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We arrange for a haulier to ship our goods to Europe by ferry. Sometimes, this includes dangerous goods. Do the road and sea dangerous goods transport regulations affect us?

Answer -

To a certain extent, yes.

As you are the consignor, you must ensure that the goods are classified, packaged, marked and labelled in accordance with the applicable regulations. You must also supply a signed dangerous goods note in the prescribed format.

The regulations relating to the transport of dangerous goods by road (ADR) and sea (IMDG) each specify in chapter 1.3 that dangerous goods awareness training is mandatory for everyone involved in the transport of dangerous goods, including shoreside staff.



We have received a request from the Department for Transport to hold a security inspection at our site in accordance with regulations 5,7 & 8 of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations. It asks for access to Security Plans, Risk Assessment and staff recruitment and training records. What's this all about?

Answer -

The DfT hold information on companies who are currently or have in the past carried or stored High Consequence Dangerous Goods.

Their information indicates that you may be amongst these companies so they would like to meet with your DGSA, yourself or another suitable representative to answer questions about your site and operational security and give a tour of the site.

It is good practice to contact the Land Transport Security Compliance team at the DfT to validate that the request is genuinely from a member of their staff by emailing

The inspector will work through a questionnaire to assess your compliance with the current security requirements (which is why you should always have your DGSA involved) and will want to look at your Security Plans, Security Risk Assessment and staff recruitment and training records.

Anyone involved in the transport of dangerous goods must have a current Anti-Terrorism Security Risk Assessment in place and be able to show staff recruitment and training records. A Road / Rail Transport Security Plan is only required by carriers and consignors of High Consequence Dangerous Goods (HCDGs).

HCDGs are defined in RID & ADR Chapter as those with the potential for misuse in a terrorist incident and which may, as a result, produce serious consequences such as mass casualties or mass destruction (whether to infrastructure, the environment or the economy) or, particularly for Class 7, mass socio-economic disruption. Whether a substance being transported is deemed to be HCDG depends on the Class (and Division for Class 1), packing group and amount, which varies for transport in tanks, bulk and packages. There is a table listing all HCDG in ADR



I have been asked to transport a small amount of dangerous goods. I always thought that this would be totally exempt from the ADR regulations because of Limited Quantities, but my driver says that LQ is different to this. Can you explain please?

Answer -

That old chestnut!! This is the source of much confusion, not helped by the term 'Limited Quantities', which actually has no relation to the amount of goods being transported! You could have a 40' container of dangerous goods and still claim some exemption because of Limited Quantities.

'Limited Quantity' refers to the individual receptacle size, every dangerous substance has an applicable UN number, which in turn has an LQ threshold. If the goods are packaged in receptacles which exceed the limit (which may be 0), then the exemptions cannot apply.

Common LQ examples include aerosols of hair spray, jerricans of windscreen wash or 1 litre bottles of household bleach.

Small loads of most dangerous goods are exempt from some of the requirements of ADR. This is also known as the ' exemption' referring to the relevant section of ADR, also as the vehicle small load limit exemption. The threshold above which full ADR compliance is required depends on the particular substance(s) involved and requires careful control by the carrier

If the goods are packaged, marked, labelled and documented as 'Limited Quantity', then a greater level of exemption applies than for small loads. However, exemption is not complete, for example, dangerous goods awareness training is still mandatory for everyone involved in the transport of dangerous goods.



If my company needs one, can I be a DGSA?

Answer -

Those involved in the transport and physical loading of dangerous goods are required to appoint qualified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers (DGSA) to guide them on the legal, safety and environmental aspects of the transport of dangerous goods.

If you hold a current DGSA certificate, then you can be appointed as your company DGSA.

The qualification is obtained by passing a minimum of three separate written examinations, which are held quarterly. Most people undertake an intensive five-day course prior to the exams because it is not particularly easy to qualify, particularly if you have no previous knowledge of dangerous goods transport.

The qualification is renewable every five years. The certificates are issued by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) on behalf of the Department for Transport.



One of our clients has asked us to start transporting dangerous goods for them by road in the UK. They say that these aerosols will be Limited Quantity shipments, so we do not need any additional documents, training or vehicle equipment. Is this true?

Answer -

If there are no other dangerous goods on board, then for road transport within the UK you do not need a Dangerous Goods Note, Instructions in Writing, vehicle equipment such as orange plates or an ADR driver. However, dangerous goods awareness training is still required for the driver, any vehicle crew and anyone else involved in the transport of the dangerous goods. Also, the carrier must be notified in a traceable form (so email is acceptable) of the total gross mass of the goods.

