High Court of Australia Affirms Exclusivity under the Montreal Convention

In Parkes Shire Counsil v South West Helicopters Pty Limited the High Court held on 8 May 2019 that the right to damages, under the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions and the analogue domestic regime, sustained by reason the death of a passenger is in substitution for any civil liability of a carrier under any other law including liability under general law to relatives of passengers for negligently inflicted psychiatric harm sometimes described as nervous shock. READ MORE

Two Regulatory Regimes for Civil Aviation Operators: High Court finds that workplace health and safety laws apply to regulate the safety of civil aviation 7 February 2019

The High Court delivered judgment in Work Health Authority v Outback Ballooning Pty Ltd on 6 February 2019 which has serious ramifications for aircraft operators because the High Court held that operators are subject not only to the civil aviation regulatory regime, but also subject to concurrent State and Territory occupational health and safety laws. READ MORE


Consulting the Industry on RPA registration and Operator Accreditation 5 February 2019

Further to our December 2018 Newsflash on the Government’s proposals for regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (“RPAs”), CASA has now released a Consultation Paper on RPA operation and RPA operator accreditation. In accordance with the Government’s proposals, CASA’s Consultation Paper proposes the registration and accreditation of RPAs that meet the following criteria READ MORE


Changes to the Australian Consumer Law relevant to airlines and other operators 29 January 2019

Late last year, a suite of amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) came into force, a number of which will directly affect interactions between consumers and airlines/operators.  The amendments follow the publication in April 2017 of a report by Consumer Affairs Australia New Zealand (CAANZ), which proposed 19 amendments to the ACL. READ MORE


ACCC Crackdown on Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Air 29 January 2019

Following the release in December 2017 of its Airlines: Terms and conditions Report, which foreshadowed action to address ongoing consumer rights concerns in the airline industry, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced on 17 December 2018 that it had accepted court-enforceable undertakings from four domestic airlines in Australia, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair. READ MORE


Announcement - New Partners and Senior Associate 2019

Norton White is delighted to announce the promotion of 3 senior lawyers to the Partnership and the appointment of a Senior Associate, effective 1 January 2019. READ MORE


Regulation of RPAS: Australian Government has its say on Senate Committee's Report 5 December 2018

In late November, the Australian Government released its response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee report into the Current and future regulatory requirements that impact on the safe commercial and recreational use of RPAS, Unmanned Aerial Systems and associated systems. READ MORE


Beijing Convention to enter into force on 1 July 2018

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) announced that the Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation, commonly referred to as the Beijing Convention 2010, will enter into force on 1 July 2018, READ MORE


CASA publishes Review of Drone Safety Issues May 2018

Following the release of a discussion paper in August 2017 inviting the community and the aviation industry to comment on its concerns and issues relating to the safe operation of remotely piloted aircraft ("RPAs") in Australia, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority ("CASA") issued this month a 'Civil Aviation Safety Authority Review of aviation safety regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems' READ MORE



On 1 March 2017, the Personal Property Securities Amendment (PPS Leases) Bill 2017 (the "Bill") was introduced into Federal Parliament and if passed, will limit the "PPS Lease" definition to ease the burden placed on short-term hire and lease arrangements. READ MORE


PPSR: The Devil Is In The Detail February 2017


The recent Supreme Court of NSW decision, In the matter of OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Limited (administrators appointed) [2017] NSWSC 21 is a reminder to lessors and other secured parties fo the importance of accurately recording a grantor's details in PPSR registrations. In this case the lessor's failure to include a lesse's ACN meant that it lost its title to the property READ MORE


Will Your PPS Registration Still Be Effective After 31 January 2017?

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) came into force on 30 January 2012 and established a new system for the registration and preservation of security interests in personal property. The PPSA created the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), a national online register which acts as an electronic noticeboard of security interest over personal property. READ MORE


Cape Town Convention Now Law In Australia - 6 Months On - March 2016

The International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Act 2013 (Cth) brought the Cape Town Convention into effect in Australia from 1 September 2015.

