Dangerous goods delivery

Delivery of goods posing a danger to health, safety, property or the environment

What do we mean by the delivery of dangerous goods ?

A delivery of dangerous goods is characterised by the hazardousness of the products transported. Goods considered as dangerous are materials or objects posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment.

These products are part of a dangerous goods list managed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). To prevent risks associated with the transport of these goods, the transport of dangerous goods is regulated at national and international level.

The characteristics of the delivery of dangerous goods

In order to define the rules for their transport, dangerous goods are classified in different categories. Regulations for the delivery of dangerous goods then vary according to the mode of transport used to send them.

What goods are considered to be dangerous ?

From aerosols to electric bikes, through automotive equipment or gas bottles, many products are on the dangerous goods list.

To help with their identification and with how to transport them, a classification of dangerous goods has been established. This allows products to be classified in different classes based on the risks posed.

Each class of goods refers to the presence of dangerous materials:

  • Class 1: Explosive substances and articles
  • Class 2: Gases
  • Class 3: Flammable liquids
  • Class 4.1: Solid flammable materials, self-reactive substances, solid desensitised explosives and polymeric materials
  • Class 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
  • Class 4.3: Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
  • Class 5.1: Oxidizing substances
  • Class 5.2: Organic peroxides
  • Class 6.1: Toxic substances
  • Class 6.2: Infectious substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive material
  • Class 8: Corrosive substances
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

Each product considered to be dangerous falls into one (or more) class(es) depending on its nature. A UN number is then allocated.

How are dangerous goods recognised ?

For easy identification, dangerous products and items bear a specific label depending on their classification.

Examples and application

Mandatory documents for the delivery of dangerous goods

As the transport and delivery of dangerous goods is very strictly regulated, some documents are and must remain with the vehicle until delivery:

  • the transport document indicating details specific to the transport of dangerous goods (UN number, product class, classification code, packaging group, quantity of each product, tunnel code, etc). For waste, this may be a waste disposal slip;
  • the vehicle approval certificate ;
  • the safety record bearing written instructions summarising the safety rules to be followed by the crew (e.g. what to do in case of a leak);
  • the driver's ADR training certificate, etc.

Rules for the delivery of dangerous goods

The handling of dangerous materials (loading and unloading) must also respect certain rules concerning:

  • incompatibility between products ;
  • of products during the journey ;
  • the prohibition of smoking close to certain flammable or explosive materials...

Delivery of dangerous goods in figures

Regulatory framework

The regulations applicable to a delivery of dangerous goods varies based on the type of transport used:

  • The RID regulation applies to rail transport ;
  • the ADR agreement concerns road transport;
  • the European ADN agreement is the reference for river transport;
  • maritime codes and compendiums regulate for dangerous goods in packages or in bulk ;

technical instructions for the safety of air transport issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulate the air transport of dangerous goods.