Done and dusted: Parliament passes final phase of the ‘chain of responsibility’ reforms

06 September 2018 Topics: Transport and logistics

The Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2018 was passed yesterday afternoon. The amendments will significantly enlarge the investigative and enforcement powers of authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. The amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside the new ‘primary duty’ and executive ‘due diligence’ obligation.

The new ‘chain of responsibility’ regime consists of three separate pieces of amending legislation.

Phase 1 – introducing the new regime

In December 2016, Parliament passed amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to introduce a new regime that imposes a ‘primary duty’ on all businesses in the ‘chain of responsibility’ and a ‘due diligence’ obligation on all executive officers to ensure their businesses comply with the primary duty. The amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018.

Phase 2 – extending the executive ‘due diligence’ obligation’

In June 2018, Parliament passed further amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These further amendments extend the ‘due diligence’ obligation by requiring executive officers of businesses in the chain of responsibility to exercise due diligence to ensure their businesses comply with all major safety related duties in the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These amendments are also set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside Phase 1.

Phase 3 – enlarging investigative and enforcement powers

Yesterday, Parliament passed amendments to enlarge the investigative and enforcement powers of authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. Some of the more significant amendments are set out here. These amendments are set to commence on 1 October 2018, alongside Phases 1 and 2.

Countdown to 1 October 2018

There are now less than four weeks remaining until the new ‘chain of responsibility’ regime comes into effect. We are running a one hour webinar on 25 September to help road transport operators and other parties in the supply chain with their last minute preparations. The webinar is designed to assist those who need a general overview of their new obligations or a final ‘refresher’ before 1 October. All the details are here.

If you have any questions in relation to the new regime or would like assistance in complying with your new obligations, please contact Gillian Bristow on +61 7 3231 2925 or Emily Ng on + 61 7 3231 2986.

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