New Zealand Raises Oil Pollution Levy

The levy has been increased for the first time in 15 years to ensure the country has sufficient resources and equipment to respond to a major oil spill.

New Zealand's Oil Pollution Levy has been raised for the first time in more than a decade, with Maritime New Zealand announcing that its fixed fees, hourly rates, and Marine Safety Charge rose in July based on a Funding Review conducted in 2011–12. While most of the increase are being phased in during a six-year transition period to 2018, to give the maritime sector time to adjust, full fees took effect immediately for environment protection services.

The Oil Pollution Levy increase is based on a separate review by Maritime New Zealand. It funds the cost of equipment and services associated with oil pollution preparedness and response and applies to all ship owners and operators of commercial vessels over 100 gross tons and more than 24 meters long (except those operating in fresh water), offshore oil installations, and oil pipelines in New Zealand waters.

Deputy Director Lindsay Sturt said the levy, last changed 15 years ago, was raised to ensure New Zealand continues to have sufficient resources and equipment to respond to a major oil spill. "The rates reflect the proportion of oil spill risk represented by each part of the maritime industry," he said.

Two temporary levies also are in place to improve response capability and fund the purchase of new response equipment, according to the agency.

For more information about the changes, visit this site.

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