Apples levy and charge

​​​​​​​​​​​​Important—You can lodge your apples return online.

The apple levy was first introduced 1 January 1977. Apples that are produced in Australia and are sold by a producer, used by the producer in the production of goods or that are exported will attract a levy or charge. Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, the National Residue Survey (NRS) and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the apple levy and charge.

Apples levy and charge rates

Apples means a fruit of any species of the genus Malus.

The apple levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR), marketing, NRS testing, PHA membership and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Apples EPPRMarketingNRSPHAR&DTOTAL
Domestic and export
(up to 30 September 2017)
$0.001.03 cents per kilogram0.075 cents per kilogram0.02 cents per kilogram0.72 cents per kilogram 1.845 cents per kilogram
Domestic and export
(commencing 1 October 2017)
0.05 cents per kilogram 1.03 cents per kilogram0.075 cents per kilogram0.02 cents per kilogram 0.72 cents per kilogram 1.895 cents per kilogram
Juicing$0.00$2.00 per tonne10 cents per tonne-65 cents per tonne $2.75 per tonne
Processing$0.00$4.00 per tonne20 cents per tonne-$1.30 per tonne $5.50 per tonne

The apple levy and charge is calculated per kilogram except when the apples are used for juicing or processing and the levy and charge is calculated per tonne. The apple charge is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the apples prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies or charges.

Do I need to lodge a return and make a payment?

A producer, the person who own the apples immediately after harvest, is liable to pay the levy or charge.

If you produce apples and sell your apples by retail sale or you use your apples in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product, and the total quantity that you have sold or used is greater than 9,000 kilograms in a calendar year, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce apples and sell your apples through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the amount of levy or charge they pay to the department on your behalf can be recovered from you by offset or otherwise.

If you are an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or a person who exports apples, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy or charge paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

If you export apples–that is, you are the person who owns the apples at the time of export, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Exemptions from paying the apple levy and charge

A producer of apples is not liable to pay the apple levy, if the apples are sold by retail sale or used in the production of fruit juice or any other processed product and the total quantity of apples sold or used is less than 9,000 kilograms in a calendar year.

A producer of apples is not liable to pay the apple levy if the apples are used for stockfeed.

How do I lodge an apple return?

You must register with the department to receive a unique LRS number before you can lodge your first return.

To lodge your return online, access Levies Online. Alternatively, you can complete a manual horticulture return form.

Return and payment dates

IMPORTANT: If you pay your levy or charge late you will incur a penalty that is calculated daily at a compounding rate of 2 per cent of the unpaid amount each month, including any penalties you have already accrued until you have paid the outstanding amount in full.

The apple levy and charge is based on a calendar year.

Quarterly returns and payments

Quarterly returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days of the end of March, June, September and December.

Example: for the quarter ending 30 June – if you bought, sold or exported apples in the months of April, May and June – your quarterly return is due on or before 28 July.

Annual return and payment

As an apple levy and charge payer you may be eligible to lodge your return and make a payment to the department once a year, that is on or before 28 February in the next calendar year.

Example: the 2017 annual return and payment must be made on or before 28 February 2018.

To be eligible for an annual return and payment you must have reasonable grounds to believe that the total amount of levy or charge which you would be liable to pay in a calendar year would be less than $2000. You must also make an application to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If you would like to make an application please contact the department’s levies office in your state or territory.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of apples who sold or used 9,000 kilograms or more of apples, juicing apples or processing apples in a calendar year, your return for a levy year must set out for that levy year:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. Australian Business Number (ABN), or if you are a company the Australian Company Number (ACN)
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of each class of apples sold or used
  4. Amount of levy payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an intermediary of apples, including as a first purchaser, buying agent or selling agent, your return for a quarter must set out for that quarter:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of each class of apples bought sold or used
  4. Amount of levy payable for each of those quantities
  5. Total amount of levy payable, and
  6. Total amount of levy paid.

As an exporter or exporting agent of apples, your return for a quarter or levy year must set out for that quarter or levy year, the:

  1. Your personal details, including:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag
    3. Post office box or post office bag, and
    4. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of apples exported by the person; and
  4. Amount of charge payable for the apples
  5. Total amount of charge payable for the apples, and
  6. Total amount of charge paid by the person for the apples.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of apples, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter of the levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of each class of apples used or sold by retail sale
  2. Amount of levy and charge payable for each class of the apples, and
  3. Amounts of levy and charge paid by the producer for each class of apples.

As an intermediary of apples, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter of the levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of each class of apples bought from a producer
  2. Amounts of levy and charge payable for each class of apples, and
  3. Amounts of levy and charge paid for each classes of apples.

As an exporter or exporting agent of apples, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each quarter of the levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of each class of apples exported
  2. Amounts of charge payable for each class of apples, and
  3. Amounts of charge paid for each classes of apples.

Primary Industries Legislation

The apples levy and charge is provided for under the:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, and

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991.

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

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