Media Release

​Independent review to investigate export fees

2 November 2015

Independent reviews will examine the certification and inspection costs associated with plant and meat exports under the revised system of fees and charges, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, announced today.

Minister Joyce said the reviews would address stakeholder concerns about the revised cost of the programmes to exporters.

“I have listened to feedback from exporters who have concerns about the way export fees and charges are calculated,” Minister 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.

“That’s why I’m ensuring independent reviews of the plant and meat export programmes will take a closer look at the department’s costs and the methodology used to determine the 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.

“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.

“I expect the plant programme review to be completed by February 2016, and the meat programme review by June 2016.”

New fees and charges for plant and meat exporters come into effect on 1 December 2015. 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) available at agriculture.gov.au​.