Cattle export levy information

​​​​​Important—You can lodge your Cattle and Livestock (Producers) Export Charge return online.

Why is there a producers export charge on cattle and livestock?

The Australian Government introduces levies and export charges at the request of industry. These levies variously fund research and development, marketing, residue testing, plant and animal biosecurity programs and emergency responses for industry.

The cattle and livestock (producers) export charge funds Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) research and development (R&D) and marketing, Animal Health Australia (AHA) programs and National Residue Survey (NRS) testing. The charge applies to cattle and livestock exported from Australia. To find out more, visit Meat & Livestock Australia, Animal Health Australia and National Residue Survey.

What is the export charge payable on?

Export charge is payable on livestock or cattle:

  1. exported from Australia where levy has not previously been paid in respect of the animals being exported; and
  2. on export by an exporter where livestock and cattle were purchased by the exporter and held for longer than a determined period* after the purchase and before the export (and is payable by the owner of the livestock or cattle at the time of export).

* 60 days cattle, 30 days sheep, lambs and goats.

Who pays the export charge? Who submits returns?

The producer, defined as the person who owned the livestock or cattle immediately before the export from Australia must pay the export charge and submit return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies.

If livestock or cattle are exported through an exporting agent, the agent is liable to pay the charge on behalf of the producer and submit the charge and return forms to the Department of Agriculture - Levies. The exporting agent can recover the amount of levy paid from the producer, by offset or otherwise.

Download a return form or contact your Department of Agricult​ure - Levies state office.

What is the export charge rate on cattle and livestock?

Cattle (Producers) Export Charge:

  • cattle (grass fed): $5.00 per head
  • lot-fed cattle (grain fed): $5.00 per head
  • bobby calves: $0.90 per head.

Livestock (Producers) Export Charge:

Where there is a defined sale price:

  • sheep: 2% of sale price (to a maximum of 20 cents per head)
  • lambs: 2% of sale price (to a maximum of $1.50 per head)
  • goats: 37.7 cents per head.

Where there is no defined sale price:

  • sheep: 20 cents per head
  • lambs: 80 cents per head
  • goats: 37.7 cents per head.

No levy is payable unless a sheep or lamb is sold for $5.00 or more.

See 'General information and definitions' for details on lot-fed cattle and bobby calves.

Rates are current as at 1 October 2013.

Are there any exemptions from this export charge?

Charge is not payable on the export of dairy cattle for dairying purposes.

When is the payment due?

Monthly returns

The return together with payment must be submitted to the Department of Agriculture - Levies within 28 days after the end of the month in which the cattle and/or livestock were exported. For example, the return and payment for the month of July are due on or before 28 August.

General information and definitions

* A levy year for cattle and livestock is a financial year—that is, 1 July to 30 June.

# Lot-fed cattle are cattle that are, or are likely to be, used in the production of grain-fed beef. To meet the feeding requirements of the AUS-MEAT minimum standards, grain-fed cattle must be fed for a minimum of 70 days (heifers 60 days) and for not less than 50 days of that on a nutritionally balanced ration of a recognised high energy feed of which grain is the highest single component. Rations must have an average metabolisable energy (ME) content greater than 10 megajoules (MJ) per kilogram of dry matter.

# Bobby calves are bovine animals other than buffalo or lot-fed cattle that:

  • have been slaughtered and the dressed weight of each carcase did not or does not exceed 40 kilograms, or
  • have not been slaughtered and, at the time of the leviable transaction, the live weight did not or does not exceed 80 kilograms.

What legislation covers this export charge?

A legislative framework of imposition, collection and disbursement legislation authorises and supports Australia’s primary industries levies system. These are the relevant Acts:

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999
National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998
Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991

Please note that, under section 27 of the Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991, an authorised Department of Agriculture officer can release the names and addresses of levy payers to industry bodies and levy recipient organisations.

Download the legislation from ComLaw or call CanPrint Information Services on 02 6293 8383 to purchase a copy.

This information sheet is a guide only and does not substitute for the relevant legislation.