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Government slashes fees and charges for small exporters

Government slashes fees and charges for small exporters article image

The federal government will provide an additional $15 million in funding over the next four years to help small exporters deal with the cost of export fees and charges.  

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said small exporters in the meat, dairy, fish, horticulture and grain industries may be eligible for the rebate.  

A rebate will be available in 2014-15 to cover 50 per cent of export registration charges up to a maximum of $5000.  

For the remainder of 2014-15, the export sectors will work with the Department of Agriculture to review the export certification fees and charges, through existing Government-industry consultative committees.  

Mr Joyce said the committees would report on the sustainability and equity of fees and charges.  

They will recommend a new fees schedule to begin 2015 – a fee schedule that everyone can agree on and that doesn’t disproportionately discriminate against new or small exporters.  

Mr Joyce expects the industry committees to recommend projects that will help improve market access for small exporters in their field.  

"For example, the export meat sector may wish to fund research into new product treatments that are less costly in enabling their product to meet importing country requirements," he said.  

"I'm looking for projects that will support small exporters and help them remain competitive and profitable in the international marketplace.  

"Australia's produce is world-class and we need to support our small exporters and assist them through the export process."  

Drought relief package  

However, the government is scrapping another program aimed at capitalising on Brand Australia, cutting the Leveraging Australia's Brand For Food Program, worth $1.1 million over three years from 2014-15.  

The Budget also includes $8 million over four years to “support the development of tools for improving access to the chemicals identified as high priority and enhancing existing legislative and administrative arrangements to facilitate access.”  

There's no change to the $320 million drought relief package that the Federal Government announced in February.  

The government is also ending the Live Animal Exports (Improved Animal Welfare Program) one year early, saving $2.3 million in 2014-15.  

The program was originally allocated $10 million over four years from 2011 by the previous government. It was viewed as aid funding, aiming at improving animal welfare outcomes in eligible countries that import Australian livestock.

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