Consignor/Consignee Road Freight Legislation and Overloading

It has been widely recognised and the principle accepted, both by the freight transport industry and the law enforcement authorities, that there is a need, in certain cases, to extend the responsibility of heavy vehicle overloading to the consignor and consignee, who may also benefit from the overloading of freight vehicles.

A precedent has already been set with the new dangerous goods legislation. The NDoT prepared draft consignor/consignee legislation during 2000, which was revised during 2003. It was published in October 2014 as legislation and became effective on 31 Jan 2015

How Regulations 330 A,B,C and D are likely to affect you

These new regulations, which came into effect on January 31st 2015, could have severe financial and practical implications that affect all players in the transporting of goods of more than 500 tons per any one month, on public roads in South Africa today.

Please note that these new regulations do not cancel, but further explain, the responsibilities, of Sections 49, 74A and 74B of the National Road Traffic Act (Act No 93 of 1996).

These new Regulations attempt to ensure that the mass carried on our public road system by trucks and vehicle combinations, is calculated more scientifically and fairly to overcome vehicle safety and road damage concerns.

Regulations 330A and B directly affect the Consignor and, to a lesser extent, the Consignee

Neither Consignor nor Consignee may offer goods, or accept goods, on a vehicle, or combination of vehicles (truck-tractor and semi-trailers) if overloaded on the Permissible Vehicle Mass, Permissible Goss Combination Mass and/or on any axle/axle unit grouping as per the provisions in the National Road Traffic Act.

It is also important to understand that the mass of the vehicle fuel [up to 1 000 litre] must also be added into the Tare when doing this calculation.

The Consignor must obtain from the Operator of the truck, a written submission as to the payload capacity of the vehicle and the correct distribution of the load on the vehicle.

It is important to note that the vehicle driver will no longer be held responsible for vehicle overloading. If a Consignor loads the vehicle, he (or she) must take the necessary steps to ensure that the cargo will be distributed correctly on the vehicle so as to avoid overloading any axle or axle unit.

Should the Consignor find that the mass of the goods to be transported is in excess of the available vehicle payload capacity, they shall not conclude such a contract.

The Consignor must use a method to determine the axle mass load of each axle/axle unit of the vehicle combination and record it on what is referred to as the” load declaration”. A record must be kept of every load transported from his or her premises. This record must be made available to any traffic officer should the truck driver be asked.

Regulation 330C stipulates the information required to be carried on a motor vehicle carrying goods on a public road shall include:

The licence number of each vehicle in the combination of vehicles
The nature and quantity of goods transported
The contact particulars of the Operator or Operators of the combination of vehicles.
The particulars of the Consignor/s of the load or loads
The particulars of the Consignee/s of the load or loads
The name, residential and postal addresses of every natural person or, where applicable, the responsible director or member, and agent, consignor, consignee or operator listed in the declaration.
The consignor and operator shall conclude a written agreement for the transportation of the goods stating:
The nature of the agreement
The loading instructions
The responsibilities of the parties
Schedule of insurance as in Regulation 330D

Regulation 330D pertains to the insurance which must be carried for each load:

A Consignor or Consignee of goods shall not transport goods on a public road or accept goods unless such transportation is fully insured for damages [public liability] that can occur as a result of an incident.

This is to ensure that any and all damages to roads, bridges, pavements, poles etc. are covered by parties other than the government or municipalities.

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