There are three statutory levies on all melons produced and sold in Australia. The total levy base is 0.4c/kg. This includes:
- 0.3c/kg Research & Development (R&D) levy – to fund coordinated research, development and extension activities to improve the productivity and profitability for all melon producers in Australia.
- 0.1c/kg Plant Health Australia (PHA) levy – to fund biosecurity projects and to pay PHA annual membership subscription.
- 0.0c/kg Emergency Plant Pest Response (EPPR) levy – to create the ability for an industry contingency fund to be used in the event of a biosecurity incursion. This levy will not be activated until a pest incursion occurs.
Melon levies are payable on all melons produced in Australia destined for processing, domestic consumption or export and sold by the producer (i.e. first point of sale). Melons are considered to include fresh: watermelons (Citrullus lanatus), rockmelons (Cucumis melo), honeydew melons (Cucumis melo var. inodorus), galia melon (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus), horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus), charentais melon (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis), Korean melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa), hami melon (Cucumis melon var. reticulatus) and piel de sapo (Cucumis melo var. inodorus).
If the producer sells melons through an intermediary (i.e. wholesale agent, supermarket, exporter), then the intermediary must pay the levy on behalf of the producer and submit all return forms. The intermediary can recover from the producer the amount of levy paid, by offset or otherwise.
If the producer sells melons by retail sale (i.e. to a restaurant, roadside stall) then the producer must pay the levy and submit all required return forms to the Department of Agriculture – Levies, directly. Annual sales less than twenty tonnes will not be subject to the levy.
Exemption from payment of the melon levy only applies when the producer sells less than the 20 tonne of melons per year by retail sale (i.e. to a restaurant or roadside stall).