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Dangerous Goods

Introduction

Dangerous goods signs

Dangerous goods are subject to transport, workplace, storage, consumer and environment protection regulations, to prevent accidents to persons, property or the environment, to other goods or to the means of transport employed. 

To ensure consistency between all these regulatory systems, the United Nations has developed mechanisms for the harmonization of hazard classification criteria and communication tools, and for transport conditions for all modes for transport. UNECE also administers regional agreements for effective implementation of these mechanisms for road, rail and inland waterways transport of dangerous goods.

In focus

 In light of the current situation related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), some ADR contracting parties coordinated their efforts to prepare a multilateral agreement to compensate for the cancellation of refresher training sessions for ADR drivers and Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers in their countries. Another multilateral agreement was also prepared to allow delays for the periodic or intermediate inspections of tanks and extend the validity of vehicle certificates of approval.  Luxembourg initiated corresponding multilateral agreements M324 on 18 March 2020 and M325 on 19 March 2020. 
Along the same lines, on 27 March 2020, Germany initiated multilateral agreement M327 to allow delays for periodic or intermediate inspections of portable tanks and UN multiple-element gas containers (MEGCs) and France initiated multilateral agreement M326 for periodic inspection and test of pressure receptacles for the carriage of gases of Class 2. 

M325, M326, M327 and M328 expired on 1 September 2020. M324 expired on 1 December 2020.

At the end of November 2020, most countries signatories to M324 acknowledged that it would remain difficult to organize refresher training sessions for the next few months. Therefore, after consultation amongst Contracting Parties, Ireland initiated a new multilateral agreement M330 with the same provisions as M324 but with a validity period extended until 31 March 2021, hoping that by then, the training sessions will have resumed normally. However, at the end of January, training sessions in person remain difficult to organize, particularly for driver training sessions. Therefore Germany initiated a new multilateral agreement M333 to allow exceptional extension of validity for drivers training certificates until 1 October 2021 and another one, M334, for Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers. 

Likewise, some ADN contracting parties prepared multilateral agreements to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to ensure the delivery of essential dangerous goods.

  • Multilateral agreement M025 was initiated on 19 March 2020 to compensate for the cancellation of refresher training sessions for Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers and ADN experts in their countries. It was signed by 13 Contracting Parties and expired on 1 December 2020.
  • Multilateral agreement M026 was also prepared to allow for delays in periodic inspections and to extend the validity of certificates of approval for vessels carrying dangerous goods by inland waterways. It was signed by 7 Contracting Parties. M026 expired on 1 October 2020.

As for M324 of ADR, most countries signatories to M025 acknowledged that it would remain difficult to organise refresher training sessions for the next few months. Therefore, after consultation among Contracting Parties, Germany initiated multilateral agreement M027, same as M025, but with a validity period extended until 1 March 2021. As of 21 December 2020, ten countries had signed it.

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