Honey levy and charge

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

The honey levy was first introduced 14 December 1962. Honey that is produced in Australia and sold, exported or used in the production of other goods will attract a levy and export charge. The Rural Industries, Research and Development Corporation, Plant Health Australia (PHA) and the National Residue Survey (NRS) are responsible for the expenditure of the honey levy and charge.

Honey levy and charge rates

Designated sale in relation to honey means the sale of honey by a producer except to a first purchaser, buying agent or selling agent.

The honey levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), NRS testing, PHA membership and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
EPPR2.9 cents per kilogram
NRS0.1 cents per kilogram
PHA0.1 cents per kilogram
R&D1.5 cents per kilogram
TOTAL 4.6 cents per kilogram

The honey levy and charge is calculated per kilogram. The honey charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the honey prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

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

A producer of honey, the person who owned the honey immediately before sale, uses honey in the production of other goods or exports honey is liable to pay the levy and charge.

If you produce more than 1,500 kilograms of honey in a calendar year and you sell your honey by designated sale or use your honey in the production of other goods, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce honey and sell your product through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the intermediary can recover from you the amount of levy paid to the department on your behalf, by offset or otherwise.

If you are an intermediary, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy or charge paid to the department by offset or otherwise.

If you export honey - that is, you own the honey at the time of export - you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from the honey levy and charge

A producer of honey is not liable to pay the honey levy if the honey has been sold previously, or the total weight of the honey produced and sold by designated sale or used in the production of other goods in a calendar year is less than 1,500 kilograms.

An exporter of honey is not liable to pay the honey charge if the total weight of honey exported in a calendar year is less than 600 kilograms.

A person who uses no more than 1,500 kilograms of honey in the production of other goods in a calendar year is not liable to pay the honey levy.

How do I lodge a honey return form?

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

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual honey 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 honey levy and charge is based on a calendar year.

Quarterly returns and payments

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

Example: for the quarter ending 30 June – if you bought, sold or exported honey in the months of April, May and June – your quarterly return is due on or before 28 July.

Annual return and payment

As a honey levy payer you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 February in the next calendar year.

Example: the 2016-17 annual return and payment must be made on or before 28 February 2017.

A producer may be eligible to lodge an annual return and payment if the producer sells honey by designated sale or uses honey in the production of other goods and the total weight of the honey sold or used is more than 1,500 kilograms and the producer is exempt from lodging a quarterly return.

As a levy or charge payer you may also  be eligible to lodge an annual return and payment if you have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of honey which you are likely to deal in, in a calendar year, amounts to less than $4,000 of levy. 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 honey who sold honey in a quarter or levy year, your return for a quarter or levy year must include:

  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. Quantity of the honey sold by designated sale
  4. Quantity of the honey sold other than by designated sale
  5. Quantity of the honey used in the production of other goods
  6. Total quantity of the honey sold or used
  7. Total amount of levy payable, and
  8. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary, including a first purchaser, a buying agent or selling agent, your return for a quarter or levy year must include:

  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. Quantity of honey bought or sold
  4. Total quantity of the honey bought or sold
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an exporter or exporting agent of honey, your return for a quarter or levy year must include:

  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. Quantity of the honey exported
  4. Amount of charge payable, and
  5. Amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of honey, you must keep records for five (5) years showing in respect of each month, the:

  1. Quantity of honey that you had on hand at the beginning and the end of the month
  2. Quantity of honey that you produced from your bees during the month
  3. Quantity of honey that you bought and the details of each purchase
  4. Quantity of honey that you sold and the details of each sale
  5. Quantity of honey that you otherwise disposed of and the details of each disposal
  6. Amount of levy payable for the honey in the month, and
  7. Amount of levy you paid for the honey in the month.

As an intermediary, including a first purchaser, a buying agent or selling agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing, in respect of a month if, in that month, you bought, sold or used in honey in the production of other goods, the:

  1. Quantity of honey that you had on hand at the beginning and the end of the month
  2. Quantity of honey produced
  3. Quantity of honey bought by the person and the details of each purchase
  4. Quantity of honey that sold by the person and the details of each sale
  5. Quantity of honey otherwise disposed by the person and the details of each disposal
  6. Amount of levy payable for the honey in the month, and
  7. Amount of levy paid by the person for the honey.

A producer or an intermediary, including a first purchaser, exporter or exporting agent, who exports honey in a month must keep records for five (5) years showing, the:

  1. Quantity of honey exported by the person
  2. Amount of charge payable for the honey, and
  3. Amount of charge paid by the person for the honey.

If a person has an export entry for the export of honey made under section 114 of the Customs Act 1901, and the person has lodged a return for honey sold under a contract of sale that provides for the honey to be delivered to a place outside of Australia or to be placed on board a ship or aircraft for export and the person has not, when the return was lodged, placed the honey on board a ship or aircraft for export, the person must keep a copy of the export entry as part of the person’s records for 2 years after the date on which the honey was exported.

A producer, intermediary or exporter is not required to keep records for five (5) years concerning the purchase or use of honey if the honey is, for:

  1. Domestic purposes, or
  2. Other purposes not connected with keeping bees, dealing in honey or using honey in the production of other goods.

Primary Industries Legislation

The honey levy is provided for under, the:

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, 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 obligation under legislation.

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