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Frequently asked questions

This section answers the most common questions asked about exporting bulk wheat from Australia.  If after reading this section you still have questions, please contact us.

Productivity Commission Report into Wheat Export Marketing Arrangements – the Government Response - Frequently asked questions

On 23 September 2011 Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Sen Joe Ludwig, announced the Government's response to the Productivity Commission’s report into wheat export marketing arrangements. More information about the new wheat marketing arrangements can be found on the DAFF website.

Information for companies interested in being accredited

What is the definition of bulk wheat?

The Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008 regulates the export of bulk wheat. Bulk wheat does not apply to wheat exported in:
             (a) a bag; or
             (b) a container;
that is capable of holding 50 tonnes of wheat or less.

Wheat matching the above criteria is considered as non–bulk wheat exports. All other exports are considered bulk wheat exports.

Do I need accreditation to export non-bulk wheat from Australia?

No, the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) applies to bulk wheat exporters only. Non-bulk exporters are not required to be accredited. Exporters must however, pay the Wheat Export Charge for all non-bulk wheat exports.

Can I export my own wheat in bulk as an individual?

No, the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 prohibits the export of wheat in bulk without accreditation.  In order to receive bulk exporter accreditation an exporter must satisfy certain eligibility criteria specified in the Act and the Scheme. The following two criteria must be strictly fulfilled in order to receive accreditation:

  1. the exporter must be a company
    1. registered as a company under Part 2A.2 of the Corporations Act 2001; or
    2. a co‑operative; and
  2. the company must be a trading corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution applies.

Can I transfer my accreditation to another company?

No, an accreditation is not transferable.

Once my company is accredited, do I need to report regularly to WEA?

Exporters are required to complete an Annual Export Report and Annual Compliance Report at the end of each marketing year. Exporters are also required to report on any notifiable matters during their accreditation.

What is meant by ‘acquired from growers’ in relation to the Annual Export Report and does WEA require identification of specific contracts with growers?

The term ‘acquired wheat from growers’ relates to wheat supplied directly from the grower to the exporter.

WEA does not require details of contracts with growers nor the exact tonnage acquired from growers. WEA requires a basic outline of the price terms and conditions on which the wheat was acquired. For example, if an accredited exporter had contracts with growers based on GTA’s (formerly NACMA) terms and conditions then the exporter would need to advise WEA in the Annual Export Report that all contracts with growers were on GTA’s terms and conditions.

How long will I be accredited for?

WEA can accredit applicants for a period of up to three years. For the first 18 months of operation of the Scheme, WEA will grant accreditations for varying periods between 12 and 24 months. WEA will take into consideration the different export proposals and levels of experience of applicants when determining the accreditation period.

Accreditations for exporters which provided one or more port terminal services (or an associated entity of the accredited exporter provides port terminals) expired on 30 September 2009, as they were required to pass the port terminal access test.

The varying periods will also allow WEA to stagger applications for renewal throughout the first two years to contribute to the efficient operation of WEA and the Scheme.

Will accreditation mean that an exporter has a blanket mandate to export wheat or will the accreditation have tonnage or market limitations?

As part of an application for accreditation, applicants will be required to provide an export proposal. This information will be considered in conjunction with information required under section 5(1)(c) of the Scheme in determining whether an applicant is fit and proper.

All accreditations will be subject to conditions. The mandatory conditions are outlined in section 22-26 of the Scheme. In addition to those mandatory conditions, WEA can impose conditions on an accreditation at the time of granting accreditation or at any time during the period of accreditation. Before WEA makes a decision to impose an additional condition it must first consult with the exporter.

WEA cannot impose any conditions limiting tonnage or market destinations although an applicant can request WEA to impose these or other conditions. In the application for accreditation, applicants will be given the opportunity to propose conditions to be put on its accreditation in relation to its export proposal. For example, if the applicant is a company or co-operative that has limited financial resources and experience then the applicant may wish to propose conditions limiting its operations in order to receive accreditation. If an applicant has proposed such conditions, WEA may then impose the conditions after first consulting with the applicant.

If an applicant does not propose any conditions limiting tonnage or market destinations then WEA cannot impose these conditions. Therefore, if granted accreditation, the applicant may export any tonnage to any market.

As an accredited exporter, do I need to pay an annual renewal fee?

There is no annual fee for an accredited bulk exporter. Exporters applying for accreditation will need to pay an initial application fee of $13,299 (incl GST). This fee is charged on a cost-recovery basis for the processing of the application. If granted accreditation, an exporter’s accreditation will be for a specified period of not longer than three years.

Towards the end of that accreditation period, if the accredited exporter wishes to renew its accreditation it can make an application to WEA. An application for renewal can be made between 3 and 6 months before the end of the exporter’s accreditation period. The renewal application fee of $7,084 (incl GST) is charged on a cost-recovery basis for the processing of the renewal application.