6 May 2015

MPI confirms biosecurity fee increases

3:52 pm on 6 May 2015

The Ministry for Primary Industries expects to raise about $12 million more over the next year by increasing its fees for biosecurity and food safety services.

It has been reviewing its charges and the way it recovers costs from businesses and industries, and has confirmed the new fees will come into effect from July.

The MPI said it was the first review of biosecurity fees since 2010 and the first review of food safety fees since 2008.

Since then, demand for its services has increased, along with the costs, as imports and exports have grown, leading it to update about 250 different fees, charges and levies.

Among the changes, it will be reducing costs to small dairy processors by lowering their annual levy, but creating a new levy for medium scale processors.

It is also introducing cost recovery for infant formula exports, and services that the Government provides the wine industry, such as setting standards and helping with market access. This was met with anger from the wine industry, which believes its excise duties are already too high.

On the other hand, the body representing agricultural chemical and animal health companies, AGCARM, has voiced support for MPI's move to increase resources for processing registrations for agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines, to reduce the waiting time.

Over the next year, the Ministry expects to recover more than $36 million for biosecurity, and more than $61 million for food safety services, an increase of about $6 million in each case.

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