On Wednesday (7 February 2018) the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Mr Fletcher. The Bill is part of a package of Bills intended by the Federal Government to replace the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (Cth) (the MVSA). The Bills aim to implement the government’s previously announced reforms to the regulatory framework for the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all road vehicles being provided to the Australian market for the first time – both new and used vehicles. The government says its reforms will deliver "modernised legislation to increase community safety and remove unnecessary processes for businesses."
The proposed legislation package is made up of the following Bills:
The MVSA is the legislation which currently controls the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all new and used road vehicles entering the Australian market for the first time. Since previous reviews of the MVSA 17 years ago, significant changes have taken place in both the global and domestic automobile markets along with improvements in vehicle technologies.
The Government undertook a comprehensive review of the MVSA in 2014, which also involved significant public consultation over a three year period. The result of the review, which was based on submissions to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, was an indication that the MVSA was in need of "renewal and modernisation" so that it "aligned with the local and international market needs".
Apart from the key focus of of strengthening and modernising the legislation the government indicates that the reforms are expected to save industry up to $70 million a year by delivering lower regulatory compliance costs and further harmonising Australia’s vehicle standards with global standards.
Some of the other key changes proposed include:
The Customs Tariff Act 1995 (Cth) is also amended to remove the $12,000 special duty on imported used vehicles, from 2018.
Overall the proposed changes appear to please the motoring media, with most of the initial public reaction coming from car enthusiasts around the potential to now be able to import "the world’s fastest, rarest and most expensive supercars - previously banned because they’re made only in left-hand-drive ..."
Also favourably looked on has been has been the strengthening of recall powers:
Measures that will see "dodgy sellers" fined up to $63,000 or face 12 months jail for tampering with car odometers or providing false information or documentation, have also gone down well, as has the closing of a loophole, reported to have been used by car dealers to import second-hand vans from Japan under the guise of converting them into campers, without ever intending to do so.
The Bill is expected to be debated and passed by the Parliament in 2018 and will commence
12 months after the passage and enactment of the legislation. The Consequential and Transitional Provisions Bill provides for a 12 month transitional period after commencement to allow businesses
to adapt to the new arrangements and during the transitional period some aspects of
the MVSA will continue,
particularly for RAWs and Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles frameworks.
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Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 [CTH]
Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 [CTH] [Principal Bill]
Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition - Customs) Bill 2018 [CTH] [Principal Bill]
Road Vehicle Standards Charges (Imposition - Excise) Bill 2018 [CTH]
and supporting materials as available from the TimeBase LawOne Service
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