What you need to know about Regional Fuel Tax

03 Jul 2018

From 1 July 2018, regional fuel tax (RFT) of 10 cents/litre plus GST will be applied to petrol, diesel and their bio-variants, delivered to the Auckland region. This will affect your on and off-road vehicles and machinery powered by these fuels.
 
Horticulture New Zealand is working on your behalf to create a more workable system for growers than has been designed for the collection and rebate of this RFT. In the meantime, it comes into force on Sunday and there are some important things you need to know.
 
There is a Q and A on the New Zealand Land Transport Agency (NZTA) website here. This has only been released today and we encourage you to read it.
 
Horticulture New Zealand does not necessarily agree with the answers in this Q and A, but this is the current situation.
 
The critical thing you need to know is that:
 
To claim a rebate, please keep a record of how much fuel you’ve purchased. You’ll also need to record how much of that fuel is used in the vehicles, machinery and (ships) you want to claim a rebate for, and how much is used in each.
 
This may vary from your current practices and at this stage, you need to record fuel use per vehicle or piece of machinery that has had the RFT applied to it from 1 July 2018.
 
Last week, HortNZ hosted officials from NZTA on a visit to Pukekohe, to see the realities for growers of a system that requires an extensive amount of per/vehicle and per/piece of machinery detail to make quarterly RFT rebate claims. NZTA has invested in an online rebate system, and this visit was their first to engage with horticulture stakeholders. There are significant issues with the NZTA expectation on record keeping as they stand, which we will continue to work with NZTA on. NZTA currently advises that the first quarterly rebate claims will be available from October, 2018, however, HortNZ continues to push for a threshold to move to monthly returns, given the dollar values involved.
 
Please also note that this online system is based on FED regulations, which you may already be familiar with, and that FED is being amended to include diesel vehicles.
 
We are working with the Ministry of Transport to get all horticulture-use vehicles and machinery used off-road and “behind the farm gate” included as eligible for rebate.
 
Horticulture New Zealand appreciates this is a lot of information to process in a short space of time, but NZTA has only provided this information today. We are talking to their chief executive and Board about how poorly this has been handled.
 
HortNZ and some growers will continue to be vocal in the media and you can see our media release here and Mike’s Blog here.
 
You are also welcome to contact the Transport Minister Phil Twyford phil.twyford@parliament.govt.nz or New Zealand First’s Shane Jones shane.jones@parliament.govt.nz to express your own views, or contact your local MP.
 
Horticulture New Zealand will keep you updated as news comes to hand, but please feel free to contact us with concerns or questions.