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New chain of responsibility advice for shipping and transport

Over the next few months, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will be releasing a host of regulatory advice to assist the logistics and transport industry supply chain better understand ‘Chain of Responsibility’ (CoR) laws.

The NHVR have been currently lobbying the National Transport Commission (NTC) in regards to the chain of responsibility not currently being shared between drivers and their management.

The most recent advice is aimed at better educating importers, exporters, manufacturers, freight forwarders, freight brokers, shipping agents and container terminal operators about managing the risks of transporting shipping container freight.

Risks include unbalanced loading, inadequate load restraint and safety risks for unloaders where freight has been poorly restrained or has shifted during transit.

Because of their activities, all listed parties in the CoR have a duty to ensure safety by eliminating or minimising public risks under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)  according to NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto.

“As a risk-based regulator, we’re focused on identifying the greatest safety risks to all parties in the Chain of Responsibility, and helping eliminate or control these risks,” Petroccitto said.

“Our Regulatory Advice Program is about clearly communicating information to everyone who needs to know, making the heavy vehicle industry and our roads safer.”

Executives should also be fully aware of their responsibilities of endorsing or approving final risk assessments and exercising due diligence in activities including, amongst other things; collecting information about incident rates (to see if the safety management plan is working), participating in industry-led forums and safety seminars and ensuring work procedures are being followed and result in improvements in safety.

Ultimately, if a party consigns, packs, loads or unload goods, they have the most ability to influence and manage the risks associated with transporting freight in shipping containers.

Under the HVNL section 26C, it states that, “each party in the CoR has a primary duty to ensure the safety of its transport activities, so far as is reasonably practicable. This duty includes an obligation to eliminate or minimise public risks and a prohibition against directly or indirectly causing or encouraging a driver or another person, including a party in the CoR, to contravene the HVNL.”

Full details on the regulatory advice can be found HERE.

Additional regulatory advice will be released over the coming months and industry is encouraged to provide feedback via the NHVR’s website.

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