It's important you understand your reporting and record keeping obligations under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.

We help you to understand your rights, obligations and entitlements by providing guidance material. This includes written guides, videos and webinars. We also assist with enquiries.

Record keeping

You must keep adequate records if you are:

  • a registered corporation
  • any other person required to provide information to us under section 20 of the Act.

Records you need to keep

You must keep records which show that you have met your obligations under the Act. Your records should:

  • provide transparency to your activities
  • support the accuracy of the data reported to us
  • be relevant, complete and consistent.

You’re encouraged to keep records regarding:

  • reasons for decisions
  • methods used for reporting.

Recommended records

Your records should include:

  • a list of all of your activities that must be reported under National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER)
  • the data collected for each activity that will be used to calculate emissions and energy
  • evidence supporting the calculations for example, receipts, invoices and details of payment methods
  • the methods and measurement criteria you used for estimating emissions and energy and the reason why they were selected
  • information on how you collected the data
  • records of business decisions and accuracy, especially for high-risk areas relating to reporting coverage for example, applying concepts of controlling corporation, corporate group and facility. 

If you use facility-specific emissions factors, your records should:

  • document the monitoring methods used
  • include information about the results of developing these emissions factors
  • include details like biomass fractions, oxidation or conversion factors.

For other records you should keep to maintain a high-quality and auditable greenhouse gas inventory, visit the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

How long to keep your records

You must keep records for 5 years from the end of the reporting year when the recorded activities happened.

Format of your records

You can keep your records in paper or electronic form.

Records should be stored in a format that can be easily accessed. External auditors must also be able to access records.

Compliance monitoring

We monitor compliance with NGER legislation to ensure reported data is accurate. This is crucial as NGER data informs Australian policy and program development, as well as our international reporting requirements

We monitor compliance to:

  • maintain the integrity of the NGER Scheme
  • enforce the scheme effectively
  • target education.

If we find potential non-compliance through our compliance monitoring, we'll contact the reporter for clarification.

If we find the report is non-compliant, we will take appropriate regulatory action in line with our compliance, education, and enforcement policy.

We also publish the details of organisations that report late.

Monitoring activities

We expect compliance against all reporting requirements.

We focus on high-risk reporters using advanced data analysis tools and a targeted audit program to identify reporting that does not match with other information we hold or that you have reported to us.

Voluntary assurance audit reports

Before you submit your reports you may want to consult with a registered greenhouse and energy auditor.

Make sure you consider the auditors knowledge and background. Price should not be the only thing you consider.

We may not re-audit you if you provide a voluntary assurance audit report with your NGER report.

We will use any voluntary audit report findings for compliance monitoring activities. You should attach your voluntary audits to your NGER report in the Emissions and Energy Reporting System (EERS).

We'll notify you if you're selected for an audit.

For more on audits, view our webinar on audits under NGER Scheme and the Safeguard Mechanism.

Penalties for non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance with the Act include:

  • civil penalties
  • criminal penalties
  • infringement notices.

Civil penalties

There are a number of provisions in the Act imposing civil penalties for contraventions of the legislation.

A civil penalty is a pecuniary penalty imposed by the court in civil proceedings. These penalties are distinct from fines in criminal proceedings, and do not constitute a criminal offence.

Civil penalties may be imposed under the Act for failure to meet:

  • registration requirements
  • reporting requirements
  • record-keeping requirements
  • auditing requirements.

In certain circumstances, a company's executive officer may also be subject to a civil penalty where the company has contravened a civil penalty provision.

We can issue infringement notices for breaches of civil penalty provisions. Depending on the circumstances, the penalty could range from 12 penalty units to one-fifth of the maximum penalty a court could impose for the contravention.

Table 1 lists the civil penalty provisions of the Act. Each provision sets out the maximum penalty that a court may impose for a violation of that section. Section 31 of the Act explains the factors that a court will consider when deciding how much money a person has to pay as a civil penalty.

Table 1: Civil penalty provisions of the Act

Description of offenceSection of the Act
Failure to notify cessation to the Regulator (nominated person)11B(20)
Failure to apply for registration in relation to meeting a threshold12
Failure by registered corporation to provide a compliant report to the Regulator19
Failure of other person to provide certain information20(4)
Submission of non-compliant report relating to greenhouse gas projects21(4)
Submission of non-compliant report relating to offsets of greenhouse gas emissions21A(2)
Contravention by registered corporation22(1)
Contravention by other person required to provide certain information22(2)
Failure by holder of reporting transfer certificate to provide a compliant report to the Regulator22G
Contravention by holder of reporting transfer certificate22H
Failure to provide compliant report where obligations transferred to responsible member of corporate group22X(2)
Contravention by responsible member of corporate group22XA
Ongoing failure to comply with civil penalty provision30
Failure to provide specified compellable information to the Regulator71(3)
Providing false or misleading information to the Regulator71(4)
Contraventions relating to audit requirements73A-74C

Criminal penalties

Several provisions in the Act impose a criminal penalty.

Offences generally relate to dishonest or fraudulent behaviour or behaviour that could cause significant harm to the NGER scheme or its participants.

Examples of offences that impose a criminal penalty include:

  • unlawful use of an authorised officer's identity card
  • unlawful disclosure of information
  • failure to comply with the requests of an authorised officer when there is a monitoring warrant in place.

There are also offences under the Criminal Code which apply where a person provides us with false or misleading information or documents.

Table 2 lists the criminal offences and penalties listed in the Act. The Crimes Act 1914 determines the value of a penalty unit.

Table 2: Criminal offences and penalties of the Act

Description of offenceSection of the ActPenalty (1 penalty unit = $222)
Secrecy – unlawful disclosure of greenhouse and energy information or audit information23Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units or both
Monitoring compliance – unlawful use of identity card581 penalty unit
Monitoring compliance – failure or refusal to comply with authorised officer request during warrant execution61(3)Imprisonment for 6 months or 30 penalty units or both
Monitoring compliance – failure to provide officer executing a warrant with all reasonable facilities and assistance6930 penalty units


This information is provided as guidance only and is not a substitute for independent professional advice.

NGER reporters are responsible for applying the legislation to their circumstances and organisational structure.