honey sold, exported or used in the production of other goods are:

 

Levy Rate
(commenced 1 July 2015)

Total levy

4.6 cents per kilogram

Distribution of levy

1.5 cents for R&D
0.1 cents for PHA
0.1 cents for NRS
2.9 cents for EPPR

Australian Government levies exclude GST.

Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?

Levy is not payable on honey if:

  • levy has already been paid because the honey has been sold previously (honey levy is payable only once—if it is resold or exported after its initial purchase, no further levy or charge is payable)
  • the total weight of honey sold (other than honey sold by the producer by designated sale**) or used in the production of other goods by a person in a month is not more than 125 kilograms;
  • the total weight of honey sold by the producer by designated sale, and any other honey used by the producer in the production of other goods—for example, making toffee apples—in a year is not more than 1,500 kilograms.

Charge is not payable on honey exported if:

  • levy has already been paid because the honey has been sold previously
  • the total weight of honey exported by a person in a month is not more than 125 kilograms

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 30 June—that is, for the months of April, May and June—are due on or before 28 July.

Annual returns

A producer of leviable honey must lodge a return for a levy year if in that levy year:

  • the producer sells honey by designated sale** or uses honey in the production of other goods
  • the total weight of the honey sold or used is more than 1,500 kilograms.

A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporter 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/export charge payable will be less than $4,000. If the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies grants an exemption, they must lodge returns annually.

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies on or before 28 February in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for the 2016 levy year* are due on or before 28 February 2017.

Please contact your Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Levies state office to check whether you qualify to lodge returns annually, for an application for exemption form or for more information on annual returns.

General information and definitions

The levy/export charge rates are calculated per kilogram.

* A levy year for honey is a calendar year—that is, 1 January to 31 December.

** A 'designated sale' is a sale of honey by a producer, except:

  • to a first purchaser
  • to a buying agent, or
  • by a selling agent.

This generally includes sales direct to the consumer—that is, at roadside stalls or markets.

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 (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998

National Residue Survey (Customs) Charges Act 1998

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.​​

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