Aussie fruit exporters could be hit with 3700% fee hike
In a release, the AHEA said fruit and vegetable exporters might just give up, as the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service's (AQIS) proposed increase in packing shed registration charges could make business 'too hard'.
"Under the proposed new charges and following the removal of the 40% Government rebate on costs and charges AQIS will expect growers to pay in excess of AUD$12,300 (US$12,994) to allow them to pack produce for all overseas markets, including protocol markets such as Thailand, Japan , Korea, China, Taiwan, the USA and New Zealand," the release said.
"Given the seasonal nature of Australian fruit and vegetable exports those sheds may only pack for two to three months of the year, this represents a huge increase in the cost of doing business.
The AHEA claims the AQIS move is a money grab to cover administrative overheads and is not related to the actual costs of inspecting and registering packing sheds.
Australia's fruit and vegetable exports fell 25.1% to AUD$519 million (US$548 million) in 2009-10, with expectations that value will fall again this year due to a wet summer and high Australian dollar.
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