The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (Department) has undertaken a review of the existing fees and charges levied on plant, food, meat, dairy, fish and egg exports. The Department believes, according to their latest Position Paper, it is necessary to update current costs recovery arrangements, as they have not kept pace with changes to the Department’s business operating model for biosecurity and export certification activities. They also state that the redesign will simplify the fee structure and ensure the cost recovery process is more ‘equitable.’  The redesigned levies came into effect as of 1 December 2015.


Plant exports are currently regulated under the
Export Control Act 1982 (Cth)and grain and horticulture products captured by the new charges include the following: barley, canola, chickpeas, dried field peas, faba beans, lentils, mung beans, oats, nuts, sorghum, soybeans, whole vetch, cotton, wheat, fodder, straw products, timber products, tissue products, and any seeds or grain not previously listed.

The Department has issued the 2015-2016 Draft Charging Guidelines, and have suggested the following new charges for Plant Export Certification registration and establishment.


Charge Title

Type

Unit

Legislated Rate

Application to register

Levy

Per initial establishment application

$600

Establishment registration – simple

An establishment that exports non bulk grain and other plant products such as timber.

Levy

Annual

$3,000

Establishment registration – complex

An establishment that loads large unpackaged qualities of bulk grain directly into a vessel for export.

Levy

Annual

$6,000

Organic certifying organisation

Levy

Annual

$7,500

 

They have also introduced the following tonnage levies. The tonnage levy will be applied against the quantity recorded on the export permit.

 Charge title

 Type

 2015-2016

 2016-2017

 2017-2018

 2018-2019

 Unit

Export volume – grain and related products rate

 Levy

 $0.05

$0.14

 $0.11

 $0.11

 Per tonne (part thereof)

Export volume – non protocol rate

 Levy

 $0.95

$0.85

 $0.65

 $0.65

 Per tonne (part thereof)

Export volume – protocol rate

 Levy

 $1.90

$1.70

 $1.30

 $1.30

 Per tonne (part thereof)

 

The Draft guidelines have been followed by a recent ABARES report assessing the effect of Australia’s cost recovery arrangements for export certification on Australian agriculture. The report considered the beef, wool, dairy, coarse grain, seafood and live cattle export markets. In a brief snapshot of the complete report, found here,  ABARES created a ‘partial equilibrium model,’ which demonstrated the effect of cost recovery on producer’s exporting costs and on how domestic and international consumers respond to the change in costs. Export certification costs for wheat were 0.56% of the value of wheat exports. In comparison, the transport export costs for grain, from New South Wales to Japan, were 40.5% of the total farm-gate value.

The Report concluded that full cost recovery would have a very modest impact on the value of the export markets, that is, less than 1 percent for the commodities considered by the report, which included beef, wool, dairy, coarse grain, seafood and live cattle exports. The Report also noted that Australia’s biggest export competitors, the United States, Chile and Canada, have, or are moving towards, full cost recovery of export certification services.

Meanwhile, ABARES has predicted that lower exports are to be expected from Canada and the European Union in 2015/2016, while the Black Sea will increase exports, after growing one of their largest wheat crops. ABARES has also predicted the United States will increase wheat exports by 9 percent in 2015-2016. The complete ABARES Australian grains outlook for 2015-2016 can be found
here.

Author: Edwina Blight

Contact details

Melbourne

Harry Kingsley, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9888
E: harry.kingsley@holdingredlich.com

Sydney

Geoff Farnsworth, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0416
E:  geoff.farnsworth@holdingredlich.com

Brisbane
Ron Eames, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0629
E: ron.eames@holdingredlich.com

Disclaimer

The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources.  

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