Spot checks on ferries for dangerous goods

1 August 2019

Maritime NZ, partner regulatory agencies and the shipping industry worked together earlier this week in a joint compliance and information-gathering operation on the carriage of dangerous goods (DG).

Checks were specifically targeted to ensure that goods being carried on Cook Strait ferries were declared and compliant with safety regulations.

Spot checks were undertaken on Tuesday 30 July 2019 in Wellington, Picton and Blenheim on vehicles and cargoes being loaded onto the Cook Strait ferries. The checks were done to determine whether dangerous goods are being loaded, transported and documented in accordance with road and maritime transport rules and regulations. There was good compliance from those inspected.

Dangerous goods can be carried on ferries provided they are declared and classified. The amounts and categories of dangerous goods that can be carried are limited on passenger ferry sailings in line with international and New Zealand regulations.

Inspections were undertaken on 88 vehicles stopped at five locations in Wellington, Picton and Blenheim and 83 of the vehicles inspected were commercial trucks.

Of the vehicles inspected, 48 of them intended to travel on a Cook Strait ferry. Of the 88 vehicles stopped 21 vehicles were carrying dangerous goods.

Police undertook inspections of vehicles and were supported by inspectors from Maritime NZ , WorkSafe , Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and NZ Transport Agency (NZTA). Interislander and Strait NZ Bluebridge Cook Strait ferries operational staff provided cargo manifests, cargo declarations and relevant documents.

Police regularly undertake road transport compliance and safety checks on commercial vehicles, including dangerous goods. These inspections are conducted anywhere on the road network.

Senior Sergeant Mike McRandle, Team Leader of South Island Commercial Vehicle Safety Team said that, “Police and our partner agencies see the value of working collectively to examine dangerous good transportation across Cook Strait. It’s important for public safety that this is being carried out safely and in accordance with regulations.”

Maritime NZ provided maritime officers (MO), flag state inspectors (FSI), inspectors appointed under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) and a senior manager to both support Police at road layby areas and to observe cargo loading activities at the Wellington and Picton port entry areas.

Maritime NZ is responsible for collecting and recording information during these operations.

Deputy Director Compliance Systems Delivery Pelin Fantham said, “There was good compliance from those inspected and they positively engaged in the process.

“Everyone who was involved, including the transport companies, ferry operators and regulators are working together to ensure that dangerous goods are transported safely on road and at sea.

“Information from today’s exercise will be used in subsequent compliance checks as well as in other activities by regulators to ensure dangerous goods are transported safely in compliance with the law”.

Police, NZTA and Maritime NZ team inspecting trucks
Photo credit: Maritime NZ
Dangerous goods inspections at Tuamarina
Policeman inspecting a truck's cargo
Photo credit: Maritime NZ
Dangerous goods inspections at Tuamarina

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