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[post_date] => 2016-10-28 11:18:08
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[post_content] => The Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP15) held its 100th session from 9 to 12 May 2016 with JA Franco (Portugal) in the chair and Arianne Roumier (France) acting as vice-chair. The meeting was attended by representatives from 23 countries, the European Union (EU), the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and six non-governmental organisations.
While it can hardly be said that this centenary meeting resembled a birthday party, the event had drawn the participation of Eva Molnar, director of the Sustainable Division of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), who brought delegates news of the preparations for the 70th anniversary of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC), WP15’s parent body, in 2017. In addition, Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, addressed the meeting, presenting the resolution on road safety adopted by the UN General Assembly and encouraging the Working Party to continue to promote and facilitate accession to ADR of countries that are not members of UN ECE.
In addition, the chair expressed thanks to OTIF, EU and the organisations representing road transport operators, the chemical, petrochemical and gas industries and the automobile industry for their “long history of fruitful cooperation”.
The secretariat informed the Working Party of relevant outcomes from ITC’s February 2016 session, particularly its agreement of WP15’s work and biennial evaluation plan for 2016-17.
Although there are no new contracting parties to ADR it was noted with satisfaction that Serbia and Turkey had acceded to the Protocol amending articles 1(a), 14(1) and 14(3)(b) of ADR; the 13 countries that had not yet done so were encouraged to follow suit.
INTERPRETATION OF ADR
In an informal document Sweden referred to 188.8.131.52, which states that certain packages of substances or articles of Class 1 shall not be loaded together in the same vehicle or container unless it is permitted in accordance with the Table in the same paragraph. A footnote states that packages containing articles of compatibility groups B and D may be loaded together on one vehicle provided that they are effectively segregated “such that there is no danger of transmission of detonation”. It is up to the competent authority to determine whether this is the case.
In practice, Sweden said, this is extremely hard to achieve and its paper asked for the opinion of other countries on how this they interpret the provision. Finland agreed with Sweden’s appreciation of the problem and explained how it is dealt with in its national legislation. The practice is important in that it relates to the carriage of explosives and detonators on the same vehicle.
There was a clear different of opinion among the delegates and it is evident that different containment criteria are being applied at the national level. This is, though, a matter for the Joint Meeting as the same provision is found in RID.
Another informal document from Finland referred to additional requirement S21, which is assigned to all entries of Class 7 and excepts consignments from the requirements of Chapter 8.4 in certain circumstance. Finland believed that, as S21 has been in ADR for a long time and was not amended when the new security provisions were introduced in Chapter 1.10, a review is overdue.
The general feeling was that this was too technical a question to address on the basis of an informal document and that Finland should work up a formal paper, although there was some sympathy for its basic concern. Other delegates will send their comments to the Finnish representative and these will be taken into account in a formal proposal.
The Working Party was presented with a lengthy list of the amendments and corrections proposed by the Joint Meeting at its spring 2016 session. These were adopted for entry into force on 1 January 2017, subject to some modifications.
There was also some concern that proposed references to new or revised standards might turn out to be premature if those standards were not published before the 2017 text takes effect. The secretariat was primed to draw up a corrigendum should EN 14025:2013+A1:2016 not be ready in time and it was confirmed by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) that EN 14595:2016 will certainly not be, so this has been adopted for entry into force on 1 January 2019.
The full list of changes will be covered in a separate article in HCB Monthly’s January 2017 issue.
PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT
France referred to the transitional provision in 184.108.40.206, which says that EX/II, EX/III, FL and OX vehicles registered before 1 July 2017, fitted with fuel tanks not approved according to ECE Regulation No 34 may still be used. Its paper noted that a 15-month transitional is given as a general principle in 220.127.116.11 and that the 1 July 2017 date should be amended to 1 April 2018.
The Working Party agreed with the French position and this change will be included in the 2017 text of ADR.
The secretariat summarised discussions at the spring 2016 Joint Meeting regarding the provisions for multiple-element gas containers (MEGCs) and tank containers in Chapter 6.8. Some questions had arisen around the wording of 9.7.3 and why ADR has not adopted the requirements of 7.2.2 of the UN Model Regulations. Norway had proposed an amendment to 9.7.3 but it was deemed necessary to ask WP15 for its opinion. The issue was not able to be addressed at the May session but will reappear on the agenda at the next meeting.
Romania sought to improve the text of 18.104.22.168.1 by relocating the obligation introduced into 22.214.171.124.6 at the May 2015 session regarding the obligation for the carrier to provide firefighting equipment on a transport unit carrying dangerous goods. Its reasoning was that there is no reason to harmonise with RID in this case. Other delegations disagreed with the Romanian position and the UK pointed out that there is not need for firefighting equipment to be listed in 126.96.36.199.1(g).
The proposal was withdrawn, although in the process of discussions it was decided to replace “vehicle” with “transport unit” at the end of 188.8.131.52.1(g).
