On 1 July 2015, updated fees and changes to the way the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recovers costs for its services from businesses and industries will come into effect.
Changes and updated fees are a result of a recent review of cost recovery, which MPI consulted on in February this year. Throughout consultation, MPI held 21 consultation meetings around the country and received a total of 247 submissions.
“MPI provides a range of important food safety and biosecurity services,” says Dan Bolger, MPI’s Deputy Director-General, Office of the Director-General. “This includes the development and maintenance of domestic and overseas standards, monitoring and testing of products to ensure consumer safety, gaining market access, and providing assurances to overseas customers.”
“Fees recovered allow MPI to provide services that are integral to the growth of our $37.4 billion primary sector export industry, keep food consumers safe, here and overseas, and ensure New Zealand maintains its reputation as a reliable producer of safe, high quality goods,” says Mr Bolger.
This is the first review of biosecurity fees since 2010 and the first review of food safety fees since 2008. It is also the first review since MPI was formed in 2011.
“Since the last review, demand for MPI’s services has increased, driven by increasing imports and exports, the need to provide new services, as well as a greater number of food businesses. In addition, inflation pressure has meant that the real cost of delivering services is also increasing,” says Mr Bolger.
The models and processes for recovering costs for the food safety and biosecurity systems were developed at different times and before MPI was formed. Over time this has led to potential inequities in charges.
“Throughout the review, we have worked hard to identify and address potential inequities in current charges. We have also worked hard to strike a balance between making sure that costs are fair and making sure we are charging the right amount to continue doing the job for industry and New Zealand. Industry feedback and participation during consultation has played an important part in helping us to achieve this.”
Over the next year, MPI expects the amount recovered from industry for biosecurity to increase by approximately $6.0 million to $36.4 million, and to increase by approximately $5.9 million to $61.2 million for food safety.
Key updated fees and policies include:
- updating around 250 biosecurity and food safety fees, charges and levies
- reducing costs to small dairy processors by decreasing their annual levy and the creating a new levy category for medium dairy processors
- introducing cost recovery for infant formula exports
- introducing cost recovery for the essential services that the Government provides the wine industry such as setting industry standards, and helping the industry gain market access
- increasing the biosecurity entry levy fee
- revising the rules and fees around biosecurity transitional and containment facilities
- increasing the veterinary professional hourly rate for all live animal veterinary inspections
- increasing resources for approvals of registrations for trade names for agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines to reduce the processing time; and
- the adoption of a single (export and domestic) levy for poultry production.
At the same time as the cost recovery review, MPI ran a separate consultation which looked at proposals to introduce cost recovery for regulatory services under the new Food Act 2014.
As a result of this consultation, MPI will recover costs from food businesses associated with providing essential services such as registration and the clearance of imported food.
Updated fees and policies will take effect on 1 July 2015, except for fees under the Food Act 2014, which comes into effect on 1 March 2016.