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Budget 2022 update: Budget delivers regulatory relief, fuel excise cut

The Government continues to reform Australia’s regulatory environment to ensure the economy remains productive, competitive and agile.

Access our Full Coverage of Budget Release from Here


  • $52.5 million over 5 years from 2021 to 22 to reduce the regulatory burden for the industry in the environmental assessment process through the national rollout of the Digital Environmental Assessments Program, supported by a National Biodiversity Data Repository 
  • $47.3 million over 15 years from 2021-22 to the Clean Energy Regulator to simplify existing compliance and assurance activities for the Emissions Reduction Fund and the Renewable Energy Target to reduce manual compliance reporting 
  • $19.9 million over 4 years from 2021-22 to the Australian Bureau of Statistics to develop a new reporting application to enable businesses to submit surveys on business indicators directly through their accounting software 
  • $17.5 million over 3 years from 2021-22 to enhance the digital capability of Australia’s offshore oil and gas regulator and titles administrator 
  • $11.2 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to continue work in reducing the regulatory burden for businesses arising from compliance with mandatory safety and information standards under Australian Consumer Law 
  • $1.4 million over 2 years from 2022-23 to the AttorneyGeneral’s Department to progress a national approach to modernise the execution of common legal documents.

The Government will forgo receipts of $64.9 million over 3 years from 2023 to 24 to streamline fees associated with Australia’s Business Registers as company registration and lifecycle management moves to the modernised platform (scheduled for September 2023). These reforms will:

  • remove the company’s annual late review fee 
  • reduce the number of fees paid for ad hoc lodgements under current requirements 
  • remove fees for searches conducted on the new registry website
  • provide $0.3 million to the Department of Treasury to redesign the wholesale business register search services (facilitated by third party services).

The Government will also forgo receipts of $6.9 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to make permanent the temporary tariff concession that is currently in place for certain medical and hygiene products to treat, diagnose or prevent the spread of COVID19:

  • The range of products to which the concession applies will be expanded and the end-use restriction removed 
  • The measure will apply from 1 July 2022.

The Government is also providing significant deregulation benefits to fuel and alcohol producers, importers, and distributors through streamlining the administration of fuel and alcohol excise and excise-equivalent customs goods. 

These changes are estimated to cost $127.5 million in underlying cash terms over the forward estimates period. From 1 July 2023, the changes will:

  • enable fuel and alcohol businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million to lodge and pay excise and excise equivalent customs duty on a quarterly basis, rather than weekly or monthly as at present. These businesses will lodge returns and pay excise by the 28th day of the month after the end of each quarter. 
  • enable businesses that import fuel and alcohol products for further manufacture or distribution, and want to defer payment of excise or excise-equivalent customs duty, to transfer the fuel or alcohol straight into a warehouse administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) once the products have gone through Australian Border Force (ABF) customs clearance. The ABF will still collect tax on direct imports. 
  • streamline and align licensing requirements across the excise system, by 
    • removing all renewal requirements for excise and excise equivalent customs goods licences; removing licence fees; enabling the ATO and ABF to issue entity level licences in addition to site-level licences; and providing blanket permission to move goods between sites controlled by licensed businesses
    • removing onshore producers of crude oil and condensate from the excise system until and unless they exceed the relevant production threshold to be liable for excise payments
    • extending the time limit to apply for a refund of excise overpayments from 12 months to 4 years after payment, to align with refunds of customs duty
    • creating a public register of excise and excise equivalent customs goods licences administered by the ATO. 
  • amend the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty regime for fuel by: 
    • introducing a refund provision, similar to that in the excise law, for excise equivalent customs duty on petroleum-based oils used in the further manufacture of petroleum lubricants, ending double taxation of these oils
    • removing the requirement to pay and then claim Fuel Tax Credits in respect of excise or excise equivalent customs duty on fuels used in domestic commercial shipping (‘bunker fuels’), aligning their treatment with the duty-free treatment of bunker fuels for international voyages
    • setting a single rate for businesses to calculate and claim Vapour Recovery Unit refunds. 
  • amend the excise law to provide a targeted exemption from excise licensing requirements, up to a threshold of 10,000 litres per year, for licensed hospitality venues to fill beer from kegs into sealed, non pressurised containers of no more than 2 litres capacity and not designed for medium to longterm storage (‘growlers’).

The measure is expected to cost $336.9 million in underlying cash terms over the forward estimates period. Partial funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government. 

This measure builds on the 2021-22 MYEFO measure Deregulation Agenda – next steps.

Fuel Excise

Global oil prices have risen significantly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Government will help reduce the burden of higher fuel prices at home by halving the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rate that applies to petrol and diesel for 6 months. 

The excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rates for all other fuel and petroleum-based products, except aviation fuels, will also be reduced by 50 per cent for 6 months. The Government is responding in a temporary, targeted and responsible way to reduce the cost of living pressures experienced by Australian households and small businesses. 

The measure will commence from 12.01 am on 30 March 2022 and will remain in place for 6 months, ending at 11.59 pm on 28 September 2022. Under the measure, existing policy settings for fuel excise and excise-equivalent customs duty, including indexation in August, will continue but on the basis of the halved rates.

At the conclusion of the 6 month period the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty rates will then revert to previous rates, including indexation that would have occurred on those rates during the 6 month period. 

The rate of excise and excise-equivalent customs duty currently applying to petrol and diesel is 44.2 cents per litre. This measure will halve the rate on petrol and diesel to 22.1 cents per litre from 30 March 2022, with the price faced by consumers expected to be reduced by a larger magnitude given GST will be levied on the lower excise rate. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will monitor the price behaviour of retailers to ensure that the lower excise rate is fully passed on to Australians.

This targeted measure to provide temporary relief from fuel price pressures will be legislated to end on 28 September 2022.

This measure is estimated to decrease receipts by $5.6 billion, and decrease payments by $2.7 billion over the forward estimates period.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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