Biosecurity Protection Levy
We are consulting on the design of the new Biosecurity Protection Levy.
We want industry, including levy collection agents, to have their say on the design. Please participate in the consultation and stay informed.
A strong and sustainably funded biosecurity system is critical to protecting Australia’s economy, environment and way of life.
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility, including contributing to the cost of safeguarding Australia from potentially devastating pest and disease outbreaks.
Australia has never had sustainable and predictable biosecurity funding. From 1 July 2023, the government increased cost recovery of biosecurity activities for importers, with an average price increase of 28% across biosecurity fee and charge points. This increase more fully reflects actual costs for the first time since 2015.
In addition to the increased cost recovery of biosecurity activities, new funding arrangements announced in the 2023-24 Federal Budget included permanently increased funding for the Commonwealth biosecurity system. In addition to increased funding, the Budget also introduced a fairer system to pay for biosecurity, that shares the cost between taxpayers, importers, international travellers and producers.
From 1 July 2024:
- 44% of the biosecurity system cost will be covered by ongoing taxpayer funding
- Importers will pay 48%
- Producers will contribute 6%
- Australia Post will pay 2%
Strengthening our biosecurity system
We need a biosecurity system that keeps pace with today’s needs and prepares for the threats of tomorrow. A strong, smart and sustainably funded system will help us manage growing biosecurity risks and help safeguard Australia’s agriculture, fishery and forestry industries, our export trade and our environment.
Efficient biosecurity operations are critical to meet industries’ needs, otherwise it slows down trade and supply chains, adding cost to industry and consumers.
A strengthened biosecurity system not only secures better economic outcomes for producers and related industries, but it also protects Australia’s environment, biodiversity and our people.
This is not set and forget for Australia’s biosecurity system, but the start of a stronger, sustainably funded biosecurity system. The Australian Government will work with industry to review and consider further reform to continue to deliver a strong and equitably funded biosecurity system that is ready for future challenges.
Immediate and longer-term improvements will be made to help minimise delays and costs at the border and to show where funding is being spent. These include:
- $145.2 million over three years from 2023-24 to deliver the Simplified Targeting and Enhanced Processing System - a modern, integrated digital system that to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of biosecurity clearance for cargo. Making our systems as efficient as possible will free up our biosecurity workers for other jobs and reduce congestion at the border.
- Annual publication of biosecurity income and expenditure to provide transparency and accountability.
- Working with industry to consider options for greater effectiveness and efficiency to meet emerging threats, and to consider further reform to funding arrangements.
Biosecurity Protection Levy
Feedback from consultation on the development of long-term sustainable funding model for biosecurity was clear – a strong biosecurity system is of national significance and should be funded by risk creators as well as beneficiaries. The biosecurity protection levy will not commence until 1 July 2024 to ensure there is time to plan and negotiate new arrangements.
From 1 July 2024, primary producers will contribute to the cost of Commonwealth biosecurity activities through the introduction of a new Biosecurity Protection Levy.
The Biosecurity Protection Levy will apply to agricultural, fisheries and forestry producers, whether growing for the domestic market or exporting goods overseas. It is intended to collect around $50 million per year which will be allocated to maintain Commonwealth biosecurity policy, operational and technical functions on a sustainable basis. The rate is currently subject to consultation, however it is proposed to be equivalent to 10% of the statutory levy rate in 2020-21 or a comparable metric where such levies were not in place.
This would mean, for example, the Biosecurity Protection Levy rate would be equivalent to:
Livestock and animal product
- 50 cents per head for grass fed cattle (cattle and livestock transactions levy)
- 0.06 cents per kg of beef production (beef production levy)
- 0.09523 cents per kg of cattle live export liveweight (cattle and livestock exporters charge)
- 0.15 per cent of the sale value of wool (wool levy and charge)
- 0.46 cents per kg of honey (honey levy and charge)
- 0.102 per cent of the sale value of wheat (wheat levy)
- 0.29263 cents per kg of milk fat (dairy produce levy)
- 0.71299 cents per kg of protein (dairy produce levy)
- 3.25 cents per chick (eggs (promotion) levy)
- 0.1895 cents per kg of apples (apple levy)
- 55 cents per tonne of processing apples (processing apple levy)
- 27.5 cents per tonne of juicing apples (juicing apple levy)
- 0.051 per cent of the sale value of vegetables (vegetable levy)
- 22.5 cents per 227kg bale of cotton (cotton levy)
- 40.6 cents per tonne of seed cotton (seed cotton levy and charge)
- 2.9 cents per cubic metre of hardwood sawlog (forest industries products levy and charge)
- 0.35 cents per cubic metre of export woodchip hardwood pulp log (forest industries products levy and charge)
The Biosecurity Protection Levy is separate to existing industry-led agricultural levies that support research and development, marketing, residue testing, and Animal Health Australia and Plant Health Australia contributions.
We are currently consulting with producers, levy collection agents and interested stakeholders on the design of the Biosecurity Protection Levy and would like your feedback on how the new levy system will work.
Visit Have Your Say to participate in the consultation and to stay informed.
Biosecurity Cost Recovery arrangements for low value goods
From 1 July 2024, a new cost recovery charge will be introduced for goods imported by air or sea, valued at up to $1000. The charge will cover the cost of biosecurity clearance on imported goods not currently subject to cost recovery. Currently taxpayers are paying this cost.
This arrangement is expected to raise $27 million annually. The charge is likely to be in the order of 40 cents per parcel.
We will be engaging with affected industry parties over the next 2 months on implementation arrangements for this charge. A draft cost recovery implementation statement will also be prepared.
Transparency and accountability
As part of the 2023-24 Federal Budget the Australian Government also committed to increased transparency and accountability for biosecurity funding, expenditure and activities through annual reporting of biosecurity income and expenditure.
Reform of border fees and charges
Work is also being undertaken to ensure current fees and charges applied to importers and other key system participants at the border meet the actual costs associated with managing biosecurity risk, and are fit for purpose.
We will work with industries to provide advice on potential changes to these fees and charges and examine other options to address the biosecurity risk created by imports, including an import levy. Any new levy would need to be consistent with Australia’s international trade law obligations.
To find out more about Sustainable Biosecurity Funding, email: email@example.com