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Fuel excise duty refunds


Petrol and LPG carry a tax imposed by the Government called fuel excise duty (FED).

This money is allocated to the National Land Transport Fund, which pays for the National Land Transport Programme. This programme sets out the plans Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has for building and maintaining New Zealand's land transport network.

Petrol used off-road commercially may be entitled to a refund of this tax. However, any fuel used in a vehicle being driven on a public road is not eligible for a refund.

Fuel excise duty refunds are governed by the Land Transport Management (Apportionment and Refund of Excise Duty and Excise-Equivalent Duty) Regulations 2004 and the Land Transport Management Act 2003.

Legislation states that customers are eligible to claim back for a period of two years. Applications must be placed quarterly, and customers are allowed three months following the close of the quarter to submit their application without receiving a 10% late application penalty.

Waka Kotahi administers the refund on behalf of the Ministry of Transport.

Regional fuel tax information

Who is entitled to a refund

You’re entitled to a refund of the excise duty and the goods and services tax (GST) charged on motor spirits that’s used:

  • as fuel in an exempted vehicle
  • as fuel in a road user charges-licensed vehicle
  • as fuel in a commercial vessel
  • for search and rescue purposes in a dedicated rescue vessel
  • for commercial purposes other than as fuel in any motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft.

Types of vehicles and machinery eligible for a refund

Fuel types eligible for a refund

  • Petrol
  • CNG
  • LPG

Fuel types not eligible for a refund

  • Any fuel used for a motor vehicle that’s used principally in vehicle races, trials or other sporting events
  • Fuel used in recreational boats and pleasure crafts
  • Fuel that has been used in a vehicle licensed as a ‘private passenger’ vehicle, except for heavy petrol vehicles (over 3500kg tare weight) that pay road user charges (RUC) 
  • Fuel that has been used in a registered vehicle that is licensed for general use on public roads and is not an exempted vehicle
  • Diesel
  • Ethanol component of biofuels
  • Fuel that has already had excise duty refunded.

How to claim a refund

Customer registration

To start claiming a refund of excise duty, you must first complete a registration form which, once approved, will assign you a customer number.

The information you provide in the registration form tells us who you are, what you do and why you may be eligible for a refund.

Claims are paid by direct credit to a nominated bank account and a summary payment advice is sent by email.

You can send in your registration form and MR70 at the same time (we’ll fill in the customer number part for you).

Fuel excise duty refund customer registration form [PDF, 132 KB]
Fuel excise duty refund customer registration form guide [PDF, 520 KB]

Note: if you are claiming for a refund for a vehicle subject to road user charges (RUC) only, you don’t need to complete the registration form, but you still need to set up an account. Phone us on 0800 108 809 and ask to be put through to Fuel Excise Duty team for more information.

Quarterly MR70 application

You need to fill out an MR70 form each quarter to apply for a refund of excise duty.

Lodge your application within three months of the close of a quarter (quarters close 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December) to avoid penalty.

Attach copies of all purchase receipts to your application. The delivery or purchase date on the receipts must fall within the dates of the quarter you're claiming for.

The MR70 form asks you to summarise all purchases and fuel used. Please ensure that you fill this in correctly.

You must list all the vehicles that use the fuel you're claiming for, together with details of fuel used for commercial purposes.

Any asset that is used for domestic, personal or household use is not eligible for a refund of excise duty as the fuel must be used in a commercial capacity to be eligible. Any fuel used from your commercial supply for this purpose must be entered as ineligible use on the MR70 applications.

All applications must be signed to declare that the information provided is true and correct.

MR70 excise refund form [PDF, 186 KB]
MR70 guide [PDF, 1.3 MB]

To get a registration form or MR70 application forms sent to you, please phone us on 0800 108 809 and ask to be put through to Fuel Excise Duty.

Claims subject to audit

Waka Kotahi carries out audits of claims and may complete on-site inspections.

You’re required to hold full records (including copies of your applications and supporting documents) for a minimum of seven years. You must be able to show those records if you’re selected for an audit.

Under section 43 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003, Waka Kotahi can prosecute anyone submitting incorrect or fraudulent claims. A fine not exceeding $2000 can be imposed on summary conviction.

Serious cases may result in fraud charges being laid under the provisions of the Crimes Act 1961.

Any applications that are incorrect or missing supporting information will not be accepted.

Relevant legislation

Types of vehicles and machinery eligible for a refund

Exempted vehicles


  • a Coastguard vessel
  • a commercial vessel. This could include a charter boat or fishing vessel.

Maritime New Zealand requires all commercial vessels to be certified. link)

Machinery and equipment

This is any machinery, plant or equipment used as a part of your business and could include:

  • chainsaws for logging companies
  • water blasters for cleaning companies
  • water pumps for irrigation.

Road user charge vehicle

You can also claim on a licensed (RUC) vehicle, whether you run it as a business or as a personal vehicle. This means a heavy (over 3500kg) petrol or LPG vehicle that pays RUC as well as paying for fuel excise duty when purchasing petrol (eg, heavy motor home).

Records to keep

To claim a fuel excise duty refund, 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, vessels and/or machinery (your assets) you want to claim a refund for, and how much is used in each. Make sure you keep your receipts and tax invoices, as you’ll need to provide these with your claims. If you have a fuel storage tank (bulk tank), record how much fuel you have left in your tank(s) on the last day of each quarter.

The dates to remember are:

  • 31 March
  • 30 June
  • 30 September
  • 31 December.

FED refunds questions and answers