Why is there a levy on oilseeds?
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 oilseeds levy funds Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) oilseeds research and development (R&D), Plant Health Australia (PHA) plant health and emergency plant pest response (EPPR) programs and National Residue Survey (NRS) testing. To find out more, visit the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Plant Health Australia website and the Department of Agriculture - National Residue Survey website.
What is the levy payable on?
Levy is payable on oilseeds produced in Australia.
These oilseeds are leviable: sunflower seed (all varieties), safflower seed, linseed (including linola), rape seed (including canola) and soy bean.
Who pays the levy? Who submits returns?
The producer (the person who owns the oilseeds immediately after harvest) is liable to pay the levy.
If the producer sells their produce through an intermediary, such as a purchaser, selling agent, merchant or processor, 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 grows and uses their own oilseeds commercially—for example, in feedlotters and piggeries—they must pay levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies as they use the grain.
If the producer processes and sells their own grain—for example, if they are a registered or certified seed grower—they must pay levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies as the grain is used. See 'seed grain' under 'General information and definitions'.
Download a return form or contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office.
What is the levy rate on oilseeds?
The levy rates are calculated as a percentage of ‘farm gate value’ (for example, sale value less storage, handling, freight and ‘free on board’ costs):
- sunflower: 1.02% of farm gate value of the grain
- safflower: 1.02% of farm gate value of the grain
- linseed (including linola): 1.02% of farm gate value of the grain
- rape seed (including canola): 1.02% of farm gate value of the grain
- soy bean: 1.02% of farm gate value of the grain.
Levy rates are current as at 1 October 2013.
Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Are there any exemptions from this levy?
Levy is not payable if:
- oilseeds are processed# by or for the producer, where the producer uses the grain or all of the products and by-products of the processing for domestic and not commercial purposes
- oilseeds are delivered for storage on behalf of the producer and no person is liable to pay the producer for the grain
- a producer delivers oilseeds to a particular person and the total amount of levy imposed in a levy (financial) year would be less than $25.00.
When is the payment due?
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - 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.
General information and definitions
The levy rate is calculated as a percentage of ‘farm gate value’—that is, sale value less storage, handling, freight and ‘free on board’ costs.
# 'Processing' does not mean:
- treatment with a pesticide or other preserving agent before or during storage
- grading solely for seed purposes.
- Grain produced and sold as certified or registered seed grain is leviable. The farm gate value of this grain is determined as if it were not seed grain for sowing and had been sold at the market price of the day the grain was delivered. Check the rural press for sales prices in different locations.
- The industry representative body advised that, where a producer retains seed on farm (including seed that is cleaned, graded and pickled) for their own use as seed for sowing, the seed will not attract a levy.
The 'sale value' is:
- the amount of each pool payment, or
- in any other case, the sale price of the grain
- from sales invoices or other documents, or
- in the absence of documents the ruling price when the grain was sold.
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
- National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998
Please note that, under section 27 of the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991, an authorised Department of Agriculture 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.