In the media

Waterfront union strikes at Fremantle, Kwinana and Port Botany
Shipping Australia is sad to note that there continues to be disruptive strike action by the unions during the current health and economic crisis. A notice of Protected Industrial Action was issued by the Maritime Union of Australia (27 November 2020).  More...

National Transport Commission to focus on stevedore charges - FTA / APSA advocacy response
FTA and the APSA welcomed the ACCC Container stevedoring monitoring report 2019-20 addressing the need for reform to stevedore-imposed Infrastructure Surcharges / Terminal Access Charges. In recent weeks, FTA / APSA has subsequently written to state ministers reiterating that stevedores should be forced to either absorb operating costs or pass these on to their commercial client (shipping lines) (26 November 2020).  More...

TIC gives NTC carriage of stevedore container access charges
The nation's transport ministers have acknowledged collectively that the container logistics chain has developed concerning characteristics and have handed the issue to bureaucrats for a soft-touch approach (26 November 2020).  More...

DP World defers terminal access hikes to new year
DP World Australia is deferring the review of terminal access charges at all its Australian container terminals to 2021, and is told to improve productivity for container haulage (20 November 2020).  More...

Could do a lot better: First annual freight chain strategy report
Earlier this month, the Infrastructure and Transport Ministers released the first annual progress report for the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy. From an ocean-shipping perspective, it's a bit of a disappointing read (27 November 2020).  More...

NSW Government expands Port Botany container storage
The New South Wales Government has eased restrictions on storage heights for full and empty containers at Port Botany (24 November 2020).  More...

First major wheat export in two years shipped to global markets
Exporters are roaring back into global markets with the first shipment of the bumper New South Wales winter wheat harvest departing Port of Newcastle on the back of record production across the state (24 November 2020).  More...

FMC increases reporting requirements for major carrier alliances
After announcing that it was opening an investigation into the tactics used on container fees and the logistical challenges, the Federal Maritime Commission announced that it has also increased the reporting requirements for the three global carrier alliances (25 November 2020).  More...

IMO to consider industry call for $5B R&D recarbonization program
Among the decisions at the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee was an agreement to give further consideration to the proposal of the major shipping organizations to launch a research and development initiative funded by the industry and administered by the IMO (23 November 2020).  More...

IMO approves draft new global C02 emissions rules for shipping
Draft amendments to the international marine pollution treaty to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships have been approved by the International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (20 November 2020).  More...

New crew-change policy is neat, plausible. and wrong
Shipping Australia is very concerned about the ongoing crisis caused by a lack of crew changes. Hundreds of thousands of people are trapped at sea and hundreds of thousands of people are waiting (without pay) to go to sea (20 November 2020).  More...

Digital interoperability key to future-proof efficiency in container shipping
Thomas Bagge, CEO and statutory director of the Digital Container Shipping Association writes about how interoperability enables visibility and innovation and how DCSA digital standards enable interoperability with real-world benefits. Bagge also argues that standardisation equals success and the transforming container shipping will require collaboration (20 November 2020).  More...

NHVR files primary duties charges in South Australia
The NHVR prosecution alleges that the defendant held a primary duty under the Heavy Vehicle National Law as the operator of a heavy vehicle engaged in heavy vehicle towing. This alleged breach by the defendant exposed an individual to a risk of death (25 November 2020).  More...

ATA and ALC butt heads on 'national operator standard'
Peak trucking body sees idea as costly operator licensing in disguise. The ALC's NHVR submission, which proposes a national operator standard that would see firms needing to pass a series of financial, systems and information hurdles to qualify (24 November 2020).  More...

ATA slams $3.6 billion tax on freight and jobs
The Australian Trucking Association has slammed the Australian Logistics Council's proposed operator licensing system, which would be a $3.6 billion tax on freight and jobs (20 November 2020).  More...

NHVR repeals prohibition notice following action
The NHVR has lifted the prohibition notice issued to Melbourne-based Sidhu Investments (QLD) Pty Ltd, trading as Auswide Linehaul Services. NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance Ray Hassall said the company had taken actions since the prohibition notice was issued (24 November 2020).  More...

New livestock standard will improve safety and animal welfare
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Australia has welcomed the publication of an Australian Standard for the Livestock loading/unloading ramps and forcing pens (AS 5340:2020)  (24 November 2020).  More...

Record funding call for heavy vehicle safety programs
Australian heavy vehicle safety programs will receive another significant boost with the launch of Round 6 of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (20 November 2020).  More...

ALC calls for national standard for heavy vehicle operators
The Australian Logistics Council called on Australian Governments to consider the development of a national operator standard for heavy vehicle operators as part of a review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (18 November 2020).  More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

National freight and supply chain strategy 2019-20 annual report
The report includes: Insights gained during the COVID-19 pandemic; progress against over 350 initiatives across the country; and a statement by the independent Freight Industry Reference Panel, encouraging governments and industry to leverage best practice examples identified in the report, and to ensure accurate, timely and comparable data is gathered to measure freight movements through supply chains across jurisdictional boundaries and transport modes (21 November 2020).  More... 

NHVR: Newsletter
Fortnightly newsletter providing important information on the heavy vehicle industry, including the latest NHVR news and events, relevant law and policy changes.  More...

Consigning and transporting dangerous goods packed in limited quantities - guidance for users
NTC: 18 Nov 2020.
This guideline is designed to assist duty holders and enforcement agencies in interpreting and applying the requirements of Chapter 3.4 - Dangerous Goods Packed in Limited Quantities in the Code.  More...

