Under section 47C (2)(a) of the Fire Service Act 1975 we are authorised to charge for attendance at a hazardous substance emergency, whether or not that emergency involves actual or suspected fire. The Act further specifies that the charge shall include all costs to stabilise or render safe the hazardous substance emergency.
Hazardous materials are specifically exempted from the New Zealand Fire Service Levy. This means that the levy contained in fire insurance policies do not cover a hazardous substance emergency.
Given the number of incidents involving hazardous materials every year, we need to cover our costs. Our charges aim to recover some of the costs we incur when we respond to a hazardous substance emergency and should not be considered a fine.
The costs of attendance are outlined in the Schedule of fees. In addition to these costs, the Act provides that the costs of materials used or destroyed while dealing with the incident may also be charged.
Hazardous Substance Charge invoices
The Fire Service Commission decides whether to charge for our attendance at a hazardous substance emergency on a case-by-case basis. Judgment for each case is based on advice from our personnel in the region where the incident happened.
Once the Commission decides to charge, it invoices the relevant party. The Commission will consider comments from that party about whether a particular invoice is appropriate and should be charged to that party.
If you have any enquiries about invoices contact the Accounts Receivable Team Leader at our National Headquarters in Wellington by phone on (04) 496 3661 or by fax on (04) 471 1791.