Arable & Horticulture update on AHDB Cereal and Oilseed Levy

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Ulster Farmers’ Union representatives met recently with AHDB representatives and high on the agenda was the importance of levy from the region. Here is what you need to know?

Are you liable?

The following are obliged to collect and pay to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) levies on cereals and oilseeds grown and cereals processed in the UK. For the purposes of levy collection “principals” can include agents and financial intermediaries who can therefore be considered to be “buyers”.

l Any person or organisation who buys cereals or oilseeds grown in the UK from the grower

l Any person or organisation who, by way of business, carries out an industrial process to cereals grown in the UK

l Any UK grower who sells cereals or oilseeds directly to a person or organisation outside the UK or into intervention

Levy is not liable in relation to cereal processed by or for the person that grew them.

It is an offence to provide false or misleading information relating to levy obligation to AHDB. Any person obliged to pay levy must keep sufficient records to enable AHDB to establish how much levy is due and must produce them to an officer of AHDB or a subsidiary company on demand. Failure to comply is an offence.

How to pay

If you are liable to pay levy, you must regularly complete a return form declaring the tonnage of cereals or oilseeds you have bought or processed in the period since your last return.

l For oilseeds, the return must be completed every six months

l For cereals, the return must be completed annually if less than 250 tonnes is bought or 1000 tonnes processed in any year

l For cereals, the return must be completed quarterly if more than 250 tonnes is bought or 1000 tonnes processed in any year

Returns must be received by AHDB within 28 calendar days of the end of the return period. Failure to make a return by the end of this period is an offence. Upon receipt of your completed return, AHDB will invoice you for the amount due, which must be paid within 49 calendar days of the end date of the period covered by the return.

A higher levy rate (standard rate plus 10%) is applicable for late payment. The late payment portion of the grower levy cannot be recovered from the grower by the buyer.

To view the rates in pence per tonne on all transactions visit: https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/corporate/a-guide-to-ahdb-cereals-and-oilseeds-levy.aspx

What if I haven’t bought or processed any leviable crops during this period?

If you haven’t bought or processed cereals or oilseeds in the period covered by the return, it would be helpful if you would confirm this by making a NIL return, on the form or by email, so we know you haven’t just forgotten to make a return.

What happens if I don’t fill in the return?

If the return is not received within 28 calendar days of issue AHDB may estimate the tonnage you are liable to pay levy on. If AHDB doesn’t receive a completed return within 28 calendar days of us notifying you of the estimate, you will become liable to pay levy on the estimated amount.

About AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, levy investment

AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is the cereals and oilseeds division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is funded by a statutory levy raised by AHDB on growers, buyers and processors of cereals and oilseeds grown in the UK. Levies are payable to AHDB on the following crops:

o Cereals: wheat (including durum wheat), barley, oats, rye, maize, triticale or any two or more of such cereals grown as one crop (mixed corn).

o Oilseeds: rapeseed, linseed, soyabean, sunflowerseed or any two or more of such oilseeds grown as one crop.

All levies on cereals and oilseeds collected by AHDB are ring-fenced for AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds activities including research and knowledge transfer programmes, supply chain and business improvement activities, market intelligence, exports and consumer marketing on behalf of the cereals and oilseeds sector.

For more information or if you would like to register as a levy payer, please contact the cereals and oilseeds levy team on levy@ahdb.org.uk or 024 7647 8608.