Heavy vehicles / Safety / Australian Dangerous Goods Code / Summary of proposed amendments

Proposed amendments to the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Edition 7.6) and the Competent Authority Panel Rules

Summary of proposed amendments

We are seeking feedback on the draft Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail Edition 7.6 (the Code), as well as the draft Competent Authority Panel Rules (CAP Rules). For more information about making a submission, please see the project page. Consultation closes 5pm Friday, 9 February 2018.

The Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail Edition 7.6

To assist with outlining the proposed amendments, we have uploaded a draft of the Code with all changes tracked.

Summary of the proposed amendments

Please note that the summary of proposed amendments below does not detail the amendments made as a result of alignment with UN20.

Load restraint of bundles of cylinders
Currently section 8.1.3.2 (Open and Non-rigid sided vehicles and containers) of the Code requires that “bundles of Cylinders” be transported using rigid sides or gates.

It is proposed to amend section 8.1.3.5 of the Code by including the term “bundles of cylinders”. This amendment will exempt “bundles of cylinders” from the requirements set out in section 8.1.3.2 if they are restrained in a manner that complies with the load restraint requirements.

Mobile Processing Units (MPU) Code
It is proposed to amend section 1.1.1.2 (Exemption to application) of the Code to clarify that the Code does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods by a MPU unit, that is authorised under a law of the jurisdiction that it is operating in, to transport explosives. This exemption will not extend to any trailer being towed by a mobile processing unit.

Mixed Packet (Low Risk Dangerous Goods) and Personal care products in consumer packaging
Chapter 3.4 of the Code sets out requirements for dangerous goods packed in limited quantities. It is proposed to amend the Code by inserting two new sections (3.4.11 and 3.4.12) that will allow Mixed Packet (Lower Risk Dangerous Goods) and Personal care products in consumer packaging to be transported with a lower level of regulation compared to other dangerous goods packed in limited quantities in recognition of their low risk nature and volume. These changes contribute to ongoing efforts to bring regulatory burden into closer alignment with the level of risk.

Mixed Packet (Lower Risk Dangerous Goods) are:
Dangerous goods packed in limited quantities – other than dangerous goods that are pool or spa cleaners or a Division 2.3 dangerous good – that are dangerous goods:

  • of a kind marketed, labelled, packaged or otherwise clearly intended for use as a household cleaner; and
  • is in a package that weighs no more than 10kg containing at least 50% non-dangerous goods (by volume).

Personal care products in consumer packaging are:
A substance or preparation intended for placement in contact with any external part of the human body, including the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and the teeth, with a view to:

  • altering the odours of the body;
  • changing its appearance;
  • cleansing it;
  • maintaining it in good condition;
  • perfuming it; or
  • protecting it.

Excepted quantities
It is proposed to adopt UN20 chapter 3.5 (Excepted quantities) into the Code. Chapter 3.5 sets out requirements for dangerous goods packed in excepted quantities. Adopting chapter 3.5 will better align the Code with international practices and reduce the regulatory burden for some members of industry, particularly those who transport goods in a multi-modal transport chain and overseas.

The proposed amendment will replicate chapter 3.5 from UN20 into the Code, it is also proposed to amend the dangerous goods list to include the excepted quantities column (7b) from UN20.

Substantially vertical plane
Chapter 5.3 of the Code requires that placards and EIPs be displayed or placed on a vehicle in a ‘substantially vertical plane’. The phrase ‘substantially vertical plane’ is not defined in the Code. To assist with clarification of the requirements set out in Chapter 5.3 of the Code it is proposed to insert a definition of ‘substantially vertical plane’. Substantially vertical plane means as close to vertical as possible under the circumstances, allowing for a deviation of no more than 22 degrees from vertical.’

Improper use of the word ‘risk’
The United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods have amended UN20 by replacing the word ‘risk’ with the word ‘hazard’ in several instances throughout UN20 as it had been determined that the word ‘risk’ was being incorrectly used.

The most significant impact is that every instance where the words ‘subsidiary risk’ appeared have been replaced with the words ‘subsidiary hazard’. To align with UN20 the same amendments have been made to the Code.

To reduce the impact on operators with regard to transport documentation, and IT platforms used to generate transport documentation that currently refer to ‘subsidiary risk’, the following amendments are also proposed to the Code:

  • Amend Chapter 1.2 (Interpretation, Definitions, Units of Measurement and reference) by inserting a new section that clarifies for the purposes of compliance with the Code the words ‘subsidiary risk’ have the same meaning as the words ‘subsidiary hazard’.
  • Amend the note in the definition of subsidiary hazard to clarify that for the purpose of the Code the words ‘subsidiary risk’ have the same meaning as ‘subsidiary hazard’.
  • Insert a definition of subsidiary risk that clarifies, subsidiary risk means subsidiary hazard.

Special provision 392
The proposed insertion of special provision 392 will provide an exemption regarding the transport of various flammable gases from the provisions set out in 4.1.4.1 and Chapter 6.2 of the Code, as long as there is compliance with applicable international standards or regulations. This amendment does not prohibit continued compliance with the provisions set out in 4.1.4.1 and Chapter 6.2 of the Code.

Minor mechanical amendments
It is proposed to make the following minor mechanical amendments to the Code:

  • Clarification – replace reference to UN19 with UN20 where applicable.
  • Clarification – Amend table 1.1.1.2 (Quantity Limits for exempted small consignments) by omitting footnote (b) – There are no exempted quantities for Division 6.2.
  • Typographical error – Amend the figures in table 2.9.1 (Categories for substances hazardous to the aquatic environment) to be consistent with the figures in UN20 table 2.9.1 (Categories for substances hazardous to the aquatic environment).
  • Typographical error – Amend table 3.2.3 (Dangerous Goods List) by reinserting UN0510 Rocket motors.
  • Typographical error – Amend table 3.2.3 (Dangerous Goods List) UN3144 packing group III by omitting 5.1 from the class or division column.
  • Typographical error – Amend table 3.2.3 (Dangerous Goods List) by reinserting the packaging group and special provision for UN3475.

The CAP Rules

The Competent Authorities Panel (the Panel) is a body whose prime responsibility is to consider submissions requesting national exemptions, determinations and classifications that may operate at variance to the Code.

The CAP Rules establish the Panel that includes each jurisdictional Competent Authority. The CAP rules cover Panel functions, membership, procedures for meetings and decisions and other miscellaneous matters. The proposed changes to the CAP rules will ensure improvements to the operational efficiency and accountability of the Panel.

The improvements are achieved by:

  • including new rules about the appointment and termination of a Chairperson so that the position is never vacant
  • requiring the Panel to provide a summary of annual activities to TIC
  • delegating particular rule changes from TIC to TISOC
  • requiring the Panel Secretariat to publish and maintain jurisdictions’ dangerous goods transport legislation
  • other minor and technical changes.

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Last Updated: 15/12/2017