Practice and Regulation

Productivity Commission report on national transport regulatory reform
The Australian Government is consulting with regulators, jurisdictions and industry stakeholders as it prepares a response to the Productivity Commission report on National Transport Regulatory Reform.
Close date: 18 December 2020.  More...

Australian Logistics Council submissions
HVNL RIS Response - November 2020.

NHVR: Electronic Work Diaries (EWD).
The EWD electronic recording system, approved by the NHVR, used to record the Rolls out from December 1. This approval gives the providers the green light to work with their partners to use their products as an approved fatigue management system.  More...

Revised National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) business rules and standards
Key changes have been made to more closely align NHVAS with safety management systems to better assist customers meet their requirements under the Chain of Responsibility laws. The changes will be effective for new participants from 22 February 2021.  More...

NTC discussion paper - A national in-service safety law for automated vehicles
We are developing and assessing options to assure the safe operation of automated vehicles while they are in service. The NTC will accept submissions until 11 December 2020.  More...

Commonwealth modern slavery statement paper
This would report on modern slavery risks in the Government's procurement and investment activities and explain the steps taken to identify and respond to those risks, and link with Australia's Modern Slavery Act 2018.
The first Commonwealth Modern Slavery Statement will be published before 31 December 2020. 

MIAL submissions
Submission: Guidelines for granting exemptions under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 23 November 2020.

AMSA maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers during COVID-19 pandemic
26 November 2020 - Marine notice 10/2020 supersedes 04/2020, outlining seafarer repatriation requirements during the pandemic. To read about the number of complaints we have received, and what they relate to, see here and here.

AMSA current marine notices
2020/10 Updated: Temporary arrangements for the maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers during COVID-19 pandemic 11/11/2020.
2020/09:  STCW seafarer certificates and certificates of medical fitness-further arrangements for COVID-19 - Certification.
The purpose of this marine notice is to advise flag States, port States, vessel owners, operators, masters and crews that the AMSA has taken steps to allow the holders of :seafarer certificates; and certificates of medical fitness; to continue to perform duties even if the certificate expires during the period between 26 March 2020 and 31 January 2021.  More...

AWA: Exposure draft export control rules 2020 consultation
The department has commenced public consultation on seven of the commodity specific Exposure Draft Export Control Rules 2020 (draft rules). Deputy Secretary Agricultural Trade Group, David Hazlehurst, said the consultation was another opportunity for our export industries and trading partners to provide further input into the draft rules. The new legislative framework will commence on 28 March 2021.  More...


Teekay Shipping (Australia) Pty Ltd v Auld  [2020] FCAFC 206
INDUSTRIAL LAW - interpretation of industrial agreements - whether full bench of the Fair Work Commission made jurisdictional error in interpretation of enterprise agreement and modern award in holding that, read together, they contained a consultation term within the meaning of s 205 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) held: Model consultation term applied to exclusion of insufficient and defective terms dealing with consultation in the enterprise agreement and modern award.
On 10 January 2019, while each ship was sailing between ports in Australia and China, Teekay notified the union that BHPB Freight Pty Ltd, which had chartering arrangements in place for both ships, was terminating its ship or crew management agreements with Teekay. The ratings were part of the crew on each ship.

Maersk Crewing Australia Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (No 2)  [2020] FCA 1694
INDUSTRIAL LAW - application for declarations that Fair Work Commission lacked jurisdiction to make arbitral award - where dispute as to whether additional steward required on vessels - where FWC determined enterprise agreement required additional steward - where terms of enterprise agreement included dispute resolution procedure providing for arbitration by FWC if matter unresolved after steps complied with - whether failure to comply with step one of dispute resolution procedure - whether factual findings by FWC as to compliance with step one gave rise to issue estoppel - whether dispute resolved by earlier agreement between parties as to manning levels on vessels - where earlier agreement did not amend enterprise agreement - consideration of arbitral jurisdiction of FWC - application dismissed.
INDUSTRIAL LAW - cross-claim by union alleging failure to give effect to arbitral award was contravention of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) - application allowed.

Pegasus Supply Solutions Pty Ltd and Collector of Customs  [2020] AATA 4688
CUSTOMS AND EXCISE - customs duty - dutiable goods - where company held warehouse licence under Customs Act 1901 (Cth) - where collector carried out stock count of all excise equivalent goods held at warehouse premises - where collector issued request to account - where applicant served with demand under s 35A(1) - whether applicant has satisfactorily accounted for the goods in accordance with s 37 - decision under review set aside.




Heavy Vehicle National Law - South Australia Class 1 and Class 3 Road Grader and Combination Exemption Notice 2020 (No.2)
26/11/2020 - This Notice revokes and replaces the South Australia Class 1 and Class 3 Road Grader and Combination Exemption Notice 2020 (No.1) This Notice makes a clarification to access on State controlled roads. No other requirements or conditions of the previous Notice are changed. This notice commences on 30 November 2020.

Heavy Vehicle National Law Heavy Vehicle Stated Maps - Suspension and Amendment Notice 2020 (No.7)
20/11/2020 - The purpose of this Notice is to amend stated maps for vehicles at the request of road managers - Suspension or amendment of the routes in Schedule 1 and 2. This Notice applies in all participating jurisdictions. 

Heavy Vehicle National Law - South Australia Class 1 and Class 3 Road Grader and Combination Exemption Notice 2020 (No.1)
20/11/2020 - This Notice revokes and replaces the South Australia Class 1 Road Grader and Combination Exemption Notice 2019. This notice commences on 23 November 2020.


Subordinate legislation
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.