OTIF's RID experts spent their latest meeting reviewing the changes planned for 2017 and hearing about harmonisation outside the RID zone
The fifth session of the RID Committee of Experts’ standing working group took place in Zagreb, Croatia on 23 to 27 November 2015, with Helmut Rein (Germany) in the chair and Caroline Bailleux (Belgium) as vice-chair. The meeting was attended by 23 RID contracting states as well as the Russian Federation, a member of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) that does not apply RID. Also in attendance were representatives from the European Union (EU), the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) and four non-governmental organisations.
PLANNING FOR 2017
The first item to be discussed was a document prepared by the OTIF Secretariat consolidating the texts adopted by the sessions of the Joint Meeting of RID/ADR/ADN experts in 2014 and 2015 and by the standing working group in 2014.
At the Secretariat’s suggestion, the wording of 184.108.40.206.1(f) was amended to read:
(f) ascertain that the placards, marks and orange-coloured plates prescribed for the wagons in Chapter 5.3 have been affixed;
The second item was another document from the OTIF Secretariat, this time listing the texts adopted by the 99th session of WP15, which met earlier in November (a report on this meeting will be in the next issue of HCB Monthly).
The working group agreed that two new definitions, left in square brackets, are applicable to RID:
“Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)” means a compressed gas composed of natural gas with a high methane content assigned to UN No. 1971;
“Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)" means a refrigerated liquefied gas composed of natural gas with a high methane content assigned to UN No. 1972;
The working group agreed in principle with a proposal from the UK and Spain to amend 5.4.2, relating to the container/vehicle packing certificate. However, this was left in square brackets for the time being, as it will need to be brought before the Joint Meeting.
The UK pointed out a number of issues arising, some of which resulted in textual changes. ADR has added “and polymerizing substances” to the title of 220.127.116.11.3 but, as those materials are prohibited for carriage by rail and this is therefore unnecessary in RID.
The International Union of Railways (UIC) confirmed that the width/height ratio for flexible bulk containers, provisionally adopted in 2014, is valid.
The working group adopted a revision to 7.5.3 proposed by the UK to extend the provisions to road vehicles carrying packaged goods. This will now read:
Every wagon, large container, portable tank or road vehicle containing substances or articles of Class 1 and bearing a placard conforming to models Nos. 1, 1.5 or 1.6, shall be separated on the same train from wagons, large containers, portable tanks, tank-containers, MEGCs or road vehicles bearing a placard conforming to models Nos. 2.1, 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 or 5.2 or road vehicles for which the transport document indicates that they are containing packages bearing a label conforming to models Nos. 2.1, 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 or 5.2 by a protective distance.
INTERPRETATION OF RID
Belgium queried whether, on the basis of 1.9.5, states can put in place measures relating to the composition of trains that also apply to international trains. The chairman confirmed that states may apply additional provisions so long as those provisions do not have repercussions for other states. Belgium felt that the composition of trains comes under the scope of RID, since 7.5.3 contains requirements for the protective distance. In its view, rules on the composition of trains could affect other states and could even entail a prohibition on carriage if two states issued conflicting rules.
The Netherlands, which does apply national rules on train composition, argued that, according to 18.104.22.168(b), the composition of trains does not come under the scope of RID, notwithstanding the provisions of 7.5.3. The Dutch delegate also remarked that, as required by RID, the European Commission and the OTIF Secretariat had been informed of the national regulations.
He also added that the provisions on train composition in the Netherlands apply only to the carriage of chlorine and not to other dangerous goods. The rules had been put in place on the basis of a risk assessment.
Representatives from OTIF and the European Railway Agency (ERA) described other current national regulations, with ERA pointing out that, for EU member states, the interoperability and railway safety directives must be taken into account as well as the provisions of RID. According to the railway safety directive, the rail transport undertaking is responsible for the composition of trains.
Several delegations thought Chapter 1.9 should be revised, firstly to remove any contradictions between 1.9.1 and 1.9.5 and secondly to take account of the European railway legislation.
The chairman asked for a vote on whether a state may require trains arriving from another country to have a specific composition; two said “yes” (the Netherlands and Switzerland), while ten said “no”. Poland, which was in the “no” camp, said it understood RID to mean that states may not introduce regulations at the national level that affect international transport but that this is not clear from a reading of 1.9.5 alone.
