Revision of the ADR scheme

by Marie Deramoudt
Recently, the 21st revision of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods was published. The recommendations regulate every aspect of transport and not only list dangerous goods, but also prescribe, for example, packaging requirements, modes of transport, certain markings or transport documents. 

The new recommendations cover, inter alia, electrical storage systems (for lithium batteries and defective batteries, among others), explosives, infectious waste and waste gas cartridges. The list of dangerous goods has also been revised and the recommendations have been harmonised with the most recent edition of the International Atomic Energy Agency's regulations on the transport of radioactive materials.

The UN Recommendations are being developed by UNECE (the European Economic Commission of the United Nations) in the light of technological progress and ever-increasing safety and environmental requirements. UNECE is a UN regional organisation established by ECOSOC in 1947 that seeks to promote sustainable economic growth in its member states. Also managed by UNECE are, for example, the ADR Convention of 1957 (International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) and the ADN Convention of 2000 (International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways).

The recommendations are addressed to national regulatory authorities and international organisations and serve to ensure, as far as possible, uniform regulation in this sector. Although they have no direct legally binding value, the recommendations enjoy a high status and are authoritative in international and national transport law. For example, the regulations for the transport of dangerous goods by air, issued by IATA (International Air Transport Association), are based on the UN model but adapted to the specific needs of air transport. The 61st edition of these regulations will enter into force on 1 January 2020. 




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