Heavy Vehicle National Law – An Overview

What is the ‘HVNL’?

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (“HVNL”) is a set of state laws which regulate transport by heavy vehicles.

The HVNL not only applies to drivers and transport companies, but all parties in the transport and logistics chain. This includes on-road and off-road parties.

Why was the HVNL implemented? 

The HVNL was implemented to address non-compliance with laws relating to heavy vehicle transport (such as laws relating to overloading, speed, fatigue and work hours) and to promote safe business practices.

Critically, the HVNL applies to all on-road and off-road parties in the transport and logistics chain. This is because it has been recognised that breaches of heavy vehicle transport laws are not always the fault of drivers and transport operators, but can be caused / affected by other parties along the logistics chain.

Who does the HVNL apply to?

For the purpose of the HVNL, the logistics chain is referred to as the ‘Chain of Responsibility’ (the “CoR”). The CoR includes, but is not limited to:

  • consignors (i.e. a sender of goods);
  • consignees (i.e. a receiver of goods);
  • vehicle schedules;
  • loading managers;
  • packers;
  • loaders and unloaders;
  • operators of heavy vehicles;
  • employers and contractors of operators of heavy vehicles; and
  • Executive Officers of an entity in the CoR.

Please see the attached update for more information. 

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