The chairman urged states to submit proposals to resolve the issue.
PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT
Following discussions at the previous session, the International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP) submitted a proposal to divide obligations between the tank-wagon operator and the entity in charge of maintenance (ECM). ERA opposed the text, explaining that it could not be adopted in the current biennium as it contradicts the ECM Regulation, and offered an alternative, which after some modification was adopted.
As a result, a new definition is included:
"Entity in charge of maintenance (ECM)" means the entity in accordance with the Uniform Rules concerning the Technical Admission of Railway Material used in International Traffic (ATMF – Appendix G to COTIF) and certified in accordance with Annex A* thereto, that is in charge of the maintenance of a wagon;
In the introductory sentence of 22.214.171.124, a reference is inserted to a footnote that reads:
The tank-wagon operator may transfer the organisation of inspections according to Chapter 6.8 to an entity in charge of maintenance (ECM).
Paragraph (b) of 126.96.36.199 is deleted, with paragraph (c) becoming (b). The following paragraphs are added:
(c) ensure that the results of the activities as required in (a) and (b) are recorded in the tank record;
(d) ensure that the entity in charge of maintenance (ECM) assigned to the tank-wagon holds a valid certificate covering tank-wagons for dangerous goods;
(e) ensure that the information made available to the ECM as defined in Article 15a §3 of ATMF – Appendix G to COTIF – and in Article 5 of Annex A to ATMF also covers the tank and its equipment.
A new 188.8.131.52 is added:
Entity in charge of maintenance (ECM)
In the context of 1.4.1, the entity in charge of maintenance (ECM) shall in particular ensure that:
(a) the maintenance of tanks and their equipment is carried out in such a way as to ensure that, under normal operating conditions, the tank-wagon satisfies the requirements of RID;
(b) the information as defined in Article 15a §3 of ATMF – Appendix G to COTIF – and in Article 5 of Annex A to ATMF also covers the tank and its equipment;
(c) the maintenance activities concerning the tank and its equipment are recorded in the maintenance file.
Consequential amendments include a revision to 184.108.40.206.7.
UIC offered a way for RID to take account of the information for the locomotive driver concerning the presence and position of dangerous goods in the train required by Regulation (EU) 2015/995 within the EU. This was adopted with a few amendments. UIC was asked to provide the date of entry into force of UIC leaflet 472 by the time of the next session.
A new 220.127.116.11.7 is added:
The carrier shall inform the driver of the dangerous goods on board and their position on the train before the train starts its journey.
The requirements of this paragraph are considered to have been complied with if appendices A and B of UIC Leaflet 472 ("Braking sheet and consist list for international freight trains")* are applied.
In addition, 18.104.22.168 is amended to read:
Before the start of his journey, the driver shall consult the instructions in writing for details on actions to be taken in the event of an accident or incident, taking into account the information on dangerous goods on board provided to him by the carrier.
Another proposal from UIC sought to align RID with ADR in the use of the term “full load” for both large containers and wagons. This was adopted without amendment and has resulted in a number of changes through the text.
Romania proposed a number of changes to the instructions in writing to harmonise with ADR, although UIC reminded the meeting of the discussions by the RID Committee of Experts that had led to the differences. Romania’s proposal was not supported.
Following an incident involving a tank container being loaded onto a carrying wagon in Hamburg, Germany proposed changes to the provisions for such operations. One of these was acceptable, as a result of which 22.214.171.124 has been amended to read:
The provisions of 126.96.36.199 also apply to the loading, stowage and removal of containers, tank-containers, portable tanks and MEGCs on to and from wagons.
In an informal document, Italy asked representatives of contracting states to provide it with data on defects or infringements of the regulations when filling and emptying gas tank-wagons.
Germany described the new tank wagon construction standards introduced after the accident in Lac-Mégantic in Canada and the US applicable to the construction and retrofitting of tank-wagons for the carriage of flammable liquids. UIC noted that the main difference between the wagons involved in that incident and those in use in continental Europe is the self-supporting construction of the tanks, which means they have to absorb considerably higher forces. Belgium recalled that this issue had already been dealt with by OTIF.
The working group agreed that the entire package of measures applicable to North American tank-wagons should be examined by the working group on tank and vehicle technology.
