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.

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
www.tmr.qld.gov.au.

(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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