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About the ADN

European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways

The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) was done at Geneva on 26 May 2000 on the occassion of a Diplomatic Conference held under the joint auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR). It entered into force on 29 February 2008.

ADN consists of a main legal text (the Agreement itself) and annexed Regulations and aims at:

  1. ensuring a high level of safety of international carriage of dangerous goods by inland waterways;
  2. contributing effectively to the protection of the environment by preventing any pollution resulting from accidents or incidents during such carriage; and
  3. facilitating transport operations and promoting international trade in dangerous goods.

The Regulations annexed to the ADN (click here for the original version of 2000) contain provisions concerning dangerous substances and articles, provisions concerning their carriage in packages and in bulk on board inland navigation vessels or tank vessels, as well as provisions concerning the construction and operation of such vessels. They also address requirements and procedures for inspections, the issue of certificates of approval, recognition of classification societies, monitoring, and training and examination of experts.                   

With the exception of the provisions relating to the recognition of classification societies, which have been applicable since the entry into force of the Agreement, the annexed Regulations did not become applicable until 12 months after the entry into force of the Agreement, namely on 28 February 2009 (see Article 11 (1) of the Agreement).

Before the entry into force of the Agreement, updates of the annexed Regulations have been carried out regularly by a Joint Meeting of Experts of the UNECE and CCNR in accordance with the resolution adopted on 25 May 2000 by the Diplomatic Conference. Although the Agreement had not yet entered into force, the secretariat published consolidated versions of the updated annexed regulations in 2003 (ADN 2003) 2005 (ADN 2005) and 2007 (ADN 2007) to reflect the work of the Joint Meeting, for implementation (on a voluntary basis) by interested Governments.

After entry into force of ADN, a first session of the ADN Administrative Committee was convened in accordance with article 17 of the Agreement, on 19 June 2008. The ADN Administrative Committee decided that the 2007 version of the annexed Regulations  (as amended by documents ECE/TRANSWP.15/AC.2/26, -/26/Corr.1, -26/Add.1 and -26/Add.2) should replace the Regulations originally annexed to the Agreement (ADN 2000) at the date of applicability of 28 February 2009.

ADN 2009 is a consolidated version which takes account of these updates and is applicable as from 28 February 2009. Updated consolidated versions of the Regulations annexed to ADN have also been issued in 2011 (ADN 2011), 2013 (ADN 2013), 2015 (ADN 2015), 2017 (ADN 2017), 2019 (ADN 2019), 2021 (ADN 2021) and 2023 (ADN 2023).

The Joint Meeting of experts now plays the role of the Safety Committee foreseen in article 18 of the Agreement.

It should be noted that, according to Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods, Member States of the European Union, shall, with the exclusion of the derogation provided for in Article 1, paragraph 3 of the Directive, apply these annexed Regulations as well as Article 3 (f) and (h) and Article 8, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Agreement to the transport of dangerous goods by inland waterways from 1 July 2009 and at the latest by 30 June 2011.

All requests for information relating to the application of the ADN should be addressed to the relevant competent authority.