Stone fruit levy and charge

​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your stone fruit return o​nline.

The stone fruit levy was first introduced 1 August 1995. Stone fruit 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 stone fruit levy.

Stone fruit levy and charge rates

Stone fruit means plums, apricots, nectarines and peaches.

Retail sale means a sale of stone fruit by the grower except a sale to a first purchaser or through a selling agent, buying agent or exporting agent.

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

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
EPPR$0.00
Marketing0.441 cents per kilogram
PHA0.02 cents per kilogram
R&D0.539 cents per kilogram
TOTAL 1 cent per kilogram

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

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

The producer, the person who owns the stone fruit immediately after harvest is liable to pay the levy.

If you produce stone fruit and sell your stone fruit by retail sale you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

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

If you are 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 paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

If you export stone fruit—that is, you own the stone fruit at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the stone fruit levy and charge

The stone fruit levy is not payable on stone fruit that is sold by a producer directly to a processor for processing.

How do I lodge a stone fruit 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 stone fruit levy and charge 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 stone fruit 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

A producer of stone fruit who sold stone fruit by retail sale in a financial year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year.

Example: the 2017 annual financial year return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2018.

As a stone fruit levy and charge payer you may be eligible for an annual return and payment. To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of stone fruit which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year, would be less than $500 of levy. 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 my return?

As a producer of stone fruit, your return for a levy year must set out in respect of that levy year:

  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, in kilograms, of stone fruit sold by retail sale
  4. Amount of levy payable, and
  5. Amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of stone fruit, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of that quarter or levy year:

  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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity, in kilograms, of stone fruit bought, sold or exported
  4. Amount of levy and charge payable, and
  5. Amount of levy and charge paid.

As an exporter of stone fruit, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of that quarter or levy year:

  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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity, in kilograms, of stone fruit exported
  4. Amount of charge payable, and
  5. Amount of levy and charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of stone fruit, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity, in kilograms, of stone fruit sold by retail sale
  2. Amount of levy payable
  3. Amount of levy paid

As an intermediary of stone fruit, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each levy year, the:

  1. Quantity, in kilograms, of stone fruit bought, sold or exported
  2. Amount of levy or charge payable for each of those quantities
  3. Amount of levy or charge paid for each of those quantities
  4. For each person to whom stone fruit was sold or from whom stone fruit was bought, the total quantity sold or bought and the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag, and
    3. ABN, if any, and if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.
  5. For each person to whom stone fruit was exported the person’s name and business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag.

Primary Industries Legislation

The stone fruit levy and 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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