Environmental Management Charge

What is the environmental management charge?

The environmental management charge (EMC) is a charge associated with most commercial activities, including tourism operations, non-tourist charter operations, and facilities, operated under a permit issued by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

For most tourism operations, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park visitors participating in a tourist activity are liable to pay the charge to the permittee, who then remits the charge to GBRMPA.

Other operations in the Marine Park such as those involving the hire of equipment, installation and operation of tourist facilities, underwater observatories, sewage outfalls and vending operations, must pay fixed quarterly charges to GBRMPA.

The funds received from the EMC are vitally important in the day-to-day management of the Marine Park and in improving its long-term resilience.

All funds received as EMC payments are applied directly to management of the Marine Park including education, research, ranger patrols and policy development.

At the same time, visitation information provided when EMC is submitted greatly assists GBRMPA and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in developing management arrangements for sustainable use of the Marine Park.

The Australian Government announced a temporary reduction to the environmental management charge (EMC) for Great Barrier Reef Marine Park visitors. More information is outlined under the charges section below.

Does it apply to me?

The role of the permittee is to collect and remit the EMC to GBRMPA by the due date in accordance with Part 8 of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (the Regulations).

As a permittee in the Marine Park, you are responsible for:

  • collecting the correct amount of the EMC
  • keeping accurate and up-to-date records of the EMC
  • submitting the logbooks to GBRMPA by the due date, even where there is no activity
  • remitting all payments quarterly to GBRMPA by the due date
  • accurately advertising the EMC.

Regardless of private business arrangements you may make, you are reminded that as the permittee you have the responsibility to ensure compliance with the conditions of your permit and to ensure the full and timely lodgement of all EMC returns and payments.

You are not required to pay GST on any EMC collected.