Melon levy and export charge

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Melon levy and export charge rates

The melon levy and export charge was introduced 1 January 2017. Melons produced in Australia and sold by a producer to a first purchaser, through a selling agent, buying agent, exporter or exporting agent will attract a levy or export charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia manage the expenditure of the melon levy and export charge.

The melon levy and export charge rates are:

Melon levy component

Levy and export rates

Research and Development

0.3 cents per kilogram

Plant Health Australia

0.1 cents per kilogram

Emergency Plant Pest Response

NIL

TOTAL

0.4 cents per kilogram

The melon levy and export charge rates are calculated per kilogram. The melon export 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 export charge?

The melon levy and export 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 submit 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 export charge.

As a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent you must submit a quarterly return and make a payment to the department. A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, or exporting agent can recover from the producer the amount of levy or export 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 submit a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce melons and sell more than 20 tonnes by retail sale each financial year, you must submit a return and make a payment to the department. Retail sale means melons sold by the producer direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales. Retail sale does not include selling melons to a first purchaser, exporter, selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent.

If you produce melons and sell your product through a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the amount of levy or charge they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

Exemptions from paying the melon levy and export charge

A producer who sells less than 20 tonnes of melons by retail sale in a financial year, or exports less than 20 tonnes of melons in a financial year, is exempt from paying the levy or export charge.

How do I submit a melon return?

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

To submit 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 export charge late you will incur a penalty 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 submitted to 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 submit 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 amount of levy and charge for the financial year would be less than $500. 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, the:

  1. Quantity of the melons, in kilograms
  2. Amount of levy or charge payable for the melons and
  3. Amount of levy, or charge paid by the person for the melons.

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- the 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:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999
Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991


This information is a guide only. If you are required to submit a return and make a payment to the department, it is your responsibility to remain aware of your obligations under legislation.