Compliance with the requirements of the Cape Town Convention is essential to ensure you have a vaild interest in or title to an aircraft or engine to which the Convention applies. This Newsflash is intended to give a practical outline of how the Cape Town Convention works in Australia and what parties that use or have interests in aircraft or engined need to be doing READ MORE  



Dealing with Problem Passengers and Customers - Pacific Skies Aviation Magazine

Recent statistics suggest that unruly passengers are becoming an increasingly common problem. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), between 2007 and 2013 there were over 28,000 reported incidents relating to unruly passengers and the number seems to be on the rise.  READ MORE


NSW Supreme Court holds PTSD to be "Bodily Injury"

In Casey v Pel-Air Aviation, a judge of the NSW Supreme Court held that post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD") is a form of bodily injury for the purposes of the Montreal Convention. READ MORE


Consumer Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to determine claims arising out of carriage by air

The Federal Court decision in Qantas Airways Limited v Lustig & De Simone prevents the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) from hearing claims arising from interstate and international carriage where there is a defence based on the Warsaw or Montreal Conventions or the domestic regime in Part IV of the Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959. READ MORE


Airlines Succeed in Fuel Surcharge Litigation 

The Federal Court today dismissed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s proceeding against Garuda Indonesia and Air New Zealand which alleged breaches of Australian competition law in the fixing of surcharges and fees on air cargo from overseas into Australia. The decision is an important one on the geographic reach and extraterritorial application of Australian competition law, in particular for industries such as the airline industry, whose operations cross international borders. READ MORE 


Australian Competition Tribunal Approves Merger Over ACCC's Objection 

The Australian Competition Tribunal has approved a merger despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC's) concerns that the merger would lead to a substantial lessening of competition.  READ MORE


Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report Released

On 3 June 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister released the Report of the Aviation Safety Regulation Review.  READ MORE 



Increased Risk of Arrest? – Foreign Maritime Liens


As economic uncertainty in the maritime industry continues, stakeholders are increasingly turning their attention to issues of recovery and enforcement of maritime claims. READ MORE


Privacy Law Reform - Sweeping changes commence today 

Broad reforms to Australia’s national privacy laws take effect from today, 12 March 2014. Businesses in Australia need to review their privacy policies to ensure compliance with the new regime. READ MORE

Australian Privacy Principles Schedule 1 to the Privacy Act 1988pdfREAD MORE


Australian Coastal Shipping Reform – Navigating the Course Ahead

On 26 February 2014 the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia delivered Judgment in an important case on the operation of the Australian Coastal Trading legislation. READ MORE 


Compliance Update – Road Transport and Warehousing 

The road transport industry, like many others, is increasingly driven by regulation and compliance issues.  In the last five months alone, three separate road transport related liability decisions have been delivered which deal with the ever-present spectres of overloading and workplace safety regulation.  Although relating primarily to the road transport industry, the lessons learned are applicable across all industries. READ MORE


Australian Competition Law – Flight Centre held to be in Competition with Airlines

On 6 December 2013 the Federal Court of Australia held that Flight Centre Pty Ltd (“Flight Centre”) contravened Australian competition law on six occasions in its dealing with three international airlines by engaging in conduct which constituted an attempt to induce the airlines to enter into contracts, arrangements or understandings which have the purpose or likely effect of substantially lessening competition. READ MORE


Compliance Update - Planned Increase in Australian Customs Penalties

Australian Customs has released an Exposure Draft containing proposed increases in the penalties payable under its infringement notice scheme, as well as creating new infringement notice offences.  The changes form part of Customs’ increasing crackdown on organised crime, where Customs considers that tighter border controls will reduce organised crime. READ MORE


David Forsyth AM To Chair Panel for Wide-Ranging Review of CASA

David Forsyth AM, a highly regarded figure in Australian aviation, will chair an independent review panel into the operations of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and aviation safety regulation in Australia announced by the Federal Government on 14 November. READ MORE


Foreign Arbitration Agreements in Australian Voyage Charterparties No Longer Void – Recent Appeal Overturns 2012 Case

In June 2012, a single Judge of the Federal Court of Australia held that foreign arbitration agreements in voyage charterparties for the carriage of goods from Australia were void and unenforceable.  On 18 September 2013, a three panel bench of the Full Court overturned that decision.  The result is that Australian courts will recognise and enforce foreign arbitration agreements in voyage charterparties, indeed, in all forms of charterparty. READ MORE 


Alternative Safe Working Arrangements Under MO32

AMSA’s new policy on alternative safe working arrangements may provide some relief to owners/operators caught by the strict operation of MO32. READ MORE 


Inquiry - Victorian Damage by Aircraft Regime & CASA Proposed Rule Making Categorising Ambulance Flights as Air Transport Operations

