Skip to main content

What is the environmental management charge?

The environmental management charge (EMC) is associated with most commercial activities, including tourism operations, non-tourist charter operations, and facilities operating under a permit issued by the Reef Authority.

For most tourism operations, Marine Park visitors participating in a tourist activity are liable to pay the charge to the permit holder, who then remits the charge to the Reef Authority. Permit holders then lodge quarterly tourism visitation data (logbooks) through EMC Online.

Other operations in the Marine Park, such as those involving equipment hire, installation and operation of tourist facilities, underwater observatories, sewage outfalls and vending operations, pay fixed quarterly charges to the Reef Authority.

The funds received from the environmental management charge are vitally important in the day-to-day management of the Marine Park and in improving its long-term resilience.

All funds received as environmental management charge payments are applied directly to the management of the Marine Park.

Visitation data provided when permit holders submit their logbooks through EMC Online greatly assists the Reef Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in developing management arrangements for the sustainable use of the Marine Park.

What are my responsibilities?

The role of the permit holder is to collect and remit the environmental management charge to the Reef Authority by the due date in accordance with Part 13 of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 2019.

  • As a permit holder in the Marine Park, you are responsible for:
  • collecting the correct amount of the environmental management charge
  • keeping accurate and up-to-date records of the environmental management charge
  • submitting the logbooks to the Reef Authority by the due date, even when there is no activity
  • remitting all payments quarterly to the Reef Authority by the due date
  • accurately advertising the environmental management charge

Regardless of private business arrangements you may make, as the permit holder, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the legislative requirements of your permit and to ensure the full and timely lodgement of all environmental management charge returns (logbooks) and payments.

What are the charges?

See what are the charges webpage.


What are the advertising obligations?

As a permit holder in the Marine Park, your obligation to collect the EMC from visitors includes correctly representing the amount of the EMC when advertising your tour prices.

  • It is your responsibility to ensure consistency across all media, including:
  • websites, brochures, television advertising, tax invoices and receipts.
  • where additional fees and charges are advertised, you must ensure that a consumer can readily identify the correct EMC component.
  • examples of correct EMC advertising include:
    • total price - $ …. including the environmental management charge, or alternately   
    • the total price - $ …. including the environmental management charge of $X.00.
  • it is a criminal offence under the Marine Park Act to make a false or misleading representation of the EMC.
  • refer to the Trade Practices Amendment (Clarity in Pricing) Act 2008 for other requirements of price advertising.


For further information, advertisers should review the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website ACCC relating to false or misleading claims.

Have you submitted your EMC logbooks? 

To review your records or lodge environmental management charge returns, please visit EMC Online. All chargeable permission holders are required to lodge quarterly returns.


  • What are the EMC due dates:
  • 1 January to 31 March - due 30 April 
  • 1 April to 30 June - due 31 July 
  • 1 July to 30 September - due 31 October 
  • 1 October to 31 December - due 31 January 

NIL activity returns must also be lodged.

Should you have further enquiries related to the environmental management charge, contact us by phone at 07 4750 837 or email at
Updated 3 Apr 2024
Was this page helpful?
Your rating will help us improve the website.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.