Background—Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme
On this page you will find information about
The Commonwealth Government has provided financial assistance to shippers of freight between Tasmania and mainland Australia under the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) since July 1976. The scheme was extended in 2008 to cover eligible shipments moved between the main island of Tasmania and King Island, and between the main island of Tasmania and any island in the Furneaux Group.
The TFES provides financial assistance for cost incurred by shippers of eligible non-bulk goods moved by sea. The amount of assistance is based on the difference between the freight costs of moving the goods by sea and the notional freight costs of moving them by road over an equivalent distance. The Scheme's objective is to provide Tasmanian industries with equal opportunities to compete in other markets, recognising that, unlike their mainland counterparts, Tasmanian shippers do not have the option of transporting goods interstate by road or rail.
From 1 January 2016, the Scheme was extended to include eligible goods being shipped to the mainland regardless of their final destination.
The scheme is demand-driven and expenditure varies with economic conditions. In 2017-18, the Australian Government spent approximately $147.3 million in assistance under TFES .
Assistance under TFES is not considered income for the purposes of the Goods and Services Tax Act 1999.
The scheme is administered in accordance with Ministerial Directions approved by the Minister. Eligibility requirements and rates of assistance are described in the Ministerial Directions.
Ministerial Directions that apply to shipments from 1 January 2016:
- TFES Ministerial Directions 2016—last varied 9 August 2018
DOC: 329 KB PDF: 1000 KB
- On 9 August 2018, fodder being donated to mainland farmers, until the end of 30 June 2019 – 01932 is included in Schedule 1 of the TFES Ministerial Directions – Goods eligible for assistance under the northbound and intrastate components of the Scheme PDF: 47 KB
- On 9 November 2017, the Delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development approved a variation to the TFES Ministerial Directions. The variation related to Subclause 1.7.2, Clause 4.6 (heading), Subclauses 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.6.3 and 4.9.2 in relation to self-assessed claimants and transhipment.PDF: 2247 KB
- On 7 June 2017, the Delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development approved a variation to the TFES Ministerial Directions. The variation related to Subclause 1.5.1, Clause 6.2 and Subclauses 6.2.1, 6.2.2, and 6.2.3 in relation to an authorised officer. PDF: 50 KB
- On 13 February 2017, the Delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development approved a variation to the TFES Ministerial Directions. The variation related to clause 4.5 in relation to self-assessed claimants PDF: 438 KB.
- On 20 April 2016 the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport approved a variation to the TFES Ministerial Directions under subclause 8.2.1 of the Directions. The variation related to subclause 1.7.1 in relation to transhipment matters PDF: 564 KB .
- As of 23 December 2015, poppy straw—01931 is included in Schedule 1 of the TFES Ministerial Directions—Goods eligible for assistance under the northbound and intrastate components of the scheme PDF: 434 KB .
Ministerial Directions that apply to shipments before 1 January 2016:
As set out in the Ministerial Directions, a claim can only be made by an eligible person (individual or company) and only for assistance with shipping eligible goods. The scheme has different eligibility rules, depending on whether the goods are being shipped:
- north from Tasmania to mainland Australia;
- south from mainland Australia to Tasmania; or
- intrastate between the main island of Tasmania and King Island, or between the main island of Tasmania and any island in the Furneaux Group (KIFG).
Additional assistance is available for northbound shipments to mainland Australia from the islands of the Furneaux Group that must be sent via the main island of Tasmania and require more than one type of transport mode to complete the interstate journey (e.g. trucked from one port to another for loading onto a different vessel).
Only the person who actually incurs and pays the costs of shipping eligible, non-bulk goods is eligible to claim assistance under the scheme. This is sufficient in order to be eligible for assistance shipping northbound goods and some intrastate goods.
However, to be eligible for assistance shipping southbound goods and some intrastate goods, the person also must be:
- engaged in the manufacturing, mining, agriculture, forestry or fishing industry; or
- a sportsperson competing in a sporting event where prize money is paid; or
- a professional entertainer performing in a show or event for payment.
Companies may also apply to act as a claims agent in order to apply for assistance on behalf of their customers.