The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission is currently undertaking an inquiry into the provisions relating to surface damage by aircraft contained in the Wrongs Act 1958 (Vic). READ MORE 


New Visa Requirements for Australian Offshore Resources Industry

Proposed new laws will mean that many foreign offshore resources industry workers previously not required to hold Australian work visas will now require Australian work visas.  pdf READ MORE  


Increased Penalties for Commonwealth Shipping Offences

Penalties for breaching Commonwealth shipping laws such as the Navigation Act 1912 and the Customs Act 1901 increased as of December 2012. Fines for breaches of Commonwealth shipping legislation are often expressed as a number of ‘penalty units’. The value of a penalty unit under Commonwealth laws was previously A$110 per unit. From 28 December 2012, the value of a penalty unit increased to A$170. As a result, fines for a breach of Commonwealth shipping laws have increased by more than 50%. pdfREAD MORE


Chain of Responsibility – Are You in the Crosshairs?

Roads and Maritime Services, the authority responsible for enforcing the ‘chain of responsibility’ heavy vehicle laws in NSW, has recently announced that it is actively targeting participants up and down the chain – including consignors, consignees and others responsible for and/or handling shipping containers. Freight forwarders, logistics providers, 3PL terminal and warehouse operators, exporters and importers, amongst others, are now firmly in the crosshairs for chain of responsibility prosecution. pdf READ MORE



Brokers – The Marine Peril of Not Knowing the Market

Two recent cases have highlighted the need for brokers to be familiar with the nature of their client’s business and the limits and exclusions of marine insurance products on the market. In both of these cases, the broker was found to have failed to have proper regard for these matters and held liable for the uninsured losses. pdfREAD MORE



Update on Ship Arrest in Australia - Hidden Arrest Proceedings

This short note is to update our clients and contacts in relation to revised ship arrest filing procedures recently adopted by the Federal Court of Australia. pdf READ MORE



The Costs of Delayed Customs Reporting - October 2012

Following a recent series of fines and prosecutions, this short note is to remind our clients and contacts of the penalties applicable for the failure to file crew reports on time in accordance with the requirements under the Customs Act 1901 (Cth) and Customs Regulations 1926 (Cth).pdfREAD MORE


When Is A Survey Report Not A Survey Report – Loss, Liability And Warranty Surveys - October 2012

Last month, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision in Marine & Civil Construction Company Pty Ltd v SGS Australia Pty Ltd  dismissing Marine & Civil’s claim for damages arising from misleading and deceptive conduct against a marine surveying company, SGS. pdfREAD MORE


Australia To Sign Up To Cape Town Convention - October 2012

On 12 October 2012, the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese announced that Australia will sign the Cape Town Convention and will table the Convention in Parliament later this month. 



Important Changes To Airline Liability In Australia - August 2012

Today the Australian Government introduced into Parliament a Bill that makes important changes to the airline passenger and surface damage liability regimes in Australia. For the Newsflash, pdf READ MORE. For the Bill and Explanatory Memorandum, pdfREAD MORE.


Port State Control Detention Over Two Hour Temporary Defect Upheld - August 2012

In a decision handed down last week, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld a Port State Control decision to detain a ship for a defect which was rectified within approximately two hours of the inspection.  Whilst the detention was only in force for one day, it will remain on the ship’s inspection record permanently. pdf READ MORE


Foreign Arbitration Agreements in Australian Voyage Charterparties Void - August 2012

In the recent decision in Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S v Beach Building & Civil Group Pty Ltd, the Federal Court of Australia held that foreign arbitration agreements in voyage charterparties for the carriage of goods from Australia are void. As a result, the Court refused to enforce two London arbitration awards issued in respect of disputes arising under the relevant voyage charterparty. pdf READ MORE


Seizing Ship’s Certificates – New Laws Mooted for Vessel Arrests in Australia - August 2012

New laws presently being mooted provide for the seizure of original ship’s Certificates for arrested vessels. pdf READ MORE


Recovery Actions for Unpaid Bunker Claims - July 2012

High  bunker  prices  and  tight  economic  circumstances  have  resulted  in  a  perfect  storm, leaving unpaid bunker suppliers in its wake. pdf READ MORE


Impact of NSW Workers Compensation Changes on the Maritime Sector – Not Just a Matter for Employers - July 2012

