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Road User Charges legislation passes

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister of Transport

15 February 2012

Road User Charges legislation passes

Transport legislation to modernise and simplify the road user charges (RUC) system has passed in Parliament.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the Road User Charges Bill 2010 will reduce compliance costs for transport operators and ultimately reduce transport costs for businesses and exporters.

“This Bill represents the most significant reform of the RUC system since it was introduced in 1978,” Mr Brownlee said.

“Changes set out in this legislation will enable a new era of modern RUC management. There will be less red tape for operators and the government, and the system will be easier to understand and fairer for all those who pay RUC.”

Provisions in the Bill include:

• giving every heavy vehicle a permanent RUC weight and discontinuing supplementary licences
• removal of the time licence system
• a fairer and simpler structure in relation to offences and penalties, particularly for light vehicles
• an improved regulatory framework for electronic RUC management systems
• improvements to the system overall to enable greater compliance
• the ability for statutory responsibility for RUC collection to be transferred to the NZ Transport Agency

Mr Brownlee said changing the definition of licence weights, removing the confusing time licence system and simplifying the list of exempted vehicles will reduce compliance costs for businesses and simplify administration processes for industry and government.

Government concern about RUC evasion – conservatively estimated by officials at $30 million a year – will also be addressed.

"Currently, honest payers of RUC are subsidising those who evade payment. These legislative changes remove a number of evasion opportunities and encourage timely payment, making the system fairer for all,” Mr Brownlee said.

Changes to the RUC system already implemented include the requirement to give six weeks notice of RUC increases and legislation enabling electronic distance recording and electronic display of RUC licences.

The provisions in the Bill will take effect from 1 August 2012, when the new system will be in place.

Further information on the Road User Charges Bill is available at www.transport.govt.nz.

ENDS

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