Law & Legal & Attorney Contract Law

What You Need to Know About Construction Contracts and Payment Claims

As you will be aware, the Road User Charges Act 2012 came into force on 1 August, replacing the Road User Charges Act 1977, the first substantial update in 25 years. The 2012 Act aims to modernise the RUC system and ensure those who have to pay RUC are getting a fair deal. One of the main drivers behind the changes to the system was the impact of RUC evasion. It seems only fair that those who pay their RUC no longer have to subsidise those who evade paying. This means that operators will no longer be able to underestimate the weight of their vehicle and purchase an insufficient RUC license, due to the new permanent 'RUC weight' of vehicles. NZTA has increased powers under the new Act to assess and demand payment for unpaid RUC and to gain access to information stored on a RUC vehicle's engine management system to establish whether tampering has occurred. Vehicle inspectors are now required to report odometer readings to NZTA as part of WOF and COF inspections.

Other changes include modifications to the exemptions regime as the previous exemptions regime was considered to be inconsistent in its treatment of similar vehicles. The regime was also abused. Supplementary licences and time licences are to be discontinued. Operators will no longer be able to purchase supplementary licences, instead, additional charges will apply for the carrying of indivisible, overweight loads on a one-off basis and for high productivity vehicles. Time licences were considered to complicate the RUC system, adding to administrative difficulty. Operators who used time licences will be pleased that their specialised vehicles will now be exempt for RUC. However they will still be contributing to the cost of our roads through annual licence fees.There is now an improved regulatory framework for electronic management systems. An 'electronic system provider' is defined by the NZTA as an organisation that enters into an agreement with NZTA to provide RUC-related services to transport operators. These services include the provision of electronic distance recorders and the issuing of RUC licences electronically. Providers are now bound to retain certain information and make it available to NZTA on demand.The Act also aims to reduce administration fees for purchasing RUC licences and creates a regime of offences and penalties, which is fairer, especially for light diesel vehicles. There are also new obligations on those who operate under a Transport Service Licence to retain and produce certain records relating to RUC vehicles. For further information on this topic, get in contact with your lawyer who will be able to explain anything you haven't fully understood.

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