Additional eligibility conditions may apply, as set out in the Ministerial Directions.
A person may also be eligible for southbound assistance for brood mares and foals as per the additional eligibility conditions set in the Ministerial Directions.
Eligibility of goods
Certain goods are ineligible for assistance, including price equalised goods, and goods imported into Australia from overseas which have not undergone a manufacturing process on the mainland before being shipped to or from Tasmania.
- Assistance is available for northbound and intrastate shipments of goods listed in Schedule 1 of the Ministerial Directions.
- Assistance is available for southbound and intrastate shipments of raw materials or equipment for use as inputs to the mining or manufacturing industries in Tasmania and material input to, or machinery, implements and equipment for use in the agricultural, fishing and forestry industries in Tasmania.
- In some circumstances, assistance may be available for shipping brood mares and their progeny and for the equipment of sportspersons and professional entertainers.
The cost of shipping must have already been paid before a claim for assistance is made. Additional eligibility conditions apply, as set out in the Ministerial Directions.
Please note that the payment information reported in the tables below is actual payments based on date of payment and may differ from the total expenditure under the scheme reported on this website and in the Department’s annual report. The two figures provide different types of financial information. The annual report and total expenditure reported on this website provide expenditure information including the end of financial year accrual while the information presented in the tables below report on cash/payments for the financial year.
Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES)
Total TFES assistance
Year to date expenditure (as at 31 December 2018)
Total TFES assistance
Top 20 customers for the Quarter
Name of Customer
Amount of Assistance Paid $
|1||NORSKE SKOG BOYER MILL||$2,569,818.39|
|2||SIMPLOT AUSTRALIA P/L||$2,315,827.31|
|3||MONDELEZ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD (FORMERLY KRAFT)||$1,547,799.71|
|4||RIO TINTO MARKETING PTY LTD||$1,152,200.00|
|5||TASMANIAN STOCKFEED SERVICES (MANUFACTURING)||$1,147,410.00|
|6||MCCAIN FOODS (AUST)P/L||$978,120.00|
|7||NYRSTAR SALES & MARKETING AG||$975,452.00|
|8||MON-TIMBERLINK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD||$775,904.95|
|9||NSF-FONTERRA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD||$651,388.86|
|10||J BOAG & SON BREWING LTD||$639,832.69|
|11||PACIFIC FOREST PRODUCTS AUSTRALIA LP||$632,800.00|
|12||NSF-JBS AUSTRALIA P/L||$624,072.26|
|13||TASSAL OPERATIONS PTY LTD||$593,618.12|
|14||FSE-GIBSONS LTD T/A SKRETTING AUSTRALIA||$587,011.74|
|15||PACIFIC ALUMINIUM BELL BAY SALES PTY LTD||$453,464.00|
|16||NSF-CHEP AUSTRALIA LTD||$451,487.41|
|17||NORTH EAST EQUITY PTY LTD T/A SUMICH||$449,676.98|
|18||HUON AQUACULTURE COMPANY||$446,812.53|
|19||LD & D AUSTRALIA PTY LTD||$404,433.09|
|20||FORTH FARM PRODUCE PTY LTD||$302,144.43|
- Q2 2016/2017 DOC: 23 KB PDF: 451 KB
- Q3 2016/2017 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 451 KB
- Q4 2016/2017 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 451 KB
- Q1 2017/2018 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 452 KB
- Q2 2017/2018 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 443 KB
- Q3 2017/2018 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 452 KB
- Q4 2017/2018 DOC: 25 KB PDF: 440 KB
- Q1 2018/2019 DOC: 21 KB PDF: 450 KB
- Q2 2018/2019 DOC: 21 KB PDF: 451 KB
Requests for information on applying for TFES and other administrative matters should be directed to:
Tasmanian Transport Programs
Department of Human Services
GPO Box 1269
HOBART TAS 7001
Phone: 13 11 58
Fax: (03) 6222 2149
More information is found at the Department of Human Services' TFES webpage
The Department of Human Services undertakes the delivery of the TFES and the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme on behalf of the department.