Change to semi-trailer white-paint regulation to save industry millions

Media Release


03 February 2016

The Australian Government today announced a change to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) which will cut red tape and save heavy vehicle operators millions of dollars, with no risk to safety.

Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said the change will remove requirements for the rear bumper of semi‑trailers to be painted white, which in most cases is a different colour to the main trailer body.

“These changes were requested by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and are expected to save the industry around $12.4 million over the next decade,” Mr Fletcher said.

“More than 4,500 semi-trailers are manufactured in Australia every year and they will no longer require the extra step in production to paint the rear bumper a different colour to the main trailer body.

“The Australian Government and state and territory governments have agreed to amend the ADRs after careful review, as the change will have no impact on vehicle safety.

“These changes will be welcomed by industry.”

Mr Fletcher said this initiative, like the removal of restrictive motorcycle width requirements announced last year, is in step with the Australian Government's response to the Productivity Commission's Report on Australia's Automotive Manufacturing Industry to accelerate harmonising ADRs with United Nations vehicle regulations.

“Harmonisation with international standards provides access to the latest vehicle technology at the lowest possible cost,” Mr Fletcher said.

“An important part of this is the removal of unique Australian content in the ADRs where it cannot be justified.

Further reforms will be announced in the coming months.

“At one level these changes seem small—but in fact they are productivity improvements that will deliver savings year-after-year.”

Information about the Australian Design Rules can be accessed online at