Commodity Levy Renewal
The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council Commodity Levy is used to fund the Council’s general work and by CSOs to fund projects.
The current Levy rate came into effect on 1 October 2005. A proposal to renew the Commodity Levy at the existing rate in August 2006 received strong endorsement from the industry. The postal ballot resulted in 82% support by the simple proportion of votes in favour and against. The value of rights represented by each vote was also calculated and received 96% support.
The Levy Order was extended in December 2006 until 10 March 2013.
Declared Port Prices
The Levy is set against the Declared Port Prices for all commercially caught and produced fish, including fish produced from aquaculture. The Declared Port Price is the simple average of independently surveyed prices paid for fish over the last three years.
The Port Price is established by an independent survey, conducted by the Ministry of Fisheries, of the prices that would be paid during each 12 month period for the fish (excluding goods and services tax) by an independent processor buying from an independent fisher or fish farmer. Where survey data is inadequate an estimate is made. Port Prices are based on the best available information.
Levy Rates Calculation
The Levy is calculated in two components. The Core Services Levy that funds the generic industry services provided by the Council in its Business Plan to 30 September 2007 is set at a rate of 0.525% of the Declared Port Price. Where a species managed under the Quota Management System has been under-caught by more than 20% of the TACC for the last three years (i.e. less than 80% of the TACC has been caught) the levy rate has been adjusted down in proportion to match the average catch rate.
The second component of levy in a number of cases is the Stock Specific Levy. This is a levy to be collected to pay for projects mandated by levy payers for those particular stocks and will purchase projects related to those stocks to be undertaken by Commercial Stakeholder Organisations that represent those fish stocks as shareholders in SeaFIC.
The maximum total levy that is permitted in the Levy Order is 5%. The maximum levy that has been set in all cases is less than the maximum. The total levies are set out in the Schedule below.
Collecting the Levy
The Levy on species managed under the Quota Management System is collected on a monthly basis by invoicing owners of quota. Invoices are sent out monthly to all Levy Payers whose levy liabilities are more than $50 in the month. Where a Levy Payer’s total liability is less than $50 a month, the liability accrues until it has reached $50, at which point a levy invoice and statement is issued.
For species outside the Quota Management System, including fish produced from fish farming (aquaculture), levy is collected at the point of sale to licensed fish receivers or fish processors. Direct sales by fish farmers to the public are also liable to pay levy.