National Heavy Vehicle Reform

THE Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) has established the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and a single national system of laws for heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes GVM. It is expected that national, consistent law and regulation will deliver business and safety benefits to the heavy vehicle industry.


Previously, there have been differences between the heavy vehicle road transport laws operating in each state and territory despite the development of national laws. This has made it difficult for operators to navigate the rules and comply with inconsistent jurisdictional requirements.

The HVNL aims to reduce the compliance burden for businesses, increase Australia’s international competitiveness, and make it easier for businesses to operate across state and territory borders.

See Heavy Vehicle National Law on the NHVR website.

The HVNL:

  • Manages the impact of heavy vehicles on the environment, road infrastructure and public amenity
  • Promotes industry productivity and efficiency
  • Consolidates current national heavy vehicle model laws and replaces corresponding state and territory legislation.

The regulatory framework under the HVNL prescribes requirements about:

  • The standards heavy vehicles must meet before they can use our roads
  • The maximum permissible mass and dimensions of heavy vehicles
  • Securing and restraining loads on heavy vehicles
  • Ensuring parties in the chain of responsibility are held responsible for drivers of heavy vehicles exceeding speed limits
  • Preventing drivers of heavy vehicles from driving while impaired by fatigue
  • Nationally consistent penalties.

The HVNL will not apply to vehicle registration from its commencement (see below) or to:

  • Driver licensing
  • Safety and traffic management (including speeding offences, drug and alcohol offences and road rules)
  • The regulation of dangerous goods vehicles and their drivers
  • Bus driver authorities and bus operator accreditation.

The HVNL can affect the cost of transporting freight, as such, it is always important to correctly declare the weight of goods when requesting a quote or making a booking. If you have any further questions regarding how these regulations relate to your cargo, please give Seabridge a call today on 1800 727 195 and speak with one of our logistics specialists.

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