What's included in compliance obligations?
In a previous blog, I described the “compliance obligations” requirements of ISO 14001:2015.
In this blog, I’ll consider mandatory and non-mandatory compliance obligations from government and third parties, and give a brief explanation of “transitional provisions”. This may help those new to HSE compliance, or provide a refresher for others.
Mandatory compliance obligations include all legislation that applies to your operations (Commonwealth and state/territory) and may also include (as applicable):
- Environmental local laws (administered by local councils)
- Australian standards which are called up in legislation
- Codes of practice and other documents called up in legislation
- Site licences, permits, trade waste agreements/consents
- Notices (from authorities)
- Internal corporate requirements and targets (these are often mandatory)
- Contracts with third parties (eg. waste disposal contracts)
Non-mandatory compliance obligations may include (as applicable):
- Codes of practice, guidelines and other documents published by government that are not called up in legislation
- Australian and ISO standards not called up in legislation
- Voluntary undertakings to government (these may become mandatory upon signing)
- Undertakings given in response to specific needs and expectations of interested parties
- Targets (often voluntary, eg. energy reduction, water use reduction, recycling).
When an Act is passed by parliament, or a regulation signed into law, it may come into operation (ie. become mandatory) immediately. More commonly however, it will come into operation on a prescribed date, and individual sections of the legislation may come into operation on different dates. These are called “transitional provisions”.
Transitional provisions provide a grace period, giving organisations time to take the actions needed to comply to the new legislation. The appropriate transition dates are included in each piece of legislation.