Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme Subsidy Changes

On 7 January 2021, The Federal Government announced that the Bass Strait Passenger Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) will be temporarily increased to boost passenger vehicle bookings.

Bass Island Line is investigating eligibility requirements to understand what the subsidy will mean for our customers. BIL expects to provide an update to customers early next week.

The Federal Government yesterday said the increase will apply to new bookings made on/after 14 January 2021 for travel between 1 March and 30 June 2020.

The subsidy will be available until 30 June 2021, or until the allocation of $6 million has been sold – whichever comes first. The discount will apply to Tasmanians travelling interstate, however it is not available on existing bookings.

Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme Background

The Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) was introduced in September 1996 by the Australian Government.

The BSPVES aims to reduce the cost of seagoing travel between the mainland and Tasmania, by providing a rebate for the transportation of an eligible passenger vehicle across Bass Strait.

All claims for payment of the rebate under the scheme are assessed and paid by Services Australia on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

BIL currently offers the existing rebate upfront by reducing the fare charged. BIL is not the recipient of the rebate, instead the rebated is claimed on the driver’s behalf.

Only one vehicle can be claimed per one eligible driver matched to that individual’s airfare. The individual transporting the vehicle must have an airfare on a direct commercial airline or flight, Please note charter flights are not currently accepted under the scheme.

A signed Driver’s Declaration, Consignment Note and copy of the flight booked must accompany the claim. In circumstances where the government rejects a claim under the scheme, the driver will be required to repay the rebate to BIL.

Vehicles such as prime movers, trailers or vehicles carried on other vehicles are also excluded from the scheme.