Biosecurity Imports Levy

​​Biosecurity risks are changing. Import volumes are increasing and pathways are becoming faster and more complex.

The Australian Government is proposing to implement a levy on imports by sea. The levy will invest in a stronger biosecurity system.

This Biosecurity Imports Levy was a recommendation of the 2017 Independent review of the capacity of Australia’s biosecurity system. The review found that resourcing the biosecurity system is a challenge and governments cannot do it alone.

The levy will 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 levy is estimated to raise $305 million over the three financial years from 2019–20.

Stakeholder consultation

We have been consulting with affected stakeholders about how the levy should be implemented.

In response to feedback, we have explored potential changes to the levy’s scope, design and implementation.

Report on the Biosecurity Imports Levy

Independent consultant Pegasus Economics was engaged to:

  • gather views of affected stakeholders
  • identify points of agreement
  • outline potential adjustments on the proposed levy.
Read Pegasus Economics’Report on the Biosecurity Imports Levy.

Industry steering committee

On 24 February 2019, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, announced the establishment of an industry steering committee, independent of the department.

The terms of reference for the committee require it to consult broadly.

Your feedback will help inform the committee’s recommendations for the levy scope and design.

Learn more about the industry steering committee.

About the levy

In the 2018-19 Budget it was announced the levy would start from 1 July 2019 and would be:

  • imposed on all containerised and non-containerised cargo imported to Australia by sea, except for military equipment
  • imposed on stevedores
  • 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 will contribute to onshore surveillance, diagnostic, data analytics, research and adoption of new technology. This will help us to detect, identify and respond to exotic pest and diseases earlier. It will ensure we can move people and goods into Australia safely and more efficiently.

In the 2019-20 Budget, the levy starting date was revised to 1 September 2019 to accommodate the work of the industry steering committee.

More information

For all enquiries on the Biosecurity Imports Levy, please email Levies.

Read the frequently asked questions​ about the Biosecurity Imports Levy.