Canberra confirms AdBlue on agenda

Truck Industry Council call for action against devices puts Customs in consultation with Federal Transport Department

Canberra confirms AdBlue on agenda
Canberra confirms AdBlue suppression on agenda

By Rob McKay | November 13, 2012

Customs and Border Protection and Federal transport bureaucrats are looking at how best to respond to a Truck Industry Council (TIC) call to restrict or prohibit the importation of AdBlue suppression devices.

The TIC revealed to ATN last month that it was looking to disrupt the import of the devices and both Volvo and Scania have warned that their use puts warranties are at serious risk.

TIC Chief Technical Officer Simon Humphries wrote to Customs several months ago seeking action against the devices that the organisation believes contravene Federal law.

But progress appears to be continuing at less than express pace.

While acknowledging that the wheels of government can turn slowly and noting that there had been staffing issues at the department, Humphries says he will be meeting officials in the near term month to press the issue.

Customs confirmed to ATN that it has received and responded to
the TIC letter and that this was the only such query on the devices that it had received.

"As noted in our response to the Truck Industry Council, the matter has been referred to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport for their consideration," Customs says.

"The Australian Design Rules for emission control devices for heavy commercial vehicles are governed by Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989, which is administered by the Department.

"Customs and Border Protection will consult with Infrastructure and Transport.

"However, it should be noted that the World Trade Organisation’s trading rules do not support the introduction of import bans unless equivalent domestic laws are in place."

For its part, the department says that, though the Federal Government "regulates the manufacture, importation and supply of road vehicles to ensure an acceptable level of safety, emission control and theft protection across the Australian vehicle fleet", this relates to new vehicles.

"The Department is aware of the existence of emission control defeating technology and is currently investigating its importation in conjunction with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service," a spokesperson says.

"Generally such technology is installed in vehicles after they [have] been registered and are in use on public roads. State and Territory vehicle registration authorities conduct their own compliance activities to ensure that vehicles comply with relevant vehicle use requirements."

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