Maritime NZ confirms revised funding model for Maritime Levy and fees

29 May 2019

After extensive and extended engagement and consultation with industry stakeholders, Cabinet has approved a revised and fairer approach to funding Maritime NZ that better reflects how the sector should cover the cost of the agency’s regulatory and compliance functions.

The revised Maritime Levy will take effect from 1 July 2019 and will result in cost reductions for some vessel operators and increases for others.

Chief Executive and Director Keith Manch says 110 submissions were received in response to the consultation document, with a fair degree of support for many of the proposals.

“We have run a comprehensive process that included extensive consultation and consideration of a wide range of views.

“No doubt, some stakeholders will be unhappy about having higher costs, but we have used an allocation method that’s fair and transparent to all parties.”

Mr Manch says Maritime NZ commissioned economic advisors Castalia to provide independent economic advice on a Maritime Levy allocation methodology that’s simple, fair, and transparent.

“The revised method applies the Transport Regulatory System Funding Principles and will enable us to monitor vessel safety and security and protect the marine environment.

“However, experience tells us some parties may take issue with the revised Maritime Levy allocation methodology and we’re prepared to demonstrate why this is a fair and equitable outcome.

“Maritime NZ is focused on being a robust yet efficient, responsive, and cost-effective regulator. The changes resulting from this funding review will ensure we can continue to deliver our regulatory and compliance objectives, while providing value for money,” Mr Manch says.

The key changes approved by Cabinet include:

  • a revised allocation methodology for the Maritime Levy
  • a single fee of $368 for seafarer certificates and endorsements
  • not charging fees for routine audits and inspections but recovering the cost of these through the Maritime Levy
  • a single hourly rate of $245 for activities that are charged on actual time taken (and the basis for fixed fees)
  • a reduction in most ship registration fees.

Some Maritime NZ functions such as the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ and recreational boating will continue to be funded outside the Maritime Levy, via fuel excise duty and direct Crown funding.

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Notes for editors:

“Safe, secure, clean”: Maritime NZ is the national regulatory, compliance and response agency for the safety, security and environmental protection of coastal and inland waterways.

New Zealand’s maritime sector by the numbers (annually):

  • 4.1% of GDP ($260 billion)
  • 99% of New Zealand’s trade by volume
  • 6 million harbour ferry passengers
  • 1 million Cook Strait passengers; 7,000 crossings; 230,000 vehicles shipped across the Cook Strait
  • 2,750 visits by foreign vessels; 800 visits by cruise liners
  • 1.8 million export and import containers moved
  • 4 million tonnes of freight shipped annually

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