UIC presented another paper, this dealing with the checks of the marking of dangerous goods packed in limited quantities, in accordance with Chapter 3.4. This is impossible, as there is no documentation associated with such loads. UIC proposed that the transport document should, as a minimum, indicate the presence of dangerous goods in limited quantity and the total gross mass. Sweden offered an illustration of the way wagons might be marked.
Some felt that this was a matter for the Joint Meeting, although others pointed out that the conditions differ between road and rail transport and, in fact, alignment with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code might make more sense.
UIC said it would poll the railway undertakings for their opinion and, if necessary, prepare a revised proposal to put to the March 2016 Joint Meeting.
Another issue involving the IMDG Code was raised by Austria, which pointed out that road vehicles carrying dangerous goods loaded onto the railways prior to or following ferry transport and carried in piggyback transport are often only placarded and marked in accordance with Chapter 5.3 of the IMDG Code and do not display orange-coloured plates. It was proposed that road vehicles involved in this transport chain should be excused the need for orange-coloured plates, which clearly brought the proposal within the remit of the Joint Meeting. The chairman felt that, in this case, it might be necessary to amend ADR and the IMDG Code rather than RID. Austria withdrew its proposal but the subject may return.
The Secretariat introduced a proposal to amend special provision TU16, which the Joint Meeting’s working group on tanks had transferred to the standing working group. The aim of this amendment was to prescribe an additional entry in the transport document showing the name and mass/pressure of the protective agent used when carrying empty, uncleaned tanks that have previously contained phosphorus.
The proposal was adopted, with some amendment. A new paragraph is added at the end of TU16:
An additional entry shall be included in the transport document when uncleaned, empty tanks are handed over for carriage:
"Tank filled with _______* in accordance with special provision TU16."
*Indicates the name(s) of the protective agent(s). Where the tank is filled with water, its mass shall be indicated in kg; in the case of nitrogen, its pressure shall be given in MPa or bar.
The OTIF Secretariat, in an informal document, reported on ongoing discussions with OSJD bodies. Subjects under discussion included:
- the current wording of the transitional measure in 188.8.131.52 in respect of TE22
- differences in the provisions in 184.108.40.206.2 in SMGS Annex 2 and RID regarding the carriage of empty tank-wagons that have contained certain liquefied gases, and
- plans to translate RID into Russian.
Finland emphasised the need to harmonise SMGS Annex 2 and RID, particularly for those countries (such as Finland) that sit at the interface between the two sets of regulations. The Secretariat was asked to take part in OSJD meetings in order to help this process.
In this regard, it was helpful that Latvia had prepared a document giving a table of the main differences between the two sets of rules.
ERA reported on the work it is currently engaged in, to facilitate coordination between activities at the EU level and those of the RID Committee of Experts. Current work includes:
- development of the roadmap on risk management in the context of the inland transport of dangerous goods
- promotion of the concept of “safety culture” in rail operations
- the collection of occurrence reports and preparation of safety alerts
- a review of the implementation of the certification system for maintenance workshops and of the ECM Regulation, and
- definitions of and requirements for “safety critical components”.
ERA also provided a list of accidents notified to the Agency, which can be accessed from the ERAIL database at https://erail.era.europa.eu/investigations.aspx. This includes two incidents involving dangerous goods that took place in 2015, one in Tilburg, the Netherlands and one in Lincoln, UK.
ERA further reported on new texts published by or being supported by the Railway Interoperability and Safety Committee (RISC).
The OTIF Secretariat followed up on discussions at the November 2014 meeting of the standing working group with a proposal to set up a joint working group of the European Commission and the Secretariat of OTIF in order to improve consistency between the technical vehicle provisions of RID and other vehicle provisions.
The next session of the standing working group will take place in Bern on 23 and 24 May, followed on 25 May by the 54th session of the RID Committee of Experts. This meeting will approve the final amendments to the 2017 text of RID.[post_title] => On track for 2017 [post_excerpt] =>
OTIF's RID experts spent their latest meeting reviewing the changes planned for 2017 and hearing about harmonisation outside the RID zone
[post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => on-track-for-2017 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-18 08:24:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-18 07:24:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hazardouscargo.com/on-track-for-2017/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )