Ludwig looks at AQIS fee hike assistance


Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig is examining transitional assistance to cold chain operators, freight forwarders and small-goods manufacturers facing quarantine fee hikes of 150-500 percent, his department has told ATN. <br /><br /> No detail on the assistance was given. The increases to Australian Quarantine Inspection Service fees and the consultation process that led to them prompted a furious response, detailed yesterday, from the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association (RWTA).

By Rob McKay | November 2, 2011

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig is examining transitional assistance to cold chain operators, freight forwarders and small-goods manufacturers facing quarantine fee hikes of 150-500 percent, his department has told ATN.

No detail on the assistance was given.

The increases to Australian Quarantine Inspection Service fees and the consultation process that led to them prompted a furious response, detailed yesterday, from the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transport Association (RWTA).

The department says the new fees and charges for the AQIS meat export certification program had been tabled by the Government and supported by the Opposition.

It insisted that they had been developed after an "extensive process of consultation with the Ministerial taskforce which oversaw the reform process".

It says some sectors were charged a price well below the actual cost of supplying the service and the hikes seek to address "these inequities".

"The department will continue to work with export registered establishments to find efficiencies and to develop initiatives to reduce the impact of increased fees on their businesses," it says.

"Good regulatory performance will reduce the number of audits required and reduce the number of fees that apply.

"The total cost of the meat export program has been reduced by about $25 million a year."

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