Independent reviews will examine the certification and inspection costs associated with plant and meat exports under the revised system of fees and charges.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the reviews would address stakeholder concerns about the revised cost of the program to exporters.
“I have listened to feedback from exporters who have concerns about the way export fees and charges are calculated,” Mr Joyce said.
“While it’s reasonable that industry pays for the services they receive, it’s also reasonable for industry to expect that the costs being recovered are legitimate costs for industry to bear – and not costs reasonably borne by government.”
Mr Joyce said the independent reviews of the plant and meat export programs would examine the department’s costs and the methodology used to determine fees and charges.
“This will give exporters more confidence in the way the government recovers the cost of export, and better visibility of how costs are calculated and passed on,” Mr Joyce said.
‘We have to make sure fees are fair and equitable’
“While full recovery of the department's export certification costs is still less than 0.8 per cent of the overall value of agriculture exports, it is important our industry isn’t hampered by costs wherever possible.
“We want to drive profits back through the farmgate, so we have to make sure fees and charges are fair, equitable, transparent and relative to the services being provided.”
The plant program review is expected to be completed by February next year and the meat program review by June.
New fees and charges for plant and meat exporters come into effect on December 1, this year.
The redesign simplifies arrangements and improves the transparency and consistency in how fees and levies are applied.
The fees and charges are outlined in the relevant Cost Recovery Implementation Statements (CRISs) at: agriculture.gov.au.