In the media

Methanol bunkering to aid shipping's decarbonization ambitions: Industry experts
Methanol bunkering is set to receive a boost in the near future as maritime decarbonization becomes a focal point for shipping after a fairly smooth transition to the International Maritime Organization's global low sulfur mandate, industry experts told S&P Global Platts (05 September 2020).  More...

40 crew and 6,000 cows feared drowned as yet another panama-flagged ship breaks apart
New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries said it had “temporarily suspended consideration of cattle livestock export applications after a vessel transporting stock from New Zealand to China went missing off the coast of Japan. This spate of accidents in recent weeks, have shone the light on the poor safety record of the shipping industry, and how ‘Flags of Convenience,' under which half of global shipping is registered (05 September 2020).  More...

Livestock carrier with 43 crew feared lost in typhoon off Japan
A Panamanian-flagged livestock carrier with a crew of 43 is feared lost southwest of Japan after encountering a typhoon moving across the region. In 2012, she was converted to a livestock carrier operating under the name Rahmeh. In April 2019 during a livestock voyage from Australia to China, she was renamed Gulf Livestock 1 (05 September 2020).  More...

Supporting consistent investment decision-making
Austroads has published a report that proposes a framework to better support transport investment decisions (04 September 2020).  More...

VTA calls to keep the supply chain open in post-COVID Victorian recovery
Recommendations have been made by the Victorian Transport Association to give greater access at night to heavy vehicles on the state's road network (04 September 2020).  More...

Trucking industry backs tougher penalties for late payers
The trucking industry strongly welcomes proposed Labor amendments to the Payment Times Reporting Scheme, which would introduce penalties for big business who continue to pay their bills late (03 September 2020).  More...

Help make freight transport more productive
The Australian Government is calling on freight operators to help improve key freight routes by giving feedback on local government infrastructure assets. The Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project, administered by the NHVR, was examining bridges and culverts and road assets across the country (02 September 2020).  More...

SAL: New protocols to manage onboard risk of COVID-19
The publication “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Protocols to Mitigate the Risks of Cases On Board Ships” has been released by three international maritime bodies: The International Chamber of Shipping, the International Maritime Health Association and Intertanko (03 September 2020).  More...

Australia bans two more ships as it enforces rules for crew welfare
The AMSA continued its strict enforcement of rules seeking to ensure the welfare of seafarers announcing that it has banned to additional vessels. This comes after AMSA announced several other actions in the past few months and an ongoing inspection effort on all container ships calling in Australian ports (01 September 2020).  More...

Blockchain technology to protect Australia's dairy supply chain
The first phase of a Blockchain and Traceability Framework for Australian Dairy Farmers is underway to reduce the threat of fraudulent product entering the supply chain, protecting farmers, processors and consumers by building on standards already used in transport and logistics (01 September 2020).  More...

Global investor demand for modern logistics assets
Occupier demand for industrial and logistics facilities remains high for global investors. Australia's investable industrial property space has been estimated at $90 billion and most investors in the sector are looking to build a portfolio of between $1.0 billion and $1.5 billion (01 September 2020).  More...

Paying a heavy toll for NorthConnex
The NatRoad has again called on the New South Wales Government to postpone the introduction of new tolls for the mandatory NorthConnex tunnel crossing . Most heavy vehicle operators will be prohibited from using Pennant Hills Road (01 September 2020).  More...

Blueprint to boost heavy vehicle productivity
Expanding networks and reducing the need for access permits will continue to boost freight efficiency according to a productivity blueprint released by the NHVR. The Heavy Vehicle Productivity Plan 2020-25 was an important document to ensure governments and road managers were taking steps to meet Australia's future freight growth (31 August 2020).  More...

IATA - July air cargo demand stable, capacity remains constrained
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in July showing air cargo demand is stable but at lower levels than 2019. While there is some month-to-month improvement, it is at a slower pace than some of the traditional leading indicators would suggest (31 August 2020).  More...

AUSTROADS issues new report to advance infrastructure levy
Austroads has published a report titled Optimising Project Delivery Performance, highlighting the need for time and resources in the early stages of projects. Austroads commissioned the study to investigate the challenges and issues affecting the delivery of transport infrastructure projects and the consequential impacts on value for money, timeliness of delivery, agency and political reputation (27 August 2020).  More...

SAL: Australia tackles infrastructure cyber security
Protecting critical infrastructure from cyber-threats is on the Federal Government's agenda, with the release of a consultation paper, “Protecting Critical Infrastructure and Systems of National Significance”. There are 11 sectors that are being examined,  including transport. Clearly, as shown throughout the Covid-19 crisis, our ports and harbours are key to maintaining continuity of the transport and logistics chain (27 August 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

A holistic investment prioritisation framework for road assets
AP-R631-20 3 September 2020
Asset management, Economics and financing, Planning, this This report proposes a holistic and risk based prioritisation framework to support investment decisions across road asset classes and expenditure categories.  More...

