Why is there a levy/export charge on potatoes?
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 potato levy and export charge levy funds
Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL) potato research and development (R&D) and Plant Health Australia (PHA) programs. To find out more, visit
Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited and Plant Health Australia websites.
What is the levy/export charge payable on?
There are two separate potato levies. Levy is payable on:
- unprocessed potatoes produced and sold in Australia
- processing potatoes defined as unprocessed potatoes and used in the production of other goods, except potatoes processed at a processing establishment if the business of the establishment is not wholly or substantially the processing of horticultural products.
Export charge is payable on unprocessed potatoes produced in and exported from Australia. No export charge is payable if domestic levy has already been paid on the product to be exported.
Who pays the levy/export charge? Who submits returns?
The producer of the unprocessed potatoes (the person who owns the potatoes immediately after harvest) is liable to pay the levy.
The owner of the processing potatoes (the person who owns the potatoes when processing begins) is liable to pay the levy.
If the producer sells their produce through an intermediary, such as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or merchant, 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 sells unprocessed potatoes by retail sale—for example, direct to the consumer at roadside stalls or through shed or farm gate sales—they must pay levy and submit all return forms directly to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
If the producer exports unprocessed potatoes—that is, the person who owns the product at the time of export from Australia—is liable to pay the export charge and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
If the producer exports the product through an exporting agent, the agent must pay the charge and submit all return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on behalf of the producer. The agent can recover from the producer the amount of charge paid from the producer (the owner of the product at the time of export).
return form or contact your
Department of Agriculture - Levies state office.
What is the levy/export charge rate on potatoes?
Unprocessed potatoes (levy/export charge): 50 cents per tonne
Processed potatoes (levy): 50 cents per tonne.
Levy rates are current as at 1 October 2013.
Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?
Levy is not payable on:
- unprocessed potatoes sold by a primary producer by retail sale# if the total quantity sold in the levy year* does not exceed 100 tonnes
- unprocessed potatoes sold for stockfeed
- processing potatoes used by a processor in a levy year* if the total quantity used does not exceed 100 tonnes.
Export charge is not payable on potatoes exported by an exporter if the total quantity of the potatoes exported in the levy year* does not exceed 100 tonnes.
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 31 March—that is, for the months of January, February and March—are due on or before 28 April.
Producers who sell unprocessed potatoes by retail sale may submit annual rather than quarterly returns.
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on or before 28 February in the next levy year. For example, the return and payment for the 2012 levy (calendar) year* are due on or before 28 February 2013.
A first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporter may apply through the Department of Agriculture - Levies for an exemption from the requirement to lodge quarterly returns for a levy year* if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the levy/export charge quantity will be less than 1000 tonnes. If the Department of Agriculture - Levies grants an exemption, they must lodge returns annually.
Please contact your
Department of Agriculture - Levies state office for an application for exemption form or for more information on annual returns.
General information and definitions
The levy/export charge rates are calculated per tonne.
#A 'retail sale' is a sale by the producer of the potatoes direct to the consumer—that is, at a roadside stall or by shed or farm gate sale—and not to a first purchaser or through an agent.
*A levy year for potatoes is a calendar year—that is, 1 January to 31 December.
What legislation covers this levy/export charge?
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 Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991
Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999
Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
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 +61 2 6293 8383 to purchase a copy.
This information sheet is a guide only and does not substitute for the relevant legislation.