Why is there a levy on pasture seeds?
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 pasture seed levy applies to certified* pasture seeds to fund Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) pasture seed research and development (R&D). To find out more, visit RIRDC.
What is the levy payable on?
Levy is payable on the seed of plants of the specified cultivars* when harvested in Australia and certified under:
- an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) seed scheme for the varietal certification of seed moving in international trade
- the Australian Seed Certification Scheme
- a seed certification scheme approved under the Tasmanian Seeds Act 1985
- the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies seed certification program, or
- another certification scheme.
* The leviable pasture seeds are defined as specified cultivars and set out in categories:
- category 1, medics
- category 2, lucernes
- category 3, clovers
- category 4, subclovers
- category 5, serradella
Who pays the levy? Who submits returns?
The producer (the person who owns the pasture seeds immediately after harvest) is liable to pay the levy.
The certifying authority collects levy from the producer and pays it and submits return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
Download a return form or contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office.
What is the levy rate on pasture seeds?
The levy rates are calculated per tonne:
Category 1 (medics) $10 per tonne
Medicago littoralis (Strand medic)
Medicago murex (Murex medic)
Medicago polymorpha (Burr medic)
Medicago rugosa (Gama medic)
Medicago scutellat (Snail medic)
Medicago sphaerocarpos (Sphere medic)
Medicago tornata (Disc medic)
Medicago truncatula (Barrel medic)
Category 2 (lucernes) $15 per tonne
Medicago sativa (Lucerne)
Category 3 (clovers) $15 per tonne
Trifolium alexandrium (Berseem clover)
Trifolium balansae (Balansa clover)
Trifolium fragiferum (Strawberry clover)
Trifolium hirtum (Rose clover)
Trifolium pratense (Red clover)
Trifolium repens (White clover)
Trifolium resupinatum (Persian clover)
Trifolium semipilosum (Kenya white clover)
Trifolium vesiculosum (Arrow leaf clover)
Category 4 (subclovers) $11 per tonne
Trifolium subterraneum (Subterranean clover)
Category 5 (serradella) $10 per tonne
Ornithopus compressus (Yellow serradella)
Levy rates are current as at 1 October 2013.
Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Are there any exemptions from this levy?
No exemptions apply.
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 per tonne.
The levy rate is set by a schedule to the imposition act that provides for specific certified seed and is varied by amendment to the schedule. The minister may amend the schedule by declaration to provide for different leviable pasture seeds and/or levy rates.
Contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office for a copy of the schedule.
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
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 www.comlaw.gov.au 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.