Chain of Responsibility Laws (COR) – Container packing

Chain of Responsibility Laws (COR) – Container packing

The aim of COR is to make sure everyone in the supply chain shares responsibility for ensuring breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Laws (HVNL) do not occur. Under COR laws if you are named as a party in the chain of responsibility and you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you have a responsibility to ensure the HVNL is complied with.

The law recognises that multiple parties may be responsible for offences committed by the drivers and operators of heavy vehicles. A person may be a party in the supply chain in more than one way. For example they may have duties as the employer, the operator and the consigner of goods.

Legal liability applies to all parties for their actions or inactions.

Recent incidents and prosecutions have highlighted the risks and responsibilities for importers associated with container packing.

As a result of a recent roll over of a truck carrying a shipping container of plywood due to the load shifting in the container, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has prosecuted the importer for failing to comply with loading and restraint requirements and failing to advise the overseas supplier of Australian safety regulations.

If you unpack containers, knowing the goods are properly packed and restrained is critical to the risk management of your COR and WHS responsibilities.

Insurer TT Club have, working with other partners, developed a best practice container packing guide and checklist.  The CTU Code (Cargo Transport Unit).–a-quick-guide-sep-2020.pdf

In addition Safe Work NSW has produced a “Guide for Unpacking Shipping Containers” in which reference is made in the to getting advice from the supplier.

We would suggest that taking steps to ensure your suppliers are following the CTU Code when packing containers will go a long way towards minimising the risk of accidents in the transport chain and will allow you to show you have taken positive actions to minimise that risk should an incident occur.

If you would like further information, please contact your friendly Lynair staff member at