Tea tree oil levy and charge

​​​​​​​IMPORTANT—you can lodge your tea tree oil return online.


The tea tree oil levy and charge was first introduced 1 July 2017. Tea tree oil that is produced and sold in Australia by a producer or that is exported will attract a levy or charge. The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, now trading as AgriFutures Australia, and Plant Health Australia (PHA) are responsible for the expenditure of the tea tree oil levy and charge.

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Tea tree oil levy and charge rates

Tea tree oil means oil distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia in accordance with Australian Standard AS 2782-1997.

Retail sale means a sale of tea tree oil in Australia by a producer except a sale to a first purchaser or through a buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent.

The tea tree oil levy and charge rate comprises Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) and research and development (R&D), as shown in the table below:

Levy and charge componentLevy and charge rate
R&D$0.25 cents per kilogram
EPPR$0.00 cents per kilogram
TOTAL $0.25 cents per kilogram

The tea tree oil levy and charge rate is calculated per kilogram. The charge on tea tree oil is not payable if the levy has already been applied to the tea tree oil prior to export. GST is not applied to Australian Government levies and charges.

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

A producer of tea tree oil, the person who owns the tea tree oil immediately before it is first sold or exported from Australia, is liable to pay the levy or charge.

If you produce tea tree oil and you sell your tea tree oil by retail sale and the total amount of levy is equal to or greater than $25 in a financial year, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

If you produce tea tree oil and sell your tea tree oil through an intermediary, including a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, the amount of levy 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 exporting agent, you must lodge a return and make a payment to the department. You can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid to the department, by offset or otherwise.

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

Exemptions from paying the tea tree oil levy and charge

A producer of tea tree oil is not liable to pay the tea tree oil levy if the tea tree oil is sold by retail sale by the producer and the total amount of levy the producer would be liable to pay in a financial year would be less than $25.

How do I lodge a tea tree oil 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 tea tree oil 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 tea tree oil levy and charge is based on a financial year.

Half-year returns and payments

A producer who sells leviable tea tree oil by retail sale and also exports tea tree oil in a half-year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

A person who buys, sells or exports tea tree oil in a half-year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

A person who only exporters tea tree oil in a half-year must lodge a return and make a payment to the department.

Half-year returns and payments must be lodged with the department within 28 days of the end of the half-yearly period in which the tea tree oil was sold.

Example: the half-year returns and payments are due on or before:

  • 28 July for tea tree oil sold between 1 January and 30 June (June period)
  • 28 January for tea tree oil sold between 1 July and 31 December (December period)

Annual return and payment

A producer of tea tree oil must lodge an annual return if in a financial year the producer only sells their tea tree oil by retail sale.

Example: the 2017-18 annual financial year return and payment must be made on or before 28 August 2018.

What must be included in my return?

As a producer of tea tree oil, your return for a half-year or levy year must set out for that half-year or 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 tea tree oil, in kilograms, sold by retail sale
  4. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, exported
  5. Amount of levy or charge payable for those quantities, and
  6. Amount of levy or charge paid for those quantities.

As an intermediary of tea tree oil, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, your return for a half-year must set out for that half-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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, purchased, sold or exported
  4. Amount of levy and export charge payable for each of those quantities, and
  5. Amount of levy and export charge paid for that quantity.

As an exporter of tea tree oil, your return for a half-year must set out for that half-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. ABN, or if you are a company the ACN
  2. Period to which the return relates
  3. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, exported
  4. Amount of export charge payable for that quantity, and
  5. Amount of export charge that has been paid for that quantity.

What records do I need to keep?

As a producer of tea tree oil, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each half-year or levy year, the:

  1. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, sold by retail sale
  2. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, exported
  3. Amount of levy or charge payable for those quantities, and
  4. Amount of levy or charge that has been paid for those quantities.

As an intermediary of tea tree oil, including as a first purchaser, buying agent, selling agent or exporting agent, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each half-year, the:

  1. Quantity of tea tree oil, in kilograms, purchased, sold or exported
  2. Amount of levy and charge payable for each of those quantities
  3. Amount of levy and charge paid for those quantities, and
  4. For each person to whom tea tree oil was exported or sold (except by retail sale) or from whom tea tree oil was purchased, the total quantity exported, sold or purchased and the persons:
    1. Full name
    2. Business or residential address, not the address of a post office box or post office bag, and
    3. ABN, if any, and if the person is a company and does not have an ABN, it’s ACN.

As an exporter of tea tree oil, you must keep records for five (5) years showing for each half-year, the:

  1. Quantity of tea tree oil exported
  2. Amount of charge payable for that quantity, and
  3. Amount of charge that has been paid for that quantity.

Primary Industries Legislation

The tea tree oil levy and charge is provided for under, the:

Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999

Primary Industries (Customs) Charges 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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