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Inland transport of dangerous goods

This directive establishes a common regime for all aspects of the inland transport of dangerous goods, by road, rail and inland waterways within the European Union (EU).

ACT

Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods.

SUMMARY

This directive applies to the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterway within European Union (EU) countries or between several EU countries.

The directive shall not apply to the transport of dangerous goods:

  • by vehicles, wagons or vessels belonging to or under the responsibility of the armed forces;
  • by seagoing vessels on maritime waterways forming part of inland waterways;
  • by ferries only crossing an inland waterway or harbour;
  • wholly performed within the perimeter of an enclosed area.

EU countries have the right to regulate or prohibit, strictly for reasons other than safety during transport, the transport of dangerous goods within their own territory. They may also set down specific safety requirements for the national and international transport of dangerous goods within their own territory with regards to:

  • the transport of dangerous goods by vehicles, wagons or inland waterway vessels not covered by this directive;
  • the use of prescribed routes, where justified, including the use of prescribed modes of transport;
  • special rules for the transport of dangerous goods in passenger trains.

The international transport of dangerous goods is regulated by international agreements: the ADR *, RID * and ADN *. Such rules should also be extended to national transport in order to harmonise across the EU the conditions under which dangerous goods are transported and to ensure the proper functioning of the common transport market. The annexes of the directive refer to the texts of these agreements.

The ADR, RID and ADN have drawn up a list of dangerous goods, indicating whether their transport is prohibited or not and defining the requirements for their transport if it is authorised. EU countries may request temporary derogations under certain conditions.

Background

The EU set out uniform regulations for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail for several years which provided for the application of the ADR and RID rules. Directives 94/55/EC and 96/49/EC are repealed and replaced by this directive. Directive 96/35/EC, on the appointment and vocational qualification of safety advisers for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterway is also repealed.

Key Terms of the Act
  • ADR: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, concluded at Geneva on 30 September 1957.
  • RID: the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail, appearing as Appendix C to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) concluded at Vilnius on 3 June 1999.
  • ADN: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways concluded at Geneva on 26 May 2000.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/68/EC

20.10.2008

30.6.2009

OJ L 260 of 30.9.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/68/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference only.

LAST AMENDMENTS OF ANNEXES:

Annex I, Section I.3, Annex II, Section II.3 and Annex III, Section III.3
Decision 2011/26/EU [OJ L 13 of 18.1.2011].

Last updated: 24.02.2011
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