Cost recovery for a fair and sustainable biosecurity system

The Department of Agriculture is expanding the range of cost-recovered import measures that support Australia’s biosecurity system.

These changes follow consideration of the report of the Biosecurity Imports Levy Industry Steering Committee. The committee supported increasing the breadth of activities the department can cost recover through fees and charges. This will help to ensure fairer and more sustainable funding into the future.

The new cost-recovery activities will more accurately reflect the cost of import activities that underpin international trade, revising current tax-payer-funded arrangements.

Cost-recovered activities will be expanded to include risk mitigation, analysis and biosecurity assurance activities.

The government has agreed that revised biosecurity charges will be in place by 1 January 2020.

These changes are necessary to help manage the risk of pest and disease incursions posed by goods and vessels entering Australia.

They are also designed to address rising costs and an expected doubling of cargo volumes by 2030.

A Biosecurity Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) will be released to industry from Wednesday 11 December outlining the new charges in detail.

The Department of Agriculture is working closely with industry to ensure the transition to the new charges is clearly understood and effectively implemented.

Industry will be further consulted as part of a comprehensive review of biosecurity cost recovery arrangements to be undertaken in 2020, expanding on previous consultations.

The government will also work with industry from early 2020 on the design of an alternative levy that will help ensure the system can be sustainably funded for the future.

The levy when finalised will fund activities that are essential to maintaining the biosecurity system but can’t be directly linked to a single entity or good— for example understanding the rapidly changing biosecurity risk profiles of countries and goods and new technologies that support increased cargo movement.

Australia’s $800 million biosecurity system is a shared responsibility that helps manage pest and disease risks that could devastate our economy, food industries, trade reputation, communities and environment.

Revised cost recovery fees and charges:

  • Full Import Declaration charge—air was $33, will be increased to $38.
  • Full Import Declaration charge—sea was $42, will be increased to $49.
  • Vessels greater than or equal to 25 metres—arrival charge was $920, will be increased to $1054.
  • Vessels less than 25 metres—arrival charge was $100, will be increased to $120.

See the new charging arrangements in the updated Biosecurity Cost Recovery Implementation Statement at