Major states in warning on AdBlue blockers

The transport departments of the three biggest eastern states have warned operators that use of AdBlue suppression devices will invite a reaction from authorities.

Major states in warning on AdBlue blockers
Importing, marketing and selling AdBlue Delete is a serious issue.

The message in written responses to ATN comes after the Truck Industry Council (TIC) sought Customs intervention against the import of such devices as firms of varying public profile in Australia and overseas saying that they are illegal and affect Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

Queensland was forthright in its position.

"If someone uses a vehicle on our roads that doesn't meet our vehicle standards and safety regulations (VSS Reg 2010), we'll take action against them," a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson writes.

"That's why importing, marketing and selling devices like the AdBlue Delete is a serious issue, as people may not realise they are potentially breaking the law by adding them to their vehicle."

The spokesperson adds that, more specifically, the requirement for continued compliance to Third edition ADRs, including the emissions related ADR requiring use of AdBlue, is in Schedule 1 at Section 8.

8 Compliance with third edition ADRs
(1) If a third edition ADR applies to the design and construction of a vehicle, the vehicle must comply with the ADR.

In addition, fitting of such device is considered modifying the vehicle.

Rules regarding modifications and their approval are contained in Section 13 and state that:

13 Approval of modified vehicle

(1) The owner of a modified vehicle must ensure the vehicle is not driven or parked on a road unless the modification has been approved by an authorised officer or approved person.
Maximum penalty-60 penalty units.

(2) After inspecting a vehicle, an authorised officer or approved person must not approve a modification of the vehicle unless

(a) the modification complies with one of the following codes of practice approved by the chief executive

(i) the Code of Practice Light Vehicles;

(ii) the Code of Practice-Commercial Motor Vehicle Modifications;

(iii) the National Code of Practice-Heavy Vehicle Modifications; or

The codes of practice are available online at

(b) if the modification is of a kind that is not covered by a code of practice mentioned in paragraph (a)-the modification is also approved by the chief executive.
Maximum penalty-40 penalty units.

VicRoads Manager Vehicle Safety and Policy Ross McArthur also made plain his organisation's position, saying vehicles registered in Victoria must comply with mandatory construction standards, which include a number of ADRs.

"These ADRs cover emission control requirements for various types of heavy vehicles," McArthur writes.

"It is illegal to modify a registered vehicle in a way that renders the vehicle non-compliant with the relevant standards.

"If the truck manufacturer fits AdBlue (urea) and on board diagnostics systems to comply with the mandatory emission requirements in the ADRs, these systems must continue to function as designed.

"The penalties for modifying a vehicle in a way that causes it to fail to comply with the relevant standards can be up to approximately $2,800 for an offence.

"The person who modifies a vehicle, the driver and the vehicle owner may all be liable if a vehicle is found to be modified so that it does not meet the relevant standards."

The story from New South Wales was equally adamant.

"Heavy vehicle diesel emissions must meet Australian design standard ADR 80/03 which is set by the Australian Government," a Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) spokesperson writes.

"Engine manufacturers can choose either AdBlue or exhaust gas recycling to achieve this.

"There are no specific state laws related to AdBlue delete devices but all NSW vehicle standards require vehicles to comply with the applicable ADRs."

There was some variance on what further steps should be taken.

The RMS says it will work with Federal authorities to educate heavy vehicle operators about the need for compliance with vehicle emission standards as risks are identified.

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