Sweet potatoes levy and charge

​​​​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your sweet potatoes return online.

The sweet potatoes levy and charge was first introduced 1 March 1996. Sweet potatoes that are produced in Australia and sold by the producer, used in the production of other goods 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 sweet potato levy.

Sweet potatoes levy and charge rate

A sweet potato means the starchy, tuberous roots of the genus and species known as Ipomoea batatas.

A process relating to sweet potatoes means an operation after harvesting that alters the sweet potatoes from their natural state. Processing sweet potatoes may include canning, bottling, freezing, cooking, pickling, roasting or dehydrating.

A process relating to sweet potatoes does not include washing, grading or packing sweet potatoes, transporting sweet potatoes in their natural state or preparing sweet potatoes for sale in their natural state.

Retail sale for sweet potatoes means a sale by a producer except to a first purchaser or a sale through a buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent.

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

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
EPPR0 per cent
Marketing1 per cent of the sale value
PHA0.015 per cent of the sale value
R&D0.485 per cent of the sale value
TOTAL 1.5 per cent of the sale value

The sweet potatoes levy and charge is calculated as a percentage of the sale value. The sweet potatoes charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the sweet potatoes 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 sweet potatoes immediately after harvest is liable to pay the sweet potatoes levy and charge.

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

If you produce sweet potatoes and sell your sweet potatoes through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent, exporting agent or processor, 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, exporting agent or processor, you must lodge a return to the department and make a payment. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy or charge paid to the department by offset or otherwise.

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

Exemptions from paying the sweet potatoes levy and charge

No exemptions apply to the sweet potatoes levy and charge.

How do I lodge a sweet potatoes 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 sweet potatoes 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 sweet potatoes 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 sweet potatoes who sells their product by retail sale must lodge an annual return to the department and make a payment.

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

As a sweet potatoes levy and charge payer you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 August in the next financial year. To be eligible for an annual return and payment, you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total quantity of sweet potatoes which you are likely to deal in, in a financial year, amounts to less than $500 of levy or charge. 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 sweet potatoes, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of each quarter in 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. For sweet potatoes except processed sweet potatoes sold at the first point of sale, the
    1. Amount paid for the sweet potatoes
    2. Amount of levy payable, and
    3. Amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary dealing in sweet potatoes, including as a first purchaser, buying agent or exporting agent your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of each quarter in 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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Amount that would have been paid for the sweet potatoes at the first point of sale for processed sweet potatoes, if the sale had occurred before processing
  4. Free on board value of the sweet potatoes immediately prior to export
  5. Amount of levy or charge payable, and
  6. Amount of levy or charge paid.

As an exporter of sweet potatoes, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out in respect of each quarter in 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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Free on board value of the sweet potatoes immediately prior to export
  4. Amount of charge payable, and
  5. Amount of charge paid.

What records do I need to keep?

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

  1. Amount paid for the sweet potatoes, except for processed potatoes, sold at the first point of sale
  2. Amount of levy payable for the sweet potatoes
  3. Amount of levy paid for the sweet potatoes, and
  4. For each person to whom sweet potatoes were sold other than by retail sale the person’s full name and business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag and the person’s ABN and if the person if a company and does not have an ABN, its ACN.

As an intermediary dealing in sweet potatoes, including as 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. Amount paid for the sweet potatoes, except for processed potatoes, bought or sold at the first point of sale
  2. Market price of the unprocessed sweet potatoes, or the value of the sweet potatoes immediately before processing, that were bought or sold
  3. Free on board value of the sweet potatoes immediately prior to export of each consignment exported
  4. Amount of levy or charge payable
  5. Amount of levy or charge paid, and
  6. For each person to whom sweet potatoes were sold other than by retail sale, and from whom sweet potatoes were bought, the person’s full name and business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag and the person’s ABN and if the person if a company and does not have an ABN, it’s ACN.

As an exporter of sweet potatoes, you must keep records for five (5) years setting out for each levy year, the:

  1. Free on board value of the sweet potatoes immediately prior to export of each consignment exported
  2. Amount of charge payable for the sweet potatoes
  3. Amount of charge paid for the sweet potatoes, and
  4. For each person to whom sweet potatoes were exported, the person’s full name and business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag.

Primary Industries Legislation

The sweet potatoes levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies 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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