International travellers will be paying more for tickets from July next year, with the Federal Government announcing plans to raise the departure tax. The tax, formally known as the Passenger Movement Charge, will increase by $5 from July 1, 2017. As a result, the new charge will be $60, up from the current $55.
The Passenger Movement Charge
The charge is currently fixed at $55 and is applied to all passengers departing Australia on an international flight or cruise.
The charge in its current form was introduced in 1995. The original purpose for the charge was to offset costs in providing passenger services, such as customs, immigration and quarantine. In the years since its introduction, it has steadily increased, reaching its current level of $55 in 2012.
It is a levy that goes largely unnoticed by travellers. There have been reports that as many as 85% of travellers are unaware the charge even exists. Airlines, or cruise lines, include the charges in the advertised price, as required under Australian Law. This tends to obscure the total amount of taxes that are included in ticket prices.
The increase in the Passenger Movement Charge follows a government back down on proposals to increase the ‘backpackers tax’. As part of filling the gap in revenue from the back down, the government chose to increase the Passenger Movement Charge by $5. While this does not fill the hole entirely it will likely bring in around $100 million or so.