Heavy vehicle productivity plan 2020-25 and action plan
NHVR: 31 August 2020
The Plan outlines important objectives, including partnering with local governments to build capability and promoting more productive heavy vehicles that are better for the environment and communities, as well as providing certainty and consistency with access NHVR.

Practice and Regulation

Release of National Freight Data Hub Options discussion paper
Freight & Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers Association have received advice from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications that the development of a prototype National Freight Data Hub website, and the implementation roadmap and business case are progressing on track for completion by the end of the year.
The department has released an Options Discussion Paper setting out a spectrum of design elements for the Hub across data, technology, governance, funding and regulation for feedback. Submissions direct to the department close on 11 September 2020 (28 August 2020).  More... 

NHVR: Coronavirus (COVID-19) response
Updated 05 September 2020 - The renewed outbreak of coronavirus has prompted significant changes to border requirements across Australia. Please note, any application to cross a border is completed and submitted through the relevant state or territory and not through the NHVR. Details for national and state are outline here.  More...

HVNL review consultation regulation impact statement 2020
Comments now due 09 Nov 2020
The consultation regulation impact statement includes over 40 reform options to improve the HVNL.  More...

NATROAD Submissions

NTC consultation draft - vehicle standards - amendment package 2020
Comments due 27 September 2020
Proposed amendments to the Australian Light Vehicle Standards Rules and the Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation were developed together and seek to better align these instruments with the Australian Design Rules, clarify requirements and terminology and introduce safety improvements.  More...

Note National changes
National Cabinet endorsed the Freight Movement Code for the Domestic Border Controls – Freight Movement Protocol on 7 August 2020. Drivers using their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle to drive to a COVID-19 testing facility are able to utilise the Personal Use Exemption. In this case normal Personal Use Exemption rules apply. For heavy vehicle testing sites updated, check the NHVR Map.

National Transport Commission
NTC consultation draft - Australian Light Vehicle Standards Rules and Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation 2020 amendment package
The public consultation period is open until 27 September 2020. Comments may be submitted online here.

NTC reminder: Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Edition 7.7)
The Code can be used from 1 October 2020 and is compulsory from 1 October 2021. Until then, either the Code edition 7.6 or the Code edition 7.7 can be used. The Code is an important technical resource to help Australia's transport and logistics industry to operate safely when carrying dangerous goods.  More...

AMSA campaign targeting container ships
AMSA encourages ship owners and masters to familiarise themselves with the approved cargo securing manual for their vessel and Marine order 42 which gives effect to Chapter VI of SOLAS in Australia. This focussed inspection campaign is aimed at education, improving standards, and reducing the number of incidents that result in cargo being lost at sea. More information can be found on AMSA's website.

AMSA Extension National Law certificates of competency
AMSA has extended existing exemptions to provide seafarers and operators with continuity and certainty. All National Law exemptions have been extended until 30 June 2025.   More...

AMSA: Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety Alert
If you are currently operating under an exemption that expires on the 30 June 2020, it has now been automatically extended for 5 years, until 30 June 2025. This Alert is to advise vessel owners, operators, masters, coxswains and crews that the AMSA has taken steps to extend the duration of all National Law certificates of competency.  More...

Plant export operations – nationally harmonised framework for managing biosecurity treatments
This Industry Advice Notice is to invite industry to participate in a survey about a nationally harmonised framework for managing biosecurity treatments. We are seeking industry feedback on the harmonised framework through Have your say. The survey closes 11 September 2020.

Disaster - high risk COVID safe plan update
Freight & Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers Association have received confirmation from Freight Victoria that a high risk COVID safe plan is required for all warehouses/distribution centres regardless of the number of people involved in operations (this is contrary to previous advice being that this requirement does not apply in circumstances with less than 5 staff) (20 August 2020).  More...

DAWE: Electronic certification (eCert) exchange for New Zealand moving to paperless
Effective 31 August 2020, the department has transitioned the current eCert exchange with New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (NZ MPI) to a paperless eCert exchange. This means NZ MPI will no longer issue original paper phytosanitary or sanitary certificates. The department will receive the eCert and will assess the eCert where required for import clearance. Please consult both IAN 135-2020 and Electronic Certification (eCert) for Imports for further information.

