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About the Manual of Tests and Criteria

UN Manual of Tests and Criteria


The Manual of Tests and Criteria contains criteria, test methods and procedures to be used for classification of dangerous goods according to the provisions of the "United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations", as well as of chemicals presenting physical hazards according to the "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals" (GHS). It gives descriptions of the test methods and procedures considered to be the most useful for providing classifiers with the necessary information to arrive at a proper classification. It also supplements national or international regulations which are derived from the Model Regulations or the GHS.

Originally developed by the Economic and Social Council’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which adopted a first version in 1984, it has been regularly updated and amended every two years. Presently, the updating is done under the auspices of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, which replaces the original committee since 2001.

The Manual is divided into five parts:


Part I:

Relating to explosives;


Part II:

Relating to self-reactive substances, organic peroxides and polymerizing substances;


Part III:

Relating to aerosols, desensitized explosives (relating to transport only), flammable liquids, flammable solids, pyrophoric liquids and solids, substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases, oxidizing liquids and solids, chemically unstable gases and gas mixtures, substances corrosive to metals, and substances and articles of transport Class 9 (ammonium nitrate fertilizers, lithium metal and lithium ion batteries) and solid ammonium nitrate based fertilizers;

Part IV:

Test methods concerning transport equipment; and

Part V:

Classification procedures, test methods and criteria relating to sectors other than transport.



There are also appendices which give information common to a number of different types of tests, on the National Contacts for Test Details, on an example method for emergency relief vent sizing of portable tanks for organic peroxides and self-reactive substances, on screening procedures, on flash compositions tests for the classification of fireworks, response descriptors and the ballistic energy test for cartridges, small arms.