SME Chamber

Loading & Unloading of Containers: a much needed clarification

GRTU has recently insisted with the Department of Local Government for a clear policy to be introduced in relation to the loading and unloading of containers.

The issue relates to containers being loaded and unloaded within Localities as opposed to the Hal Far Groupage Complex. GRTU has been advocating the principle that traders had every right to request permission to place a container within a Locality as long as the entire contents of the container were to be delivered to the same recipient.

Containers carrying groupage are strictly to be unloaded at the Hal Far Groupage Complex in terms of the Motor Tractors Regulations.

Until recently, the practice to load or unload a container outside one’s warehouse consisted of simply obtaining a permit from the Local Council offices in that locality.

Nonetheless in recent months members complained that certain Local Councils were refusing to issue permits for placing containers outside their premises temporarily in order to load or unload their contents. The issue revolved around conflicting interpretations of two pieces of legislation: the Motor Tractors Regulations and the Activities Requiring Permits by Local Councils Regulations.

This has left many traders fuming after being unable to carry out their commercial activities and moreover being served with contraventions to appear in Court charged with having containers parked on the street without the necessary permits.

After analyzing the existing regulations, GRTU’s legal department asked the Director for Local Government from the Parliamentary Secretariat for Local Government to confirm the GRTU’s interpretation which was eventually confirmed by virtue of two circulars that finally clarified the matter.

Members are therefore being made aware of the correct procedure for placing containers outside their premises:

  • Containers still loaded on their trailers simply require a Police Permit from the local district office. They do not require a permit from the Local Council. A Police Permit will always be given under the following conditions: (1) that no road is obstructed; (2) that no inconvenience to neighbours is caused; and (3) that no garages are obstructed.
  • Containers that have been removed from their trailers and placed on the street do not require a Police Permit. The trader however will have to obtain a Local Council permit. Permits for temporarily placing containers on the street from Local Councils cost €35.00 for a twenty-foot container and €70.00 for a forty-foot container.

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