DAWE import industry advice notices
133-2020 - The management of vessels during the 2020-21 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug pest risk season with changes to the Vessel Seasonal Pest Scheme
135-2020 - eCert exchange for New Zealand now paperless

ABF customs notices
2020-36 - Biannual indexation of customs duty rates for tobacco and tobacco products – 1 September 2020

Senate: Consultations
Importance of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry
Status: Submissions closed. Reporting Date: 14 October 2020

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation committee
Australia's general aviation industry
Status: Accepting Submissions Reporting Date: 30 November 2021


Bhagwan Marine Pty Ltd v The Ship "Teras Bandicoot" [2020] FCA 1224
ADMIRALTY – arrest of  ship  – application for alternative service of arrest warrant and writ by electronic means – where vessel is in a dead – ship status and is not crewed – where service in accordance with r 30 of the Admiralty Rules 1988 (Cth) would not bring the arrest to the attention of any party – circumstances in which the discretion under r 6A of the Rules should be exercised – whether the provisions of the Practice Guideline Special Measures in Response to COVID-19 Admiralty and Maritime (SMIN-2) should extend to other circumstances

Bhagwan Marine Pty Ltd v The Ship "Lauren Hansen" [2020] FCA 1225
ADMIRALTY – arrest of ship – application for alternative service of arrest warrant and writ by electronic means – where vessel is in a dead – ship status and is not crewed – where service in accordance with r 30 of the Admiralty Rules 1988 (Cth) would not bring the arrest to the attention of any party – circumstances in which the discretion under r 6A of the Rules should be exercised – whether the provisions of the Practice Guideline Special Measures in Response to COVID-19 Admiralty and Maritime (SMIN-2) should extend to other circumstances



Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Amendment (Dairy Cattle Export Charge) Bill 2020
Finally passed both Houses 03 September 2020
Amends the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999 to: Impose an export charge on the export of dairy cattle; and amend the rate provision to provide for two different rates of charges: A per head charge on dairy cattle and a per kilogram charge on cattle other than dairy cattle.

Excise Tariff Amendment Bill 2020
Finally passed both Houses 27 August 2020
Introduced with the Product Stewardship (Oil) Amendment Bill 2020 in response to the Federal Court's decision in Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2019] FCA 1849, the bill amends the Excise Tariff Act 1921 to narrow the scope of petroleum-based oils and synthetic equivalents for which excise duties are imposed for the purposes of the Product Stewardship for Oil Scheme to exclude diesel and other fuels.


Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) Variation (Extension No. 2) Instrument 2020
03/09/2020 – No longer in force

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (MRL Standard) Amendment Instrument (No. 7) 2020
02/09/2020 - This instrument amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (MRL Standard) Instrument 2019 to amend the maximum residue limits in relation to which the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority may have regard in its consideration of whether chemical products meet the safety criteria pursuant to section 5A of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code, as scheduled to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act 1994.

Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements for Cruise Ships) Amendment (No. 1) Determination 2020
01/09/2020 – No longer in force

Excise (Spirit blending exemptions) Determination 2020 (No.1)
31/08/2020 - This instrument specifies circumstances where spirit blending to produce spirit is not taken to constitute the manufacture of that spirit under the Excise Act 1901 and repeals the Excise (Spirit blending exemptions) Determination 2010 (No.1).


Heavy Vehicle National Law - National COVID-19 Emergency (Holiday Travel Condition) Derestriction Notice 2020 (No.6)
01/09/2020 - General Comments: This notice replaces the previously published notice, C2020G00617, registered on 30 July 2020.

Heavy Vehicle National Law - Queensland Class 3 Heavy Vehicle (Port of Brisbane Class 3 Flat Rack and Open Top) Mass and Dimension Exemption Notice 2020 (No. 2)
28/08/2020 - General Comments: This notice replaces the previously published notice, C2015G01387, registered on 28 August 2015.


Subordinate legislation as made – 04 September 2020
No 185 Transport Legislation (Road Safety and Other Matters) Amendment (Postponement) Regulation 2020
No 186 Personalised Transport Ombudsman (Postponement) Regulation 2020

Subordinate legislation as made – 28 August 2020
No 160 Statutory Instruments (Exemptions from Expiry) Amendment Regulation 2020
Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010 being replaced
Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Registration) Regulation 2010 being replaced
Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Standards and Safety) Regulation 2010

No 170 Explosives (Security Clearances and Other Matters) Amendment Regulation 2020
9 Amendment of s 136 (Conditions for transporting explosives—Act, s 50)

Note Transport Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation (No 2) 2020 (Qld) This Regulation is made under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) Act 2017, Transport Infrastructure Act 1994, Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994. The policy objectives of the Regulation are to provide financial relief to commercial operators in state-managed boat harbours and provide a framework that will enable exemptions from requirements about certain marine authorities. The Regulation will also extend the expiry of a transitional regulation that preserves certain Queensland-specific definitions under national rail safety legislation. Note: This regulation expires on 31 December 2020

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.