It looks very likely that the 2021 text of ADR will contain a large number of changes, not all of which will be harmonised with the UN Model Regulations
The 107th session of the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (ECE) Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP15) took place in Geneva this past 11 to 15 November. WP15 is the body responsible for maintaining the ADR Agreement and its regulatory annexes that form the basis for the transport of dangerous goods by road throughout Europe and increasingly further afield.
The meeting was chaired by Ariane Roumier (France) with Alfonso Simoni (Italy) as vice-chair. It was attended by representatives of 25 European countries along with representatives from Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia, the European Union (EU), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and four non-governmental organisations.
The main task of the session was to agree the amendments that had been adopted at the earlier Joint Meeting of RID/ADR/ADN experts, insofar as they are applicable to and appropriate for road transport. These amendments will appear in the text of ADR that takes effect in 2021.
Before moving on to discussion of those changes, however, WP15 reviewed the strategy of its parent body, the Inland Transport Committee (ITC) to 2030 and confirmed that its work and ADR are fully in line with that strategy. It recommended that national laws on the transport of dangerous goods should be aligned with ADR as far as possible.
Turkey, with nearly ten years as a contracting party to ADR, made a presentation on what it saw as the benefits of attending meetings of WP15, which was warmly received and provided some guidance to other states on the periphery of the core ADR group. In a similar vein, Tunisia and the representative of the Euromed project reiterated that the lack of an Arabic language version of ADR remains a major obstacle in spreading its usability in some countries. WP15 noted that discussions are still ongoing to allow the translation work to proceed, subject to funding being available for the language services of the UN office in Geneva. The Euromed representative said that such funding could be covered by the Euromed project, at least for an initial edition, although a long-term solution is needed to allow the biennial updates to also be translated.
The Netherlands stressed the country’s political commitment to improving safety and reducing the environmental impact of transport operations and its representative stated that he would support further work in this area within ADR to help achieve the sustainable development goals set out in the ITC strategy.
Finally, it was noted that there had been no new contracting parties to ADR since the previous meeting, although Malta had acceded to the Protocol of 1993. The meeting urged the 13 countries yet to do so to take the necessary measures.
WP15 reviewed the decisions made by the Joint Meeting of RID/ADR/ADN experts and approved most of the amendments, with some editorial changes to fit the needs of the road transport mode. There were, though, some issues.
Firstly, the Joint Meeting’s informal working group on the inspection and certification of tanks was due to present proposals for amendment at the spring 2020 session and WP15 would be asked to formally adopt those amendments at its next session. It was therefore rather urgent for any comments on the draft proposals to be submitted to the chair of the informal working group in good time.
WP15 adopted changes to the amendment to special packing provision PP16 in packing instruction P003, so that Note 2 to PP16 will refer to packing instruction P801 as a whole, not just to P801(2). It was also thought that the texts of those packing instructions could be clarified in respect of their applicability to used batteries shipped under UN 2800.
WP15 welcomed the guidelines for the use of 126.96.36.199 developed by the Joint Meeting’s informal working group on telematics and urged the secretariat to publish them online to facilitate their use on a voluntary and consistent basis.
Switzerland queried the change adopted by the Joint Meeting to add the new entry for UN 3549 (medical waste, category A) in 188.8.131.52, meaning that sub-sections 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11 are not applicable. As a result, the period of use permitted for plastics drums and jerricans is limited and the reuse of empty packaging is not allowed. Switzerland felt UN 3549 should be subject to the same provisions as UN 2814 and 2900. After discussion, WP15 invited Switzerland to return to the Joint Meeting with this issue, and decided against adopting the amendment to 18.104.22.168 as it stands. Switzerland will also make a proposal to the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG).
Switzerland also followed up on discussions on how to address the issue of the placarding of tank vehicles that have changed the grade of product carried without being cleaned. This practice can raise some questions, such as when biofuels are loaded after gasoline. Its paper offered a suggested text to clarify the situation, which was supported by the UK. However, other delegations did not support the idea and Switzerland will reconsider the proposal.
PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT
Germany reported on discussions by the informal working group on clarification of the construction requirements for the body of EX/III vehicles (paragraph 22.214.171.124), which had met in early October 2018. That group had agreed some basic results but felt that it did not have access to the full range of expertise that would be needed to resolve all the questions given as part of its mandate from WP15.
