Melon levy and charge

​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—You can lodge your melons return o​nline.

The melon levy and charge was first introduced 1 January 2017. Melons that are produced in Australia and sold by a producer or that are exported will attract a levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the melon levy and charge.

Melon levy and charge rates

Retail sale means melons sold by a producer except to a first purchaser, exporter, selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent.

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

Melon levy componentLevy and charge rates
EPPR$0.00
PHA0.1 cents per kilogram
R&D0.3 cents per kilogram
TOTAL 0.4 cents per kilogram

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

What types of melon attract a levy and charge?

The melon levy and charge applies to:

  • Charentais melon
  • Galia melon, also known as Hami melon
  • Honeydew melon, also known as Piel de sapo
  • Horned melon
  • Korean melon
  • Rockmelon, and
  • Watermelon.

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

A producer of melons, the person who owned the melons immediately after harvest, or exported the melons is liable to pay the melon levy and charge.

If you produce melons and sell more than 20 tonnes by retail sale in a financial year you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce melons and sell your melons to an intermediary, the amount if levy or charge they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

As an intermediary, including 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 melons—that is, you are the person who owns the melons at the time of export—you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the melon levy and charge

A producer is not liable to pay the melon levy and charge if they sell less than 20 tonnes of melons by retail sale in a financial year, or if they export less than 20 tonnes of melons in a financial year.

How do I lodge a melon return?

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 horticulture 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 melon levy 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 bought, sold or exported melons 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 melon levy and charge payer you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a financial year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year.

Example: the 2016-17 financial year return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2017.

To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of melons which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year, amounts to less than $500 of levy or charge. 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 your return?

A return 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 melons, in kilograms
  4. Amount of levy or charge payable, and
  5. Amount of levy, or charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer, first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, exporting agent or an exporter of melons you must keep records for five (5) years, setting out for each financial year, the:

  1. Quantities, in kilograms, of melons bought, sold (by retail sale or otherwise) or exported
  2. Amount of levy or charge payable for each of the quantities
  3. Amount of levy or charge paid by the person for each of the quantities
  4. Personal details of everyone to whom you sold melons (except by retail sale) or from whom the person bought melons.
    1. Personal details include the person’s full name, business address or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) and the person’s ABN, if any, or if the person does not have an ABN- its ACN.
  5. Name and business address or residential address (not the address of a post office box or post office bag) of everyone to whom the person exported melons.

Primary Industries Legislation

The melon levy and export charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges 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.

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