Dangerous Goods Law Update NSW

Employees meeting

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NatRoad would like to inform members that an updated edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code) was agreed to by all the Ministers for Transport in June 2020, with a published commencement date of 1 October 2020. The ADG Code is updated by the National Transport Commission every two years but it’s up to the States and Territories to legislate the new ADG Code.

The model underlying law for dangerous goods transport must be updated to ensure the latest edition of the code is enforceable.  Members should note that the existing edition 7.6 of the ADG Code remains in use in NSW until 30 September 2021, allowing businesses to continue to operate under the existing framework while transitioning to the new 7.7 edition of the ADG Code.

On 9 October 2020, the NSW Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014 was amended to reflect this new edition of the ADG Code and model law, ensuring that the model legislation is implemented in NSW.

The main changes to the regulation are to:

  • ensure the exemption from packaging requirements is correctly applied to dangerous goods packed in excepted quantities;
  • provide for increased placard load limits and reduced documentation requirements for limited quantities and domestic consumable dangerous goods;
  • clarify the obligations in relation to the transport of nominally empty storage vessels;
  • prohibit a prime contractor from directing or inducing a driver to contravene Part 13 of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail; and
  • prescribe new penalties and penalty notice amounts.

There are also minor changes to:

  • require one photograph for applications for dangerous goods driver licences and renewals of such licences; and
  • clarify the meaning of “an offence” when considering driver licence renewal applications, so it is consistent with applications for dangerous goods driver licences.

A copy of the latest edition of the ADG Code can be downloaded from the dangerous goods page on the National Transport Commission website, or via this link to the pdf version of the ADG Code.

The National Transport Commission website also includes explanatory documents for the key changes to the ADG Code.  For members not in NSW, checking with the local regulator for the current dangerous goods law is recommended.