The Working Party regretted that lack of specialists but welcomed the initial conclusions, saying that work should continue. The UK suggested this could be done in the light of the discussions in the Joint Meeting’s informal working group on the reduction of the risk of boiling liquid evaporating vapour explosions (BLEVEs).
Referring back to its comments on sustainability in the transport sector, the Netherlands gave an update on the use of electric and hybrid electric vehicles for the transport of dangerous goods. So far, it said, production of heavy goods electric vehicle has been based on modifications to traditional vehicles; however, new designs are not far off. It is expected that these will feature radically different configurations of the power units. The Netherlands has already been asked to approve the carriage of dangerous goods on vehicles with electric power and fuel cells, so far mainly for short distances, although also for international movements.
At present, there is a lack of practical knowledge available but the Netherlands felt it prudent to begin to evaluate the issue and examine the potential risks for AT and FL vehicles and what mitigation measures might be appropriate. It proposed the establishment of an informal working group to begin the work. The Working Party agreed with the idea but said that it should be discussed jointly with the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP29) at a meeting scheduled for November 2020. Delegations were invited to suggests points for consideration.
France reiterated the problems experienced in finding cables conforming to the ISO standards introduced in ADR 2017, as required by 126.96.36.199.1. WP15 noted that this problem can arise for N1 and N2 vehicles that had been converted for ADR use, as they are not fitted with standard cables and rewiring can be costly and may lead to safety problems. Delegates experiencing problems were invited to approach vehicle manufacturers to help address the issue.
Sweden followed up on earlier discussions on the supervision of vehicles, as required by Chapter 8.5, this time bringing a formal proposal to clarify the provisions in S1(6), S16 and S21 by making reference to the security provisions in 1.10.3. On a vote, it was agreed to adopt the proposals, with some drafting changes. The Working Party noted that, for other goods subject to the security requirements, the general supervision rules in Chapter 8.4 remain applicable.
In S1(6), in the second paragraph under the list, “substances and articles shall be supervised at all times in order to prevent” is replaced with “substances and articles, when subject to the provisions in 1.10.3, shall be supervised in accordance with the security plan in 188.8.131.52 at all times to prevent”.
In S16, the second paragraph is replaced by:
In addition, vehicles carrying more than 500 kg of these substances shall, when subject to the provisions in 1.10.3, be supervised in accordance with the security plan in 184.108.40.206 at all times to prevent any malicious act and to alert the driver and competent authorities in the event of loss or fire.
In S21, the second sentence is deleted. A new paragraph is added after the sub-paragraphs:
In addition, these goods shall, when subject to the provisions in 1.10.3, be supervised in accordance with the security plan in 220.127.116.11 at all times to prevent any malicious act and to alert the driver and the competent authorities in the event of loss or fire.
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) returned with a formal proposal following up on its earlier concerns about the forging of ADR driver certificates, something it said is a growing problem. One issue is that the examples of such certificates published on the UN ECE website do not show the additional security features (holograms, UV printing or guilloche patterns) required by 18.104.22.168.3 of ADR. Some explanatory text would help when checking certificates. In addition, Cefic noted that Lithuania has introduced a database of valid certificates.
In response to the idea of an international database, the Working Party felt this would raise some problems, notably the funding needed to create and maintain it as well as the protection of personal data. However, WP15 was interested to see that such databases are now being set up at the national level and felt it might be interesting to invite the Joint Meeting’s working group on telematics to establish a common interface to help exchange data between the competent authorities.
In the meantime, WP15 did adopt an amended version of Cefic’s proposal for a new text of 22.214.171.124.6:
Contracting Parties shall provide the ECE secretariat with an example of the national model for any certificate intended for issue in accordance with this section. Contracting Parties shall also provide explanatory notes to enable the verification of conformity of certificates with the examples provided. The secretariat shall make this information available on its website.
The secretariat offered a number of editorial amendments, many pertaining only to the French language version of ADR. Some changes were agreed to the general transitional measures, including the normal two-year extension of 126.96.36.199, which allows the 2019 text of ADR to be used up until 30 June 2021. Outdated provisions in 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 were deleted.