Changes to the NSW workers compensation insurance scheme have just been passed which substantially restrict the range and reduce the level of compensation available to injured workers in NSW. The changes are not only relevant to those within the industry that employ workers in NSW. They are also likely to have an indirect impact on those who do business or deal with organisations that employ workers in NSW – including local and international carriers, vessel operators and others within the shipping industry. pdf READ MORE


Commencement of In Rem and In Personam Proceedings - June 2012

In this recent case, the Court allowed proceedings to be brought in personam despite in rem proceedings first being commenced, arguably being time barred and subsequently being discontinued. pdf READ MORE



The recent English decision of ACG Acquisition XX LLC v Olympic Airlines (in special liquidation) [2012] EHWC 1070 (Comm.) has practical significance to aircraft lessors and lessees worldwide. The decision is relevant to aircraft sale agreements, leases and any other agreement that relates to the delivery and acceptance of aircraft or equipment.  pdf READ MORE


Oil Pollution in Australia – Charterers Now Strictly Liable; Penalties Increased - February 2012

New Commonwealth laws have come into effect which extend strict liability for oil pollution to Charterers and increase penalties fortyfold. pdfREAD MORE


The Shipping Industry and the New Personal Property Securities Regime - December 2011

The Personal Properties Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (“PPSA”) establishes a new system for the registration and preservation of security interests in any personal property (other than land). pdfREAD MORE


When will the PPSA come into effect? The Government opts for flexibility - October 2011

On 22 August 2011 we reported that the Personal Property Securities Act 2011 (Cth) (PPSA) was due to come into effect on 31 October 2011.  Our paper provided an overview of the way in which the PPSA would impact on most Australian businesses. pdfREAD MORE


Stimulus Package for Australian Shipping - October 2011

In September 2011, the Federal Government announced a new and far-reaching policy package aimed at re-invigorating the Australian shipping industry. The policy, which might be described as the ‘stimulus package for Australian shipping’, seeks to introduce three key changes: pdf READ MORE


Introducing a New Personal Property Securities Regime - August 2011

The introduction of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) will significantly alter the way in which security interests over personal property are created and dealt with in Australia.pdf READ MORE


Bill to Require Community and Environmental Consultation by Air Services - August 2011

Proposed new Federal legislation has the potential to impede the efficient and safe administration of Australian airspace. The Air Services (Aircraft Noise) Amendment Bill 2011 was introduced by Judi Moylan MP into Federal Parliament on 4 July 2011. pdfREAD MORE


Prosecution of Air Operator under State work safety legislation held to be invalid - May 2011

New South Wales is known to have one of the most onerous workplace safety legal regimes in the world. Employers have strict obligations to workers with substantial penalties if there is a breach. Prosecutions of employers are incredibly difficult to defend.pdf READ MORE


Container Detention Charges Held Not To Be Penalties - May 2011

In a decision handed down on 18 April 2011, the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (“CTTT”) of NSW has held that container detention charges are not penalties and are enforceable at law. pdf READ MORE


Definition of ‘Closed Charter’ Operations – AAT Decision - March 2011

An entirely new approach to determining the difference between a “closed charter” and regular public transport operations (RPT) has emerged from the recent decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) in Caper Pty Ltd t/a Direct Air Charter and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2011] AATA 181 where the Tribunal directed attention to the purpose of the flight rather than the availability of carriage to the public at large as the crucial factor. pdf READ MORE


Liability of Owners and Operators for Injury to Persons Onboard – Are Owners and Operators Liable for Obvious Risks? - January 2011

CSL Australia Pty Ltd v Formosa [2009] NSWCA 363                                                                                                                                                                             How far does the obligation of a duty of care regarding safety onboard a ship go? pdf READ MORE


Oil Pollution Responder Immunity Now Part of Australian Law - December 2010

Australia is party to and has enacted the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (“MARPOL”) and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (“Bunker Convention”), each of which impose strict liability on the owner of a ship for pollution damage occurring from the discharge of oil carried as cargo or bunkers. pdf READ MORE


Call for Industry Submissions on the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol - December 2010

The Australian Government is calling for submissions on whether or not to accede to the 2001 Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the associated Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (the “Cape Town Convention”).  Consultation with stakeholders was undertaken by the government in 2008 with respect to the advantages and disadvantages of ratifying the Cape Town Convention, demonstrating industry support for entry into the Convention. pdf READ MORE