Does your business pack goods for transport by heavy vehicle, or receive goods from heavy vehicles? If so, your business forms part of a chain of responsibility and has obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The National Law applies to all businesses associated with the transportation of goods by heavy vehicles and significant changes are due to come into effect on 1 October 2018.

These changes place obligations on all parties in the chain of responsibility in the form of a ‘positive duty of care’. Each party in the chain will have a primary duty of care to ensure the safety of their transport activities ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ and executive officers will have personal obligations to ensure their organisations comply with their primary duty of care, as well as other major safety related duties in the National Law.

A three-tiered hierarchy of significant penalties will be introduced for contraventions of the primary duty ranging from a maximum of $50,000 for an individual ($500,000 for a corporation) to a maximum of $300,000 and/or five years’ imprisonment ($3,000,000 for a corporation). Penalties for executive officers are the same as those for an individual’s breach of its primary duty.

If you would like advice in respect of your potential responsibilities under the National Law, now is the time to act. CIE Legal can assist you.

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