NTC set to launch new edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code

23 February 2017 Topics: Transport and logistics

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is set to launch the new edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (the Code) on 1 March 2017. The new edition will contain a number of significant changes aimed at reducing the regulatory burden of the Code on business owners and providing continued assurance that dangerous goods are being transported safely and efficiently.

When will the changes commence?

The Code is updated every two years, with a one year transition period for each edition.

From 1 March 2017 until 28 February 2018, businesses involved in transporting dangerous goods can choose to comply with either Edition 7.4 or Edition 7.5. From 1 March 2018, businesses must comply with Edition 7.5. The relevant dates are summarised in the following table:

Applicable edition of the Code by dateDoes Edition 7.4 apply?Does Edition 7.5 apply?
From 1 January 2017 to 28 February 2017YesNo
From 1 March 2017 to 28 February 2018 (transition period) YesYes
From 1 March 2018NoYes

What is being changed?

The upcoming edition makes a number of changes to the existing regime. The numbers below are references to the relevant Chapter and paragraph of Edition 7.5.

From a transport operator’s perspective, some of the more significant amendments include:

  • changes to the concessional limited quantities requirements in order to provide a simplified approach to transport documentation for limited quantities that are of a kind generally used for household and personal care purposes (3.4.10);
  • changes to consignment procedures including changes to the ‘overpack’ mark (5.1.2.1) and the reintroduction of ‘equal to’ symbols for package sizes in Table 5.2;
  • a new placard limit of two tonnes for dangerous goods in limited quantities (5.3.1.1.1);
  • changes to the size and location of placards for vehicles with 3000L or less (5.3.2); and
  • the removal of inner package labelling requirements and associated references (5.2.1.8, 5.2.2 and 5.2.2.1.13).

In addition, the ‘retail distribution loads’ chapter and associated references have been deleted. A more flexible approach for small packages is now included in the concessional limited quantities requirements in 3.4.10.

What should transport operators before the changes take effect?

During the transition period, transport operators who transport or store dangerous goods should:

  • obtain a copy of Edition 7.5 of the Code and become familiar with the new regime; and
  • review their dangerous goods policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new regime.

Further details about Edition 7.5 of the Code are available here. If you would like further information about the changes, please contact Gillian Bristow or Emily Ng on +61 3231 2986

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