NTC presents international regulatory briefing at dangerous goods forum

Published: 19 Apr 2022

Debra Kirk, Manager of Legislative Maintenance at the NTC, recently gave a presentation at the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) annual forum and expo. Debra is a member of the Australian delegation to the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

COSTHA is an American not-for-profit industry association that promotes international and domestic dangerous goods transportation compliance. Its membership includes a large cross section of the hazardous materials and dangerous goods transportation industry in America. 

A small sample of COSTHA’s 170-plus member companies includes Amazon, 3M, FedEx, Ford, Toyota, American Airlines, Apple, Dell, Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Sephora, and Estee Lauder.

Debra represented Australia at the forum as part of an international regulatory briefing. The other presenting countries were China and India. Updates were also provided by American and Canadian authorities.

Debra’s presentation captured roadblocks in the supply chain, highlighting some of the unique problems Australia faces.

Geared to its American audience, key statistical information about size and population were presented to help set the Australian context.

Global issues related to COVID-19 that impact Australia were briefly touched upon before the focus turned to Australia’s unique challenges. In particular, problems arising from the sovereignty of Australian states, such as border closures.

Other roadblocks were also captured, such as disruptions caused by floods and bushfires. Debra highlighted how Australia’s population distribution and the vast distances freight often needs to travel exacerbate these problems.

The second half of the presentation focused on how Australia regulates land transport of dangerous goods. Again, complexities unique to Australia were highlighted, such as differences in state and territory legislation.

Finally, the presentation touched on the review of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail. The review is currently in a drafting and consultation phase. It is scheduled to be completed and presented to Ministers in 2024.