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.

You can claim for a period of two years. Applications must be completed quarterly, and you're allowed three months following the close of the quarter to submit your application. There is a 10% late penalty for applications received after this time.

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 fuel used:

  • in an exempted vehicle
  • in a road user charges-licensed vehicle
  • in a commercial vessel
  • for search and rescue purposes in a dedicated rescue vessel
  • for commercial purposes other than as a 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 mainly 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 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

You'll need to register to start claiming excise duty refunds. We'll assign you a customer number when we approve your registration.

Registration tells us who you are, what you do, and why you may be eligible for a refund.

You can email the registration form to fedreg@nzta.govt.nz

If you send in your registration form and MR70 at the same time, we’ll fill in the customer number part for you. 

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

Fuel excise duty refund customer registration form [PDF, 129 KB]

Note: if you're claiming a refund for a vehicle that only has road user charges (RUC), 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 the Fuel Excise Duty team for more information.

Quarterly MR70 application

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

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

Attach clear and readable copies of all purchase receipts to your application. The delivery or purchase date on the receipts should be within the dates of the quarter you're claiming for.

You'll need to correctly summarise all purchases and fuel used, list all the vehicles that use the fuel you're claiming for, and give details of fuel used for commercial purposes.

Fuel must be used for commercial purposes to be eligible for a refund, so anything that is used for domestic, personal, or household use is not eligible. Any fuel used from your commercial supply for this purpose must be entered as ineligible use on the MR70 applications.

You'll need to sign your applications to declare that the information provided is true and correct.

MR70 excise refund form [PDF, 186 KB]

You can email the MR70 excise refund form and supporting documents to fed@nzta.govt.nz

Temporary changes to fuel excise duty charges  

The government temporarily reduced fuel excise duty by 25 cents a litre in March 2022. This reduction ended on 30 June 2023.

Claims subject to audit

Waka Kotahi does audits on claims and may complete on-site inspections.

You’re required to hold complete records, including copies of your applications and supporting documents, for at least seven years. You must be able to show those records if you’re selected for an audit.

Submitting a false claim

Under section 43 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003, Waka Kotahi can prosecute anyone submitting incorrect or fraudulent claims. A fine of up to $2000 can be imposed on conviction.

Serious cases may result in fraud charges being laid under 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.

www.maritimenz.govt.nz/commercial(external 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, keep a record of how much fuel you’ve purchased. You’ll also need to record how much of that fuel is used in each of the vehicles, vessels, and machinery (your assets) you want to claim a refund for.

Keep all 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.