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Transport service licence holders, other than a rental service licence holder, must keep and retain records relating to RUC vehicles.

RUC records should include the distance the vehicle has travelled and what the RUC weight is. 

Records include:

  • entries in logbooks (for one year)
  • permits issued under Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Dimensions and Mass 2002 (VDAM Rule) (for one year from the date of expiry of the permit)
  • records of maintenance of a vehicle (for two years)
  • invoices for fuel and maintenance of RUC vehicles (for six years)
  • invoices relating to cartage by, or use of the vehicle (for six years).

You may need to produce these records for inspection. If you cannot produce these records it could result in a fine of up to $25,000 for an individual and up to $100,000 for an organisation that is convicted of an offence.

It is an offence to provide false records or information, and can result in a fine of up to $15,000 for an individual and up to $75,000 for an organisation.

The Transport Agency may also access business records held by third parties. Anyone who has serviced, maintained, supplied or contracted/leased a RUC vehicle may be required to produce records in relation to that vehicle. Failure to comply without reasonable excuse is liable to a fine of up to $15,000.

Guidelines

These guidelines provide a summary of RUC vehicle records that must be kept and an indication of the main reasons why the Transport Agency, as the RUC collector, may require production of records that must be kept under the RUC Act 2012 (the act). These guidelines are intended as a summary and do not limit or replace the legal requirements in transport legislation.

Records that must be kept

Section 65 and the definition of ‘records’ in section 5 of the act specify the records that must be kept for certain periods if the records relate to the use and maintenance of RUC vehicles:

  • Logbooks (must keep for one year from the date of entry).
  • Records relating to maintenance of the vehicle or vehicles (must keep for two years from the date of the record).
  • Invoices relating to expenditure on maintenance in relation to the vehicle or vehicles (must keep for six years from date of invoice).
  • Invoices relating to expenditure on fuel in relation to the vehicle or vehicles (must keep for six years from date of invoice).
  • Invoices relating to cartage by, or use of, the vehicle or vehicles (must keep for 6 years from date of invoice).
  • Any permits issued under section 5 of Part 1 of the VDAM Rule 2002 in relation to the vehicle or vehicles (must keep for one year from expiry of permit).

RUC collector may require production of records

Section 66 of the act provides that, for the purposes of assessing unpaid road user charges or for ascertaining whether the act is being complied with, the RUC collector can require any person to which the act applies to produce records or other information relevant to the use or maintenance of a RUC vehicle, including the records specified above that must be kept.

RUC collector may require business records from third parties

Section 67 of the act empowers the RUC collector to require third parties to provide information if the owner/operator of the RUC vehicles has failed to produce records, or records produced are believed to be false, inaccurate or misleading.

Primary reasons for requiring records

There are three primary situations where RUC collector staff may require access to records:

  • An audit of a hubodometer change
  • An audit of an off road refund application.
  • An assessment of unpaid road user charges.

Audit of hubodometer changes

The majority of hubodometer changes result in a refund. It is therefore in the interests of the customer to cooperate with the RUC collector when requests for additional information are made. A RUCHO records request will usually be made to allow the RUC collector to determine the distance a hubodometer should have recorded had it been working correctly.

In the first instance the RUC collector will generally look at vehicle inspection data for distance readings. The distance recorder reading at the time of vehicle inspection is provided to the RUC collector each time a vehicle is inspected. There may be instances where other RUC records may be required to substantiate an application.

Audit of off road refund applications

For off-road refunds section 30(3) of the act requires the RUC collector to be satisfied as to the accuracy of the application and quality of information provided to substantiate the application. Applicants should therefore provide sufficient information to support an application. If the relevant information is not provided then the RUC collector may decline the application.

Assessment of unpaid road user charges

Under the new act it is envisaged that most assessments of unpaid RUC will relate to distance-based evasion. For a distance-based evasion assessment the RUC collector will be looking to establish the actual distance a vehicle may have travelled. Much of the information required to be retained under section 65 of the act may be useful for this purpose.

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