ADR Treaty

The carriage of dangerous goods by road is regulated by the international ADR treaty, the text of which is updated every two years. The original agreement was signed in Geneva on 30 September 1957 as the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road

Field of application

On 1 January 2019 the ADR 2019 was enacted and all the modifications were applied by the various subjects on a voluntary basis beginning on that date, while they became mandatory as of 1 July 2019 and the transport is generally exempted until 31 December 2022, provided that suitable provisions are taken to prevent the leakage of the content under routine transport condition.

With the Decree of the Ministry of Transport dated 12 February 2019, published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale dated 5 April 2019, Italy incorporated the ADR 2019, implementing the latest modifications made to the2008/68/EC Directive, relative to the internal transport of dangerous goods, transposed in Italian law by means of the Legislative Decree n. 35 dated 27 January 2010.

What is intended by dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are intended as all those goods that may cause damage to people, objects, or the environment. The ADR classification of a product containing hazardous substances must be indicated in a special section of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). This category also includes very common products, like those containing lithium batteries, including mobile phones and portable computers.

During the transport of dangerous goods by sea, the packages require marking and labelling, as do the containers holding them and the vehicles that transport them.

Generally speaking, markings, plates, and labels must be applied onto all four sides of the containers while, when it comes to vehicles for the transport of packages and cisterns, markings and labels must be positioned on two sides and on the back.

Instead, containers for the transport of bulk goods, container-tanks, portable tanks, tank swap bodies, the MEGC (Multiple Element Gas Container) and tank vehicles, require the application of the PSN (Proper Shipping Name) onto at least the two sides.

If two different ONU numbers should be transported inside the same transport unit, it is necessary to plate it and mark it with all the danger plates and marks required for each individual class, while avoiding duplicates. Instead, in the case of transport of more than 4000 kg of a single ONU number inside the transport unit, it will be necessary to apply a 300×120 mm orange panel with the ONU number of the goods on it.

Some categories of dangerous goods

  • explosives
  • flammable materials
  • fuels
  • radioactive materials
  • toxic materials
  • corrosive materials
  • infective materials

New provisions compared to ADR 2017

The main changes made to the agreement concern, among other things:

  • The updated danger labels, for example, have changed both colour and symbol
  • The nomination of the safety consultant is obligatory also for carriers
  • New packaging instructions for batteries, which must be applied above all if they should be damaged or defective

Figures involved

The figures involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road are:

  • Sender
  • Carrier
  • Addressee
  • Loader
  • Packager
  • Filler
  • Manager of a container-tank or a portable tank
  • Unloader

ECO Certificazioni offers survey and verification activities to ascertain that the updated ADR agreements requirements are fulfilled.

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