Collection of Export Education Levy from SDR Providers

This page provides information on the collection and administration of the Export Education Levy for Tertiary Education Providers that receive government funding and are therefore required to submit an SDR


Tertiary education providers that receive funding from the Government in the form of student component funding subsidies are required to submit a statistical return which is referred to as the SDR.

A tertiary education provider who wishes to enrol international students must be a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and also must pay an Export Education levy as empowered under section 238H of the Education Act, 1989 and specified in the Education (Export Education Levy) Regulations.

The following information details the procedures associated with the collection of the levy.

Coverage of levy

Providers who receive tuition fees from International students must pay the levy. However providers who have students sponsored by the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID students) or students whose study is carried on outside New Zealand, are not required to pay the levy in respect of those students.

Amount of levy

The levy consists of:

  1. a variable component based on the tuition fees paid by the foreign-fee paying students. The variable levy component is currently set at 0.45 percent of total tuition fees (excl GST) collected from International students studying in New Zealand.
  2. GST will be charged on the levy.

Calculation of levy liability

The export education levy will be calculated using the data you submit in the SDR (Single Data Return). Providers have the choice of loading the tuition fee information into either the student file or the course register file. The choice will depend on whether you enrol large numbers of foreign students and or whether you offer discounts.

Foreign Tuition Fee

The foreign tuition fee charged to an international student should always exceed the tuition fee charged to a domestic student. The foreign tuition fee in addition to all the normal domestic tuition costs must also include the costs of sale such as agents' fees and marketing costs as well as recovering the cost of the Export Education Levy. Additional compulsory course costs are not included in the tuition fee. The Foreign Tuition Fee Excludes GST

Generation of Tax Invoice

When providers submit their SDR, a Tax Invoice will be generated. The Tax Invoice will indicate on the left-hand side the cumulative amount of the levy and on the right-hand side the amount that is owed for the current Trimester.

Payment Method

Payment of the levy can be by Direct Debit, cheque or by Direct Credit. The Ministry of Education encourages all providers to use the Direct Debit method of payment in order to reduce compliance costs to all concerned.

Payment Periods

The direct debits will be processed 15 days after the due dates for the SDRs. The direct debit dates will therefore be:

  • 30 May
  • 30 September
  • 16 February (of the following year).

The same dates apply to providers paying by cheque.

Non-payment of levy

Paying the levy is a statutory obligation. Providers who default on a payment will be given 30 days in which to pay any outstanding levy amounts. Failure to comply within the 30 days may result in the provider losing their status as a signatory to the Code of Practice and therefore would not be eligible to have any further international students.

Use of information collected

Information collected from providers for the purposes of the export education levy will be used in the administration, calculation and collection of the levy and associated reporting, accountability processes and obligations to be carried out by the Ministry of Education. Information will not be available publicly in a form that could disclose commercially sensitive material about a provider.


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback