View all publications

Chapter 4: Waivers, Refunds and Applications

This chapter provides information on how applications for waivers can be made, and how to apply for a refund.

When can I apply for a waiver?

You can apply to the Secretary for the Environment to have the requirement to pay an amount of levy money waived. This must be due to exceptional circumstances – something that couldn’t reasonably be predicted or expected and isn’t a regular event, such as a natural disaster. It will not permanently exempt you from paying the levy on that type of waste or in that particular circumstance.

An application for a waiver can be made at any time – before the waste is received, before the levy is paid on it, or after the levy is paid on it. You must demonstrate why the situation justifies a waiver of the levy.

We suggest that you supply the following information so that the Secretary can consider your application:

  • waiver dollar amount requested
  • start date of period being applied for (month and year)
  • end date of period being applied for (month and year)
  • material type
  • tonnage
  • reason for the waiver (description of situation that led to waiver request), including a detailed description of why the situation in question is exceptional
  • invoice number(s) if any part of the waiver relates to a previously invoiced levy amount.

Application forms to apply for a waiver can be found on the Online Waste Levy System (OWLS): www.wastelevy.govt.nz

The Secretary will examine waiver applications on a case-by-case basis to assess if they meet the requirement of ‘exceptional’ circumstances.

We will notify you in writing of the decision. If a waiver is granted, a credit adjustment based on tonnage figures will be applied to the disposal facility and included in your next invoice.

How do I receive a refund?

Normally, when waivers are granted, a credit adjustment will be included in your next invoice.

However, in the unlikely event that you have paid the levy money after the waiver was granted, you can apply to the levy collector for a refund of the money.

Written applications for refunds must demonstrate that at the time the levy was paid, a waiver had been granted by the Secretary. We recommend that you include the following information in your application:

  • invoice the application relates to

  • the amount to be refunded

  • details of the waiver for which a refund is being requested

  • date the money was paid and date the waiver was granted

  • any other supporting information.

What if my account is in credit and I want a reimbursement?

If your account is in credit by a large amount and for specific reasons you require a reimbursement, you can apply to us. Your application should provide details about why it is not reasonable or possible to receive the adjustment as a credit. We examine applications for reimbursement on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that you include in your application the:

  • invoice the application relates to

  • amount of the request for reimbursement

  • reason you need the money reimbursed.

Can I apply for an exemption?

An exemption means you don’t have to pay the levy for a specific type of waste or disposal facility. Exemptions must be set out in regulations.

There are currently no provisions in the Regulations for exemptions. That means that it is not possible to apply for an exemption to the requirement to pay the levy.

Can I store material for more than six months?

Any waste or diverted material planned for reuse, recycling, removal or further processing will become subject to the levy after six months. If you need to continue storing the material beyond the six month limit you must apply to the Secretary for an extension.
We recommend that you provide the following information with your application:

  • date (month/year) the waste or  material was received at the disposal facility
  • proposed date (month/year) the waste or material will be removed from the disposal facility
  • reason the extension is requested
  • the maximum weight and type of waste or material the extension is sought for (tonnes)
  • details of the final destination of the waste or material (how, when and by whom will it be reused, recycled or further processed)
  • photographs of the waste or material
  • Any other evidence that demonstrates the waste will be reused, recycled or removed.

We recommend that you apply to extend your storage deadline at least a month before your current term expires. This will give the Secretary time to respond to your application before the six month time limit expires. We will notify you in writing of the Secretary’s decision and, if approved, the new storage period, the maximum weights of the waste or material that will be stored and any conditions the Secretary may decide to impose.

Application forms to apply for a storage time extension can be found on the Online Waste Levy System (OWLS): www.wastelevy.govt.nz