IMPORTANT—You can lodge your horticulture return online.
Why is there a levy/export charge on turf?
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 turf levy and export charge funds Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited (HIAL) turf research and development (R&D) and marketing. To find out more, visit Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited.
What is the levy/export charge payable on?
Levy is payable on turf produced in Australia and sold by the producer.
Export charge is payable on turf 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 turf - the person who owns the product immediately after it is harvested - is liable to pay the levy and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.
The producer—that is, the person who exports the product from Australia and who owns the product at the time of export—is liable for the export charge. The producer must pay the charge and submit all 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/export charge rate on turf?
Domestic: 1.5 cents per square metre of turf
Export: 1.5 cents per square metre of turf.
Australian Government levies exclude GST.
Rates are current as at 1 October 2013.
Are there any exemptions from this levy/export charge?
Levy and export charge are not payable if the producer of the turf deals in—that is, sells or exports or both—no more than 20 000 square metres of turf ($300 levy equivalent) in a levy year*.
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.
A person 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 payable in the levy year will be less than $750.
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on or before 28 August in the next levy (financial) year. For example, the return and payment for the 2012-13 levy (financial) year* are due on or before 28 August 2013.
Please contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office for more information on whether you qualify to submit returns annually.
General information and definitions
The levy/export charge rates are calculated on a number of cents per square metre of turf sold or exported.
*A levy year is a financial year—that is, 1 July to 30 June.
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 (Excise) Levies Act 1999
Primary Industries (Customs) Charges 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 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.