Each mode of transport has its own regulatory agencies that include dangerous goods as part of their remit.  The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) are both specialized agencies of the UN and take on a global role.

In European member states, and some other countries around the world, dangerous goods transported by road are covered under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR).  Each signatory country adopts ADR into its own legislation – sometimes with country-specific variations.  This also applies to the Regulations concerning the International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID) and the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Navigation (ADN).

The USA (in the form of 49CFR), Canada (TDG Regulations) and Australia (The Australian Dangerous Goods Code) each have their own in-country multi-modal variations.

The “Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods” are issued by the UN every two years.  First published in 1956, the Model Regulations set out recommendations that the regulators for each transport mode are expected to adopt and they are intended as a basis for the national and international regulations.

Each year, the International Air Transport Association produces the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, which incorporates the Technical Instructions and the many State and Operator variations.  The first Edition of the “DGR” was released in 1953 and it is recognised by airlines worldwide as the primary user-friendly reference for shipping dangerous goods by air.

How to Stay Onside

Even with the regulations to hand, it can be very time-consuming to determine how a shipment should be classified, packed or marked.  Furthermore, generating the documentation correctly can be a laborious process with many pitfalls along the way.

Failure to get any of these crucial applications 100% correct can lead to shipments being snagged or significant fines being imposed.  Labeline has a simple-to-use software solution in DGOffice.  Once logged in, the user can enter the UN Number or the Proper Shipping Name of any product and will be just three clicks away from information such as Special Provisions, Placarding, Labelling, Packing Instructions, Segregation, Limited Quantity and Excepted Quantity thresholds.

Incorporating 34 languages and multi-modal legislation from around the world, DGOffice will make the calculations then generate the required transport documentation for any allowable product or mixed consignment – wherever it is destined for, by any mode.  For a free trial of DGOffice, contact Labeline on the details below.

What is it?

The recent deadly series of explosions at the Port of Tianjin highlighted the importance of classifying and labelling clearly and storing products correctly: “China state media reported that at least the initial blast was from unknown hazardous materials.”

Labels and markings are the most obvious means to determine the hazards of the material that is contained inside any vessel or package.  It is therefore important that all labels and placards are correctly laid out and applied in accordance with the regulations.

The labels should be resistant to abrasion and weather conditions and possess adhesive properties to withstand the rigours that they will be exposed to in transit.  Various requirements apply for different modes but they are clearly specified in IMDG, which states that all hazard identification labels and placards must be durable and still be identifiable on packages after three months’ immersion in sea water.

Lithium Batteries

Unusually, ICAO and IATA will be introducing some changes to the regulations mid-term – they were deemed too safety-critical to wait until 2017 and include some that relate to lithium batteries. There are many other requirements relating to lithium batteries that can be difficult for shippers to comprehend.  Furthermore, there will be a raft of more significant changes in 2017.

Any person handling dangerous goods by air must be able to demonstrate that they have had training that is commensurate with their role.  Geoff Leach, the current Chair of the IATA Lithium Battery Workshop, is Labeline’s trainer for their CAA-accredited course: Safe Transport of Lithium Batteries by Air.

Richard Shreeve,

Key Account Manager

Labeline International Ltd.

Labeline International Ltd. is one of the world’s leading dangerous goods compliance providers and the UK’s only authorised distributor for the Dangerous Goods Regulations for all modes.  The company is a major supplier of fully compliant hazard and handling labels, a specialist provider for the world-renowned DGOffice software and a provider of specialist training courses.  Labeline offers a free hazard label reference poster with every order.  To find out more, visit www.labeline.com or contact Labeline on either 0870 850 5051 or +44 1271 817677.