Switzerland, following up on discussions at the 99th session of WP15, sought revision of the text of special provision 664. It argued that the remark required in the transport document (according to sub-paragraph (e) of SP664, is only necessary when an additive device contains and additive, and is incorrect when the device itself does not comply with SP 664 but falls under the scope of the transitional measure in 184.108.40.206.
Although there were some delegates in opposition, it was agreed to change sub-paragraph (e) for the 2017 text; the last sentence will now read “In this case, the remark “additive device” shall be added to the transport document.” The proposal to amend 220.127.116.11 was, though, put to a vote and not adopted.
The International Road Transport Union (IRU), with the support of Sweden, sought to simplify 18.104.22.168.4 and the information relating to it in the transport document. The aim would be to assist those drivers engaged in ‘milk round’ deliveries and collections who do not meet the requirements for full ADR training and are therefore not familiar with the need to deal with calculated values.
Discussion of the proposals was convoluted and ultimately inconclusive. Some felt that an alternative proposal from Sweden would offer a simpler means of dealing with the issue, while others thought it a training issue. In the end, IRU agreed to look at its proposal and return with an amended version at the next meeting.
Switzerland followed up on discussions at the spring 2016 Joint Meeting on the new and amended entries for vehicles and machinery, viz UN 3166, 3171, 3528, 3529 and 3530; as it stands, the Dangerous Goods List has no information in column (15) for these entries, which will appear in the 2017 text.
It is up to the Joint Meeting to decide on the transport category but WP15 must assign tunnel codes, for cases where consignments do not meet the conditions for exemption under special provisions 363 (vehicles and equipment) or 666 (engines and machinery). One problem faced in attempting to assign tunnel codes is that each of the UN entries applies to a variety of fuel types. In its proposal Switzerland took the approach of applying the most stringent code.
The Working Party noted that the upcoming meeting of the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the transport of dangerous goods would be discussing SP 363 and it was felt that it is too soon to take any decision.
Germany also followed up on discussions at recent sessions of the Joint Meeting with proposals to insert text to allow the use of electronic processes in the examination of ADR vehicle drivers. Although some delegations contended that the existing text allows the use of electronic testing and some reported that it is already happening, it was agreed to adopt new text for entry into force on 1 January 2017. This will appear in new paragraphs 22.214.171.124.1.7 and 126.96.36.199.1.8 and is essentially the same as the text adopted for RID .
The chair proposed addition of a new paragraph in 5.4.3 to stress the obligation on contracting parties to provide national versions of the instructions in writing for publication on the UN ECE website. There was little opposition to the proposal, although it was decided not to include a deadline. It was, though, agreed that contracting parties should send the secretariat as soon as possible – and if possible by 1 July 2017 at the latest – their official translations of the model of instructions in writing in force as of 1 January 2017.
Sweden proposed an amendment to the model of instructions in writing to make specific reference to fire extinguishers. It asked for this change to be made for the 2017 text rather than put dutyholders to the trouble of making further changes in 2019. However, the UK pointed out that the point of the instructions in writing is to give the driver instructions on what to do in the case of an emergency, not to describe the equipment that should be on the vehicle. On a vote – and with an unusually large number of abstentions – the proposal was declined.
The secretariat offered a list of amendments concerning radioactive material designed to correct cross-references in ADR and ensure coherence with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material.
The proposed amendments were adopted, although the UK noted that the introduction into the 2015 text of ADR of provisions under UN 3507 for uranium hexafluoride with a primary corrosive hazard have led to some disharmony. The IAEA Regulations do not cover samples of less than 0.1 kg of such material. The secretariat will inform IAEA of the Working Group’s decisions and the issues raised.
France had spotted that UN 1790 hydrofluoric acid, solution, with more than 85 per cent hydrofluoric acid is assigned to packing instruction P200 in ADR, while this is not the case in RID or the UN Model Regulations. It sensed this was an error in ADR and sought its deletion. The Working Party agreed and made the change for the 2017 text.
France also reminded the meeting that, at its May 2014 session, it had been agreed to adopt new standards on cylinder valves for the 2015 text, pending their final publication. However, they were left out of the 2015 text and, now that they are available, should be included in the 2017 text. The standards in question, EN ISO 10297:2014 and EN ISO 14246:2014 will be added in 188.8.131.52.
In a lengthy paper, Germany followed up on discussions at the 99th session where provisions had been adopted for the use of LNG, CNG and LPG as fuel for vehicles carrying dangerous goods. At the time, no agreement could be reached on how to establish the required quantity limit or limits. While some delegations felt that no upper limit was needed, Germany was concerned and proposed a limit equivalent to the quantity needed to drive as far as would be possible with 1,500 litres of liquid fuel.
The European LPG Association (AEGPL) and the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV Global) were supportive of Germany’s proposals but some delegations had their own views on the matter. Some felt the proposed limit was far too high, while others agreed but felt it would be better to have a specified limit rather than none at all.
