Nov 18, 2009

Unsafe trailers put on notice with new code of practice

Unsafe trailers put on notice with new code of practice

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

November 18 2009

Importers and local manufacturers of unsafe trailers and caravans could face large fines under new safety standards that come into force today.

The new rules apply to all imported and locally produced trailers up to 4.5 tonnes, including box, motorcycle, boat, plant and equipment trailers as well as horse floats, caravans and other recreational trailers.

These products will now need to comply with a new national code of practice, with the importers and local manufacturers of non-compliant trailers facing fines of up to $66,000.

The action we’ve taken will help prevent trailers being sold with couplings that are incompatible with Australian vehicles, unsafe drawbars and safety chains, nonstandard LPG installations, inadequate lamps and reflectors or inadequate brakes and suspensions.

People that unwittingly purchase trailers with such safety defects can face real difficulties registering them with state and territory transport authorities, potentially costing the owners thousands of dollars to make them compliant.

We want Australians to feel confident that the trailers they buy are safe and roadworthy.

Over 18,000 trailers are imported annually, with thousands more manufactured locally.

The national code was developed by the Australian Government in close consultation with the states and territories as well as the nation’s peak industry body, the Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers Association of Australia Inc. It is supported by new regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

Changes will also be made to the Personal Import Scheme to limit the importation of eligible vehicles to one every five years instead of one every 12 months.

This move will still allow Australians returning home from long periods overseas to bring with them their personal vehicles, whilst reducing the potential for abuse by organised syndicates seeking to bypass our rigorous motor vehicle certification arrangements by using third parties to import non-compliant vehicles.

Transitional arrangements will apply for a year so vehicles already purchased will not be affected. More detailed information can be found at: