Billing and invoicing – AP E-cert
There are charges you must pay for using AP E-cert. These charges cover the cost of supporting, maintaining and enhancing the E-cert system.
E-cert charges – what you pay for
If you use AP E-cert, you must pay the following charges:
- a charge for each E-cert database transaction
- a per-second charge for the time it takes each transaction to be processed.
Current charge rates are described in this Notice.
- Animal Products Notice: Electronic Certification System Costs - Dairy Industry [PDF, 174 KB] - effective on 01 November 2014
- Animal Products Notice: Electronic Certification System Costs - Non dairy Animal Product Industry [PDF, 174 KB] - effective on 01 November 2014
How charges are incurred
Each time you request information from the database (a database request or transaction) you incur a charge. This consists of a charge for the request and a separate charge for the time it takes the database to process and respond to the request.
Preparing and submitting an on-line certificate requires more than one transaction. You won't be charged for the time it takes to enter information or for the time that you are logged into the system.
For more information on using E-cert efficiently and minimising E-cert charges, refer to the Tips for increasing efficiency in the E-cert help files.
Review and waiver of charges
The E-cert charge rates are reviewed at least annually in consultation with industry representatives. If necessary, they are adjusted to ensure revenue received from the charges is sufficient to meet MPI’s E-cert costs for the financial year.
A discount or refund may be applied to all E-cert invoices in any given month. This occurs when the monthly revenue is higher than required, which can be due to monthly transactions being higher than expected or server response times being slower than normal.
- Waiver of Fees, Charges, and Levies for Animal Products [PDF, 154 KB]
Billing of E-cert charges
When you apply for access to AP E-cert, you need to identify an organisation to be billed for the E-cert activity you undertake. This is known as the ‘organisation to be billed’. You also need to nominate a primary contact who receives the invoices and is responsible for email communications with MPI.
Responsibilities of the 'organisation to be billed'
The organisation is responsible for ensuring that the email address of the primary contact person is managed in a way that ensures all electronic invoices received are actively and appropriately processed. MPI must be notified if the nominated person changes or their contact details change.
Responsibilities of the primary contact
The nominated primary contact person must ensure that they make the necessary arrangements for receiving invoices or other communications via email. This may involve:
- downloading Acrobat Reader to read MPI invoices – this can be downloaded free from the Adobe website
- adjusting settings on virus protection software
- adding the email contact for E-cert enquiries to their list of ‘safe’ email addresses
- ensuring their email address is monitored if they are away on leave.
Billing arrangements for agents
Some organisations, such as cold stores, are agents for another company. Where there is a business or commercial arrangement between a company and an agent, the agent’s E-cert activity can be directly charged to the company, that is, the ‘organisation to be billed’. The nominated primary contact person for the company – not the agent – authorises the setting up of all E-cert users for the agent and assigns them to the ‘organisation to be billed’.
If you are an agent (or an individual working for a company operating as an agent), you need separate E-cert user IDs for each company you do E-cert work for, so that charges are invoiced correctly. Each user ID relates to activities undertaken on behalf of a specific company. To ensure organisations are invoiced correctly, an agent must establish the separate E-cert user IDs in advance of any E-cert work. MPI is unable to divide an invoice retrospectively.
Billing multiple companies under one management
Where there are more than 2 companies or premises under one management or ownership, MPI recommends that only one is the ‘organisation to be billed’. They would receive the invoices for the group of companies.
To minimise cost, invoices are sent by e-mail each month in PDF format to the nominated primary contact of the ‘organisation to be billed’. The billing period is a calendar month and invoices are generated on the first working day of the following month. Payment is due on the 20th day of that month.
An E-cert invoice contains the following information relating to the billing period:
- a tax invoice, which shows a summary of the total invoice by transaction type, including details of any discount applied and including GST
- an activity detail report, which shows a breakdown of each E-cert user’s activity, including the number of transactions and the time taken to process these transactions.
Invoices for less than $50
Any invoice that is less than $50 is held over until total charges exceed $50, or until the end of the quarter. The quarterly invoice will detail the activity for each month of the quarter.
Querying an invoice
If you have any billing queries, email your request to MPI using this addess:
Payment options for E-cert invoices
Invoices can be paid by:
- direct debit
- direct credit
Payment by direct debit
MPI’s preferred method of payment for E-cert invoices is by direct debit. In paying by direct debit, you authorise MPI to debit the charges from a bank account you nominate. To arrange for payment by direct debit, please complete the form below and fax or post it to MPI. Contact details and the terms and conditions of paying by direct debit are provided with the form.
E-cert direct debit – Authorisation Form [PDF, 368 KB]
Payment by direct credit
If you wish to pay by direct credit, please email your request to MPI. Ask for the bank account and other details you need to record so your invoice payments can be identified.
Payment by cheque
If you decide to pay by cheque, MPI reserves the right to charge an administration fee to cover the additional costs of handling a manual transaction.
Non-payment of E-cert invoices
All E-cert invoices are due by the 20th of the following month. If you have not paid your invoice by the due date, you receive an email reminding you that payment is outstanding. The next step is a formal written notice advising that your access to E-cert will be terminated if payment is not received within 10 working days. Once those 10 days have passed:
- E-cert access for all individuals linked to your organisation is suspended
- a 10% penalty is applied to unpaid invoices and, for every 6 months that the debt remains unpaid, a further penalty of 10% is incurred.
Once full payment of outstanding invoices has been received, E-cert access is reinstated within 24 hours.
Disputing an invoice
If you want to dispute any E-cert invoices, or any matter relating to E-cert charges, you must set out the details in writing by letter, fax or email to MPI. Without written notice MPI cannot recognise a dispute.
Where MPI has been advised in writing of a dispute:
- the parties shall use their best efforts to resolve the dispute within 21 days of notification
- either party may refer an unresolved dispute to mediation if it is not resolved within 21 days of notification
- any penalties may be waived at the discretion of MPI.