30 Jun 2014

International Transport, Trade & Energy Update, Dangerous Goods Regulation Deadline Looms, reported in Freight & Trading Weekly on June 27th 2014

Practice Area(s): Shipping & Logistics |

Time running out for industry comment written by Adele Mackenzie

The industry has just over a month left to respond to proposed new regulations requiring inspection of dangerous goods vehicles, which could potentially lead to delays and additional costs. A 16-page document outlining the proposed new regulations was published in the South African Government Gazette (and online) on May 23 this year and comment must be submitted by July 31. "Given the potential impact of these regulations, a longer time period should be allowed for comment," said Kamiel Rajah, associate in the International Transport, Trade and Energy Department at Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys. He said there was no set time in law for which regulations must lie for comment before being published but that a "reasonable period of time" should be allowed. "In this case, given the very specific nature of these regulations, we feel that the deadline for comment is not long enough." Rajah noted that, legally speaking, once the proposed regulations are published in the Government Gazette it can be said that the industry is aware of the regulations. Should they be published, they will require an operator to present a vehicle to an inspector to evaluate its suitability for the transport of dangerous goods before a permit can be issued. An application for a permit would need to be accompanied by the following documentation: Certified copy of the vehicle's registration certificate; Certified copy of the identity document of the owner of the vehicle Certified copy of the vehicle's certificate of compliance; Certified copy of the vehicle's emergency procedure plan; Proof of payment of the prescribed fee. Rajah told FTW it was difficult to assess whether the inspection process was likely to lead to delays and nor could he comment on the possible efficiency or potential lack of efficiency of the process. He conceded that increased costs associated with compliance would affect the industry as would possible delays with obtaining new permits. "Non-adherence to the new regulations will lead to fines and further sanctions or penalties," he said. A contravention of the regulations carries a fine of up to R10 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months. Given the very specific nature of these regulations, the deadline for comment is not long enough.

Kamiel Rajah, Associate

Contact: 031 575 7323 or rajah@wylie.co.za