Charging for regulatory activities (Cost Recovery)

The Australian Government charges the non-government sector for a range of regulatory activities by recovering some or all of the efficient costs of those activities. Regulatory activities are generally those activities where the government wishes to control or influence behaviour, manage risk and/or protect the community. They usually include an enforcement or compliance element and may not involve user discretion. Legislation is always required for these charging activities.

Where the Australian Government has made a decision to charge for a regulatory activity on a full or partial cost recovery basis, these activities are subject to the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines (the CRGs) (available below). The CRGs set out the overarching framework under which government entities design, implement and review regulatory charging activities. While the six overarching charging principles apply to regulatory charging activities, they must also meet the requirements in the CRGs, including:

  • policy approval from the Australian Government to charge
  • statutory authority to charge
  • alignment between expenses and revenue
  • up-to-date, publicly available documentation and reporting.

Responsible departments of state must also undertake portfolio charging reviews in accordance with the schedule of portfolio charging reviews.

The above information has been adapted for website publication. It should be read in conjunction with the full guidance on the Australian Government Charging Framework and the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines (the CRGs), available below.

Charging Guidance

Regulatory Charging Tools

The previous edition of the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines (Finance Circular 2005/09) has been archived. Finance Circular 2008/08 Changes to Cost Recovery Arrangements has also been archived.

Last updated: 10 August 2015