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National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002



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I NFORMATI ON, ANALYSIS AND ADVI CE FOR THE PARLI AMENT

I NF OR MAT IO N A ND R ES EA RC H S ER VI CES

Bills Digest No. 124 2002-03

National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002

D E P A R T M E N T O F T H E P A R L I A M E N T A R Y L I B R A R Y

ISSN 1328-8091

 Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2003

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Department of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document. IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of the public.

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 2003

I N F O R M A T I O N A N D R E S E A R C H S E R V I C E S

Bills Digest

No. 124 2002-03

National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002

Richard Webb Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Group 14 March 2003

Contents

Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Main Provisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Concluding Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002

Date Introduced: 12 December 2002

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Commencement: The day on which the Act receives Royal Assent

Purpose

To change the basis on which the national residue survey excise levy on apples and pears is imposed from a box basis to a weight basis.

Background

The 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 National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998 (the Act), and the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992. For example, in the case of apples and pears, the excise levy is imposed on a 'box' as defined in clause 1 of Schedule 9 of the Act, while clause 5 of Schedule 9 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 Limited).

2 National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Amendment Bill 2002

Warning:

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments.

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Main Provisions

The proposed amendments would do three main things:

• repeal the definition of 'box'

• replace the box rates with per kilogram rates, and

• abolish the distinction between 'operative' and 'maximum' rates

− 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 9 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 Schedule comes into effect.

Concluding Comments

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 (Customs) Levy Amendment Bill 2002.