In the end, a revised proposal was put to the vote and adopted by a large majority, for inclusion in the 2017 text. The main change is a new Note 2 to 184.108.40.206(a):
The total capacity of the tanks or cylinders, including those containing gaseous fuels, shall not exceed 54 000 MJ energy-equivalent (see NOTE 1 in 220.127.116.11(a)).
The European Association for Coal and Lignite (Euracoal), as it had promised, came with a proposal for a new special provision applicable to UN 1361 and 3088 to replace the multilateral special agreement developed by Poland in 2014. The special provision recognises that the potential for coal carried by road to self-heat is much lower than in rail or inland waterway transport, mainly because the volumes carried are much smaller and the duration of transport much shorter.
After some amendment, a new SP 665 was adopted for the 2017 text:
Unground hard coal, coke and anthracite, meeting the classification criteria of Class 4.2, packing group III, are not subject to the requirements of ADR.
Switzerland felt the need for a transitional provision for vehicles and their equipment intended for use during carriage containing lithium cells and batteries that do not conform to 18.104.22.168.7. Such vehicles have been in circulation long before new provisions on lithium batteries were introduced and strict application of those new provisions would lead to those vehicles being withdrawn from use, something that Switzerland thought “completely disproportionate”.
After a vote and some amendments, the proposal was adopted for entry into force in 2017. The text of the new 22.214.171.124 reads:
Vehicles registered or brought into service before 1 July 2017, as defined in special provisions 240, 385 and 669 of Chapter 3.3, and their equipment intended for use during carriage, which conform to the requirements of ADR applicable until 31 December 2016 but containing lithium cells and batteries which do not conform to the requirement of 126.96.36.199.7 may continue to be carried as a load in accordance with the requirements of special provision 666 of Chapter 3.3.
Another paper from Switzerland expressed the opinion that lithium cells and batteries carried in accordance with the last paragraph of SP376 should not benefit from the same exemptions as those carried in conformity with the full extent of the regulations and that, therefore, SP376 cells and batteries should be assigned to transport category 0.
The Working Party was in agreement with Switzerland’s reasoning and added a sentence at the end of SP376: “In this case the cells and batteries are assigned to transport category 0.”
The Working Party was less keen on the possibly more far-reaching proposals put forward in the Swiss paper for amendment of 188.8.131.52 on tunnel restrictions. After a vote, these were not adopted.
The International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) brought an impending problem to the Working Party’s attention. ECE Regulation No 48 on the automatic activation of dipped-beam headlights will make it impossible for drivers to override automatic systems; this will conflict with the very tight restrictions on the use of vehicle lighting on ADR vehicles within oil refineries, petrochemical plants and related facilities.
At present, the oil and chemical industries are not represented in the Working Party on Lighting and Light-signalling of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP29). The Working Party took note and confirmed that representatives of the chemical and oil industries should be consulted.
In a somewhat similar vein, AEGPL raised concerns about trucks fitted with Euro 6 engines operating in ATEX-zoned areas. The exhaust systems on these engines filter particulate matter out of the exhaust gases; in the process the filter becomes loaded with soot, increasing back-pressure in the exhaust system. When the set maximum back-pressure is reached, the filter must be regenerated, which is done through ignition of the soot. This requires temperatures above 500˚C, which is above the auto-ignition temperatures of propane and butane.
AEGPL was concerned that the presence of a hot exhaust pipe could present an ignition risk in a flammable atmosphere. It suggested that an engineering solution or an override switch could be provided to prevent filter regeneration taking place in a hazardous area.
The Working Party noted and shared AEGPL’s concerns and agreed that the subject warranted its attention. It will take the matter up in the near future.
The UK returned to its suggestion to establish an editorial group to handle the large number of proposals put to WP15 that are purely editorial in nature, allowing the Working Party to concentrate on substantive issues while also giving the opportunity to fully consider the implications of editorial changes.
The idea has been sympathetically received but with reservations. These include the possibility that ostensibly editorial changes might have an impact on the substance of the regulations and the observation that French is the legally authentic version of the annexes to the ADR Agreement.
The Working Party suggested the UK make a formal proposal at the next session of the Joint Meeting. Delegations that so wished were invited to transmit comments and suggestions to the UK representative.
France raised some concerns after a November 2015 incident involving a vehicle carrying 32 crates of 1,200 LPG composite and steel cylinders, including some Class 1 substances. A fire in an axle spread to the load, causing some cylinders to explode.
The chair noted that, while tank vehicles and other vehicles used specifically for the transport of dangerous goods are subject to rigorous checks and a strict approval and testing process, the same is not necessarily true for smaller vehicles carrying packaged goods.
There is also a need for WP29 to consider issues such as systems to monitor brake overheating, axle fires and tyre pressures.
The 101st session of the Working Party was held from 8 to 11 November 2016. A report on that meeting will be included in a forthcoming issue of HCB Monthly.
[post_title] => ADR: Last chance for gas
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The May session of WP15 gave the experts one last opportunity to look in detail at the proposed amendments for ADR 2017, making some last-minute changes