Review of Oil Pollution Levy Rate Proposal

Background

  • Maritime New Zealand has released consultation document on Oil Pollution Levy Rate. Documentation here
  • Follows a Pollution and Preparedness Capability Review undertaken by Thompson Clarke Shipping which recommended increased expenditure on equipment
  • Follows a decision to reduce available reserves in recent years to finance operating expenditure
  • Rena incident has reduced reserves to minimum operating level
  • Full costs of Rena are not factored into the levy rate proposal
  • Current levy revenue ($3.2m) insufficient to cover annual operating expenditure ($4.2m).

Proposal

  • Levy increase sought to cover:
    • Loss of access to reserves
    • purchase of new equipment $1.95m spread over three years
  • To introduce threat-based approach as basis for levying threat-based is a risk assessment based essentially on the nature and volume of oil carried , the distance carried through New Zealand waters and the value of that threat to NZs environment, human wellbeing and economic activity. Note fishing excluded on basis of unscheduled voyages

Fishing Sector

  • Fishing continues to be levied on same basis as previously, i.e. only those vessels with a gross weight in excess of 100 tons
  • The levies to be paid by the sector will increase in total from $53,277 in 2010/11 to $81,320 for 2012/13, an increase of 52.6%, compared with an increase of 64.3% in the aggregate levy.

Future Issues To Note

  • Maritime is continuing to examine:
    • Ways of applying a threat-based model to the fishing sector
    • Whether to seek legislative amendments to apply levies on vessels less than 100 gross tons or 24 metres in length
  • The Rena incident may see future levies increase dependent on the Governments decisions as to how the costs should be funded. There will be a future consultation on that matter.

Submission

  • The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council will be submitting on this consultation. Please contact Tom Clark (04) 802-1514 to discuss. Submissions close on 4 May 2012.