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Your Responsibilities when Importing or Exporting Containers

DUTY OF CARE If you import or export containers, did you know, you can be held responsible for compliance with load restraint laws.


As an importing and exporting community we all need to be aware of the hazards involved in the international container transport chain.

People and companies handling the loading, shipping, unloading and inland transport of containers have no ability to check the contents of containers they are lifting or carrying and if they are safe for transport.

At Wallace we strive to load and restrain cargo in containers for export to minimise uneven weight distribution, load shift and overloading.

Everyone involved in or in a position to influence the loading, transport and unloading of containers have a responsibility under law to ensure that they have taken all possible measures to enable those containers to move safely. Heavy penalties can apply for non-conformance, particularly where an accident is involved.

If you import or export containers you must be able to show your due diligence taken to ensure that containers you pack or containers others pack on your behalf in Australia or overseas are loaded correctly…….

  • Within weight limitations (and accurate verified gross mass – VGM – of the cargo AND container are reported on the ship’s manifest)
  • Cargo restrained sufficiently to prevent movement of the load during carriage.
  • Cargo weight distributed evenly inside the container and without being top heavy.

Importers should instruct their overseas suppliers that it is a condition of the sale that containers are loaded correctly and photos of the load and restraint of the cargo provided and correct VGM supplied.

Exporters should do the same with containers they pack or have packed on their behalf.

Please refer to the following links ……

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)

Chain of Responsibility (CoR)

Safety of Life as Sea (SOLAS)

Your Responsibilities when Importing or Exporting Containers