Increased Assistance for high-density claims, Reduced Claim processing time and late payment interest

Commencing 1 October 2019, TFES assistance for high-density goods will increase from 60% of the standard rate of assistance to 100% and interest on late claim payments greater than 30 days will be paid.

High-density goods—for goods shipped on or after 1 October 2019

From 1 October 2019 high-density goods shipments will receive 100% of the standard rate of TFES assistance, rather than 60% as currently applied.

The new rate of assistance will only apply to high-density goods with a shipment date of 1 October 2019 or after and will not apply to high-density goods with a shipment date before 1 October 2019.

From 1 October 2019:

  • there will be no change to the way you submit high-density claims
  • you must continue to indicate that they are high-density on the claim form, and ensure that you complete the fields relating to the weight and volume of the shipment of goods
  • note that when lodging claims online for high-density goods with a shipment date of 1 October 2019 or after, the rate of assistance will still appear at 60%
  • all claims for high-density goods with a shipment date on or after 1 October will be manually adjusted to receive the100% standard rate of assistance during the assessment process.

The updates to the TFES ICT system to automatically apply the 100% rate of assistance for high-density goods will take some time to implement.

Reduced claim processing time and interest on late TFES payments for goods shipped on or after 1 October 2019

From 1 October 2019, the Australian Government will aim to reduce the time taken to process and pay TFES claims from 35 days to 30 days.

Interest will be payable on claims for shipments made on or after 1 October to claimants where an online claim is finalised by Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services) more than 30 days from the day the claim and all supporting documentation were lodged online.

Note: it can take up to 48 hours for a claimant to receive a payment in their bank account which is dependent on the individual banks or financial institutions.

Interest will be calculated from day 31 and is based on the General Interest Charge (GIC) determined under section 8AAD of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 as outlined in the Ministerial Directions.

For more information on the GIC, please visit the Australian Taxation Office website

Interest will only be paid for claim payments where:

  1. the claimant has been approved as a TFES claimant by Services Australia; and
  2. the claimant has provided a valid bank account and BSB number to Services Australia; and
  3. Southbound TFES claimants have been registered as required under Clause 4.14 of the TFES Ministerial Directions; and
  4. item eligibility under the scheme for Northbound and Southbound shipments has been completed by Services Australia; and
  5. the claim has been submitted to Services Australia online (claims submitted manually will not be paid interest); and
  6. all supporting documentation for the claim has been received online by Services Australia; and
  7. the calculated amount of interest payable to a claimant is over $100.00.

If interest is payable on a claim, the interest payment will be paid to the claimant separately and at a later time to the assistance paid for the claim. Claimants will receive written advice detailing the amount of interest paid.

Claimants will not receive written advice if interest is not paid in relation to their claim for assistance.

From 1 October 2019, a claim will be rejected if a request for additional supporting information has been made by Services Australia to a claimant or claims agent under Clause 4.11.1 of the TFES Ministerial Directions and the additional documents have not been provided online within 21 days.

Where a claim is the subject of a request for an extension of time under subclause 8.6.1 or a review of decision under Part 7 of the TFES Ministerial Directions, the 30-day clock will start when the claimant submits the approved claim.

Any interest paid on any late claim payment is payable to the person who incurred the cost of shipping (that is, the ‘claimant’) and is not to be retained by a claims agent, where a claimant has authorised a claims agent to act on the claimant's behalf.

These changes to the Scheme are implemented through the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme Ministerial Directions Variation Instrument 2019 (No3).