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Australian produce industry unites to oppose export fee hike

Australia’s horticulture sector has joined forces to unanimously oppose price hikes to export fees, The Weekly Times reported.

Eight major industry associations, including AusVeg, the Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association, and Apple and Pear Australia, have approached the government to re-engage with stakeholders to introduce a new cost recovery model.

The new fees would see the phytosanitary certificate levy document double from AUD$38 to AUD$78, the article reported.

They would also be an increase of the horticultural products levy to non-protocol countries of 160% to AUD$1,70 per metric ton (MT), and to protocol countries it would nearly triple to AUD$3.40 per MT.

“I see no way it can proceed. Loading up charges on tonnages will significantly impact the sector,” Australian Horticultural Exporters’ and Importers’ Association chief executive Dominic Jenkin was quoted as saying.

“It has the potential to undermine the whole model because it would become unfeasible for most to continue trading”.

He reportedly said the government was seeking to recover considerably more than the cost of providing export certification services.

T&G Global general manager of exports, Paul Scheffer, said the proposed costs would make Australian horticulture uncompetitive on a global stage, according to The Weekly Times.

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