Moving dangerous goods by road is regulated by international law with most European countries signed up to the European agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous goods by Road (ADR).

ADR sets out the requirements for the classification, packaging, labelling and certification of dangerous goods. It also includes specific vehicle and tank requirements and other operational requirements. The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (as amended) apply ADR in Great Britain – England, Wales and Scotland.

  1. All separate hazardous materials in the shipment must be accurately identified.  Every material has set criteria for how is it to be packed.
    Information needed to be known accurately:

    • UN Number
    • Packing Group
    • ADR Class
  1. All packaging must be certified to UN standards, the main exception being Limited Quantities.  The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) Dangerous Goods Office has responsibility for the certification of dangerous goods packaging within the UK. You can access the dangerous goods packaging approvals database on the VCA website.
  2. All hazardous goods require set written information to be shipped with them:
    • The UN Number
    • Proper shipping name
    • Class (with subsidiary hazard, if any, in brackets)
    • Packing group (where assigned)
    • Number and description of packages
    • Total quantity of each item of different UN Number
    • Name/address of consignor
    • Name /address of consignee(s). Where there are multiple consignees not known at the start of the journey, the words “Delivery Sale” may be used.
    • Declaration relating to any special agreement, where applicable (uncommon)
    • Where assigned, the tunnel code, except where it is known that the journey will not involve passing through a relevant tunnel.
    • Further information can be found on the Health & Safety Executive website.
  3. All hazardous goods must be clearly marked externally, this takes the form of a “diamond” showing the UN and Class number, certain chemicals require additional labelling.  Packaging must also bear the correct label(s) and markings appropriate for the substance and package.
  4. Important to note that it is the Consignor who is responsible for providing the carrier with information and the required transport documents for the goods.  The consignor is also responsible for the packaging used and that it complies with regulations along with all marking and labelling on all packages.

Useful links:

Health & Safety Authority – Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road – A Guide for Business
Health & Safety Executive Carriage of Dangerous Goods Manual