The Ministry for Primary Industries is seeking submissions on proposed exporter licence fees and recognised product group levies to be paid to the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority.

The MPI said the authority's fees regulations needed updating because it has new functions and funding tools - introduced last year when the HEA Act 1987 was amended - and exporter licence fees were last reviewed in 2002.

Feedback is sought on three options for exporter licence fees and two options for recognised product group levies.

The three exporter licence fee options in the discussion paper are:


Option 1: Maximum fees in the regulations for each of the services, for up to 5 tiers of markets, with the HEA Board setting fees for each of those services within the prescribed maximum.

Option 2: This builds on option 1, but provides for a discounted licensing fee for experienced exporters, to reflect that it costs less for the HEA to licence exporters who have some exporting experience, particularly exporting horticultural products.

Option 3 (MPI's preferred option): This builds on option 2, but provides for a flat fee for all applications for export licence exemptions, regardless of the tier of market.

The two options for recognised product group levy in the discussion paper are:

Option 1: This has one levy rate applied on FOB export earnings to all recognised product groups regardless of their size, and is largely based on the current HEA product group fees.

Option 2 (MPI's preferred option): This has variable levy rates applied on FOB export earnings, with declining rates for higher FOB export earnings to reflect reducing HEA costs from economies of scale.

It is also proposed that the updated fees and levies regulations be reviewed within four years of the new regulations coming into force. This would give some time to assess the impact of multi-tier export marketing with targeted grade standards on the HEA's costs, and ensure that the fees remain up to date.

Submissions open today and close at 5pm on May 15.

For information on making submissions, click here