Importers Beware!!


Chain of Responsibility (CoR) compliance is the latest issue importers need to deal with.


A recent case in point is that of a furniture importer being prosecuted in relation to the transportation of a full container by road from an Australian port following its arrival from China. The load within the container was not properly restrained and shifted during transport. This resulted in the container and truck rolling and landing on a car, killing the motorist. The court found the importer responsible.



                                                                 "The court found the importer responsible."


The Court made mention of what should be in place:

·  Each party should understand their load restraint and CoR obligations.

·  There should be a focus on safety before any commercial considerations such as product damage or ease of unloading.

·  There should be discussion on load restraint requirements and methods such as the use of dunnage bags for example. Discussion needs to involve properly qualified people.

·  Information on Australian load restraint requirements should be provided to suppliers, including those overseas.

·  Contracts should include appropriate wording to require proper CoR management.

·  No supplier should be used if they cannot or will not, comply.


It is vital to businesses consigning goods, loading vehicles and/or arranging for vehicles to be loaded, that they understand the impact of CoR. Without proper risk-management processes in place, there remains the possibility that you, or your company, may be the subject of investigation by authorities.



The key impacts of CoR legislation include:

· The Introduction of a ‘Primary Duty’ on directors and officers of a business to properly manage truck safety and compliance within their business and supply chain.

· The enabling of prosecution based on a company’s lack of risk management regardless of whether or not there is an on-road incident.

· The changing of the onus of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor.

· A ‘risk management’ approach is now required. This entails, identifying all risks associated with truck safety and compliance and implementing actions to address each risk.

· A significant increase in maximum fines and penalties in 3 categories of severity.



                        "A significant increase in maximum fines and penalties in 3 categories of severity."


In conclusion it is important that you engage with your suppliers to ensure that they understand the load restraint requirements in Australia, that cargo in containers is properly restrained and that you can thereby meet your CoR responsibilities.



Content of this article was sourced from Logistics Safety Solutions