Biosecurity risks are changing as import volumes increase and pathways become faster and more
complex. The government is proposing to implement a levy on imports by sea to invest in a stronger,
fit-for-purpose biosecurity system.
This Biosecurity Imports Levy (levy) was a recommendation of the 2017 Independent review of
the capacity of Australia’s biosecurity system and its underpinning intergovernmental agreement (the review). The review found that resourcing the biosecurity system is a challenge and
governments cannot do it alone.
The levy would contribute to the government’s investment in measures for the benefit of all
Australians. It ensures sustainable funding of the activities that help protect Australia’s:
- unique environment and its $6 trillion in environmental assets
- $63 billion agricultural industry
- inbound tourism sector worth $38 billion.
The Biosecurity Imports Levy is estimated to raise $325 million over the three financial years
from 2019–20, an average of $108 million per year.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will consult and work with affected
stakeholders such as cargo importers and stevedores over the next 12 months on the
design of the legislation and transitional arrangements. This includes implementing processes and
system upgrades to support collection, remittance and reconciliation of levy payments.
About the levy
The levy would start from 1 July 2019 and would be:
- Introduced on sea containers and non-containerised imports.
- Imposed on stevedores for goods that are unloaded and cleared under the Biosecurity Act 2015.
- Set at $10.02 per incoming twenty-foot equivalent sea container and $1 per tonne for non-containerised cargo.
- One per cent of the current cost of importing a container to Australia.
The levy would contribute to onshore surveillance, diagnostic, data analytics, research and adoption of new technology to help us to detect, identify and respond to exotic pest and diseases earlier and ensure we can move people and goods into Australia safely and more efficiently.
More information on the levy
For all enquiries on the Biosecurity Imports Levy, please email Levies.