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Levies

​​​The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is responsible for the collection, administration and disbursement of levies and charges on behalf of Australian agricultural industries.

Agricultural levies and charges are imposed on primary producers by government at the request of industry to collectively fund research and development (R&D), marketing, biosecurity and residue testing programs.

The levy system enables agricultural sectors to respond to industry needs, and help maintain and strengthen their position in highly competitive world markets through resource sharing and cooperation.

If you grow, produce or distribute Australian food and/or agriculture produce you may be required to pay a levy or charge on that product.

Rates and commodity details

The rates and commodity details section provides information on leviab​le commodities, including:

  • the rate of levy and/or charge
  • exemptions
  • frequency and due dates for lodging returns and payments
  • how the funds are used
  • relevant legislation for the collection and imposition of levies and charges.

If you are required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department, it is your responsibility to remain fully aware of your obligations under legislation.

Lodging returns and paying levies

If you grow, produce or distribute Australian food and/or agriculture produce you may be required to lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

The levies system is based on self-assessment. Its success is dependent upon the individual or organisation taking responsibility for lodging timely and accurate returns along with their payments.

Depending on the leviable commodity, returns can be due and payable on a monthly, quarterly, biannual or annual basis.

The department conducts inspections to ensure returns are lodged in accordance with legislation. If you have been identified as having lodged incorrect returns, you may be required to resubmit your return and/or repay any outstanding amounts which may also include late payment penalty of 2% per month.

Levy notices

You can be kept informed about the latest developments in primary industry levies through the department’s levy notices.

Levies work programme

The department is delivering a work programme with the aim of reducing complexity and improving flexibility across the existing levy system, for the benefit of the levy payer.

The focus of this work is on improving the existing levy system. It does not include any consideration of changes to matching funding arrangements or the rural research and development corporation (RDC) model.

The work includes:

  • reviewing sunsetting levies legislative instruments
  • implementing the government’s response to the Senate inquiry on levies
  • continuing work to establish levy payer registers
  • exploring some of the opportunities to improve the levy system identified by stakeholders.

The department will engage with key levies stakeholders in delivering the programme of work.

Scoping work finalised

The department engaged ACIL Allen Consulting and Minter Ellison in June 2016 to conduct consultation with stakeholders and identify opportunities to improve the agricultural levy system.

The report is available here​. ​