As of January 1st 2014 a Forest Growers Commodity Levy was applied to all forest harvest operations. The levy will apply to most products sourced from trees in a plantation forest. This includes logs, posts, poles, Pulp, bin wood, hog fuel, woodchip whether exported or processed in New Zealand.
A forest grower’s levy trust board has been formed to administer the levy. The board will act on behalf of all forest growers, particularly the Farm Forestry Association and the NZ Forest Owners Association.
The elected chairperson is Geoff Thompson a Wellington Lawyer and long-time forest investor / manager. The point of levy application will be at a domestic processing facility or at the wharf and will be charged on either a tonne or per cubic metre basis depending on the sale unit.
The levy rate is currently at 27 cents and has been capped at 30 cents for the next 6 years. It is expected the levy will raise approximately 6.5 million dollars per year.
The levy will be used to fund forest research and development along with other activities that benefit all plantation forest growers such as bio security, forest health, developing codes of practice and industry standards relating to the health and safety of forestry workers. It is mandatory that the levy is applied to all harvest operations.