Switzerland reported on a problem that had been raised: drivers often provide a large number of transport documents during a roadside inspection, often including details of cargo that has already been unloaded. This could also be an issue during an emergency response, if responders are unsure what cargoes are left aboard. While ADR provides details of the documents that should be carried, it does not specifically say that these should apply only to the goods on the transport unit at the time.
Most delegations agreed that drivers should only present documents relevant to the current transport in the event of a check but did not support the solution proposed. Many felt that this is a problem of driver training rather than the wording of ADR; also, Switzerland’s proposal did not take account of uncleaned empty tanks. Switzerland may present a revised proposal at a future session.
The UK followed up on ongoing work at WP15 and the Joint Meeting to implement the requirements in clause 6.1 of the forthcoming standard EN 13094:2020 to the safe use of tanks in accordance with footnote 3 of 18.104.22.168.18 of ADR, with specific reference to the cross-sectional shapes of tank shells.
The Working Party approved the Guidelines on the use of footnote 3 drafted by the UK and their publication on the UN ECE website should the revised version of the standard not be published in time to be referenced in the 2021 edition of ADR. It also adopted the amendment to footnote 3 and introduced a reference to the Guidelines in ADR.
Switzerland arrived with a number of papers relating to the transport of dangerous goods in tunnels, something that is – not surprisingly – an important issue for the Alpine country. Firstly, there seems to be a difference in the requirements of 22.214.171.124.6, which states that, for tunnels of category E, those tunnel restrictions apply to both transport units and containers for which a marking in accordance with 126.96.36.199 is requires, and those in 188.8.131.52 and 8.6.4, which only mention transport units, not containers. This fits neatly alongside Switzerland’s other complaint, that transport units and containers containing limited quantities as well as fully regulated dangerous goods are not required to carry the limited quantities marking, which does not necessarily reflect the actual hazard and might in fact be misleading in the event of an accident or in respect of tunnel restrictions in category E tunnels.
The Working Party recognised the problems raised by Switzerland but there was no consensus on a way forward. It invited Switzerland and its neighbour Austria, which offered an alternative, to prepare revised proposals for the next session.
Switzerland delved deeper with another paper asking for more information on consignments for which the ‘(-)’ is assigned in column (15) of the Dangerous Goods List, so as to be able to ensure passage through tunnels subject to restrictions. It proposed a new sub-section in 184.108.40.206.6 to note that this assignment should not be taken into account when dangerous goods in limited quantities are in a mixed load with other dangerous goods that have another tunnel restriction code, and this code should take precedence when calculating the quantity limit.
Most delegations agreed with Switzerland’s belief that transport under the provisions of 220.127.116.11 is exempt from tunnel restrictions but it was generally felt that goods with ‘(-)’ should be taken into account when determining the calculated value. The Working Party noted that the examples presented by Switzerland mainly concerned environmentally hazardous substances of UN 3077 or 3082; it was thought that the Joint Meeting should be asked for its opinion.
Switzerland also sought to amend an amendment adopted at the previous session, relating to special provision 363(1) and 18.104.22.168.1(k). The adopted text of SP 363(1) reads:
The transport unit shall display orange-coloured plates according to 5.3.2 and the tunnel restrictions according to 8.6.4 apply. The orange-coloured plates according to 5.3.2 are not necessary where the carriage is known beforehand not to pass through a tunnel with restrictions for carriage of dangerous goods.
Switzerland’s argument was that the second sentence is redundant and does not help in understanding the requirement already stated. The Working Party saw the argument and agreed. As a result, the second sentence of that paragraph is deleted and the first sentence is changed so that SP 363(1) in its entirety now reads:
For carriage that includes passage through restricted tunnels, the transport unit shall display orange-coloured plates according to 5.3.2 and the tunnel restrictions according to 8.6.4 apply.
Similarly, 22.214.171.124.1(k) is amended to read:
for carriage that includes passage through tunnels with restrictions for carriage of dangerous goods, the tunnel restriction code given in Column (15) of Table A of Chapter 3.2, in capitals within parenthesis, or the mention ‘(─)’.
