Bills Digest No. 123 2002-03
National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill
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National Residue Survey (Customs)
Levy Amendment Bill 2002
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Agriculture, Fisheries and
The day on which the
Act receives Royal Assent
To change the
basis on which the national residue survey customs levy on apples
and pears is imposed from a box basis to a weight basis.
National Residue Survey is a program that monitors chemical
residues in food and fibre produced in Australia. Residue
monitoring is part of the national strategy that seeks to minimise
unwanted residues and environmental contaminants in food for health
and other reasons. Monitoring activities are currently limited to
chemical residues in raw food commodities. The Residues and
Standards Branch in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Forestry Australia implements the program.
The Survey is funded by levies on the
participating industries under the National
Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 (the Act), the National
Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998, and the National
Residue Survey Administration Act 1992. For example, in the
case of apples and pears, the customs levy is imposed on a 'box' as
defined in clause 1 of Schedule 4 of the Act, while clause 4 of
Schedule 4 specifies the levy rates.
According to the Minister's second reading
speech, the main purpose of the Bill is to change the basis on
which the levy on apples and pears is imposed from a box to a
weight (kilogram) basis to accord with industry practice. The
decision to make the change is in response to representations from
the Australian Apple and Pear Growers Association (now known as
Apple and Pear Australia
The proposed amendments would do three main
- repeal the definition of 'box'
- replace the box rates with per kilogram rates, and
- abolish the distinction between 'operative' and 'maximum'
- there are currently two rates for each of apples and pears,
namely, the operative rate of 1 cent per box and the maximum rate
of 1.1 cents per box.
Item 1 of Schedule
1 would amend clause 1 of Schedule 4 of the Act to repeal
the definition of 'box'.
Items 2 and 4
respectively change the operative rate for apples and pears from
one cent a box to 0.06 cents a kilogram.
Items 3 and 5
respectively change the maximum rate for apples and pears from one
cent a box to 0.06 cents a kilogram.
Item 6 provides for the
amendments to apply to exports on or after the first day of the
month immediately after the month when the proposed amendments come
There is no explanation of why the Bill
abolishes the distinction between operative and maximum rates. Nor
is there any explanation of how the proposed rates were derived. In
particular, it is not clear whether the new rate of 0.06 cents a
kilogram is equivalent to the operative or maximum rates. However,
as the Minister stated in his second reading speech, the Bill
should make the calculation of the levy easier.
See also the companion Bills Digest for the
National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002.
14 March 2003
Bills Digest Service
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