Why is there a levy/export charge on wool?
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 wool levy and export charge funds Australian Wool Innovation Pty Ltd (AWI) research and development (R&D). The Department of Agriculture - Levies collects the levies and distributes them to AWI. It also distributes the Australian Government’s matching R&D contributions. To find out more, visit Australian Wool Innovation Pty Ltd.
What is the levy/export charge payable on?
Levy is payable on all shorn wool produced in Australia and sold or used in the production of other goods.
Shorn wool is sheep or lamb wool that:
- has been obtained by shearing
- has not undergone any process other than skirting, classing or baling.
Export charge is payable on wool produced in Australia 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 (the person who owns the wool immediately after it is removed from the sheep or lamb) is liable to pay the levy.
The intermediary—that is, the first purchaser, wool broker or processor—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.
The producer—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).
Download a return form or contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office.
What is the levy/export charge rate on wool?
The levy and export charge rate for all wool transactions is:
Shorn wool: 2% of the sale price.
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:
- wool obtained by bioclip shearing
- fellmongered wool.
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 month in which the transaction took place. For example, the return and payment for the month of July are due on or before 28 August.
A person (other than a person who exports wool) may apply through the Department of Agriculture - Levies for an exemption from the requirement to lodge monthly returns for a levy (financial) year* if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the levy/export charge payable will be less than $500. If the Department of Agriculture - Levies grants an exemption, they must lodge returns annually.
The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies on or before 28 August in the next levy year*. For example, the return and payment for the 2012-13 levy year* are due on or before 28 August 2013.
Please contact your Department of Agriculture - Levies state office to check whether you qualify to lodge returns annually.
General information and definitions
The levy/export charge is applied at the first point of sale, process or upon export of shorn wool, and the sale price is to be net of handling, storage and transport costs.
*A levy year for wool 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.