INTERPRETATION OF ADR
Sweden sought some clarification on the equipment required on a transport use according to 8.1.5. This section defines what equipment and personal protective equipment needs to be carried in case of a leak or an emergency but is not very specific. How can hauliers or enforcement bodies satisfy themselves that a particular item is suitable for its task? Furthermore, while the Instructions in Writing state that the vehicle crew shall act in an emergency where it is safe and practicable to do so, the decision on whether or not to act may well be taken under stress. The driver can be penalised for not carrying the right equipment but, Sweden said, it would be very difficult to justify penalising a driver for not taking action or using the equipment. Sweden had discovered that its Work Environment Authority has its own legislation that is applicable and thought other ADR states would also have similar rules.
Most delegations thought it would be very difficult to be more specific and that the choice of the most appropriate equipment, according to the hazards presented by the load, was a matter of common sense and the responsibility of the transport company. It was thought, though, that it would be possible to add some general provisions, such as a minimum size for the collecting container. For other matters, road safety or work safety regulations may pre-empt any decision. Sweden may revert with a more detailed proposal.
Finland sought the Working Party’s opinion on the transport of waste batteries in bulk and, in particular, whether those batteries need to be protected against short circuit and, if not, what other means are available to fulfil the requirement for safe transport? The Working Party felt this was a multimodal issue and asked Finland to take its query to the Joint Meeting.
Austria asked for the Working Party’s opinion on the transport of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as a load. If the vehicle has a damaged or defective battery that cannot be removed, it should not be subject to the provisions of ADR, given the conditions imposed by special provision 666; the Working Party concurred with this reading. For a BEV that is not damaged or defective, only the requirements of 126.96.36.199.7 apply, unless SP 667 provides an exemption; again the Working Party concurred and invited Austria to submit its analysis and questions to the Joint Meeting, which could then decide whether to provide clarification in 1.1.3. Along the way, it was noted that another example offered by Austria involving the transport of a damaged vehicle with a combustion engine whose valve between the engine and the fuel tank could no longer be closed had not been taken into consideration when drafting special provisions 666 and 667 and some amendments might be necessary.
Belgium wished to know whether an empty, uncleaned tank vehicle not registered or fulfilling the requirements of ADR being transported on a flatbed trailer falls within the scope of ADR and whether there are any exemptions. It was recalled that similar questions had been fielded by the Working Party in 2015 and 2006, but there was no consensus on this occasion. Belgium suggested it could deal with the issue by means of a national derogation but the Working Party thought there might be a need for an amendment to ADR.
The Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) brought a question it had already put to the Joint Meeting, namely the confusion caused by the second sentence of 188.8.131.52. The first sentence reads:
For the purpose of the application of the prohibitions of mixed loading on one vehicle, no account shall be taken of substances contained in closed containers with complete sides.
The second sentence lays out the exceptions, which refer to all kinds of mixed loading prohibitions in 7.5.2, not merely to those involving closed containers. As it stands, COSTHA said, the whole of 184.108.40.206 is pointless. It also noted that the second sentence arrived in ADR in 2001 and the Working Party asked the secretariat to check to find out what the reasoning was behind it. As COSTHA’s informal document had been submitted late, it was asked to come back with a working document for the next session.
Germany queried the intent of the transitional periods provided in the table in 220.127.116.11, which sets out the specifications for electrical equipment on vehicles, especially as the requirements in Part 9 in force up to 31 December 2018 will no longer be applicable after 31 March 2020. There were differences of opinion on the questions raised and the subject will be raised again at the next session.
The secretariat was asked to prepare a consolidated list of all the amendments adopted for entry into force on 1 January 2021. This should be issued no later than 1 July 2020.
The secretariat had already prepared a brief list of corrections to ADR 2019, which was subsequently issued in January 2020 as the third corrigendum. The 108th session of WP15 is due to take place between 11 and 15 May 2020; a report on that meeting will be carried in a future issue of HCB.[post_title] => ADR: Diversion ahead [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => adr-diversion-ahead [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-02-19 18:26:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-02-19 18:26:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=16873 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )
It looks very likely that the 2021 text of ADR will contain a large number of changes, not all of which will be harmonised with the UN Model Regulations