If the total load of Limited Quantity goods on the vehicle exceeds 8 tonnes and the vehicle itself is over 12 tonnes m.a.m., then LQ vehicle placarding is required.



Who should sign a packing certificate?

Answer -

Firstly, a signed packing certificate is only required for full container and full vehicle / trailer loads transported by sea.

The person who signs is certifying that the operation has been carried out in accordance with the following conditions copied from the IMDG Code:

  • The container/vehicle was clean, dry and apparently fit to receive the goods;
  • Packages which need to be segregated in accordance with applicable segregation requirements have not been packed together onto or in the container/vehicle (unless approved by the competent authority concerned in accordance with;
  • All packages have been externally inspected for damage, and only sound packages have been loaded;
  • Drums have been stowed in an upright position, unless otherwise authorized by the competent authority, and all goods have been properly loaded and, where necessary, adequately braced with securing material to suit the mode(s) of transport for the intended journey;
  • Goods loaded in bulk have been evenly distributed within the container/vehicle;
  • For consignments including goods of class 1 other than division 1.4, the container/vehicle is structurally serviceable in accordance with 7.1.2;
  • The container/vehicle and packages are properly marked, labelled and placarded, as appropriate;
  • When substances presenting a risk of asphyxiation are used for cooling or conditioning purposes (such as dry ice (UN 1845) or nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (UN 1977) or argon, refrigerated liquid (UN 1951)), the container/vehicle is externally marked in accordance with;
  • A dangerous goods transport document, as indicated in 5.4.1, has been received for each dangerous goods consignment loaded in the container/vehicle.

It should be obvious therefore that this must not be signed by anyone who was not present at the time of loading, but we are often asked if this could be signed by someone who not only was not there at the time, has not seen the goods and often works for another company, possibly even on a different continent.

By signing and certifying, the individual is taking on legal responsibility that the above list was complied with, so would be liable in the event of an incident attributed to, or worsened by, a problem with any of the above.



What is in your Dangerous Goods Awareness training? We will soon start to send dangerous goods into Europe by sea but I am wondering whether our existing training covers this already.

Answer -

For sea, IMDG specifies that all persons involved in the transport of dangerous goods, including shoreside staff, must be trained and that this must cover general awareness, function specific, security and safety training. Personnel who have not yet received the required training may only operate under the direct supervision of a trained person.

General awareness comprises:

  • the general provisions of dangerous goods transport provisions;
  • an outline of the classes of dangerous goods;
  • labelling, marking, placarding, packing, stowage, segregation and compatibility provisions;
  • a description of the purpose and content of the dangerous goods transport documents (such as the Multimodal Dangerous Goods Form and the Container/Vehicle Packing Certificate);
  • a description of available emergency response documents.

Function-specific training, by definition, depends on the person's role and those sections of the IMDG Code which must be covered are detailed in IMDG Chapter We tailor our courses to suit our clients' operations and the roles of the staff being trained.

Safety training typically covers:-

  • methods and procedures for accident avoidance, such as proper use of package-handling equipment and appropriate methods of stowage of dangerous goods
  • available emergency response information and how to use it
  • general dangers presented by the various classes of dangerous goods and how to prevent exposure to those hazards, including, if appropriate, the use of personal protective clothing and equipment
  • immediate procedures to be followed in the event of an unintentional release of dangerous goods, including any emergency response procedures for which the person is responsible and personal protection procedures to be followed.

Records of the training must be retained by the employer and training periodically repeated.

The requirements for road mirror the above very closely, although there is less detail provided in ADR Chapter 1.3.



We need a DGSA. How much will it cost for you to provide this service for us?

Answer -

Ludgate provides DGSA services on a retained consultancy basis, which means that there are no hidden extra costs. The annual fee depends on several different factors, including whether your organisation operates its own vehicles, the variety of different dangerous substances involved, number of shipments and number of offices requiring cover.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can provide you with a tailored competitive solution.



I work for an asbestos removal contractor, we only ever move a few bags of asbestos waste in our vans. What do we need to do to comply with the transport regulations?

Answer -

If your staff do either of the following, you must have a DGSA:

  • Load skips
    If you ever put bags of fibrous asbestos into an enclosed skip on site for transport, whether by your own vehicles or someone else's.
  • Transport asbestos in vehicles
    If you ever move more than 333 kgs of fibrous amphibole asbestos or more than 1000 kgs of chrysotile.

Your DGSA will then guide you in what else you must do to be compliant, for example, everybody involved in any way in the transport of fibrous asbestos waste in any quantity must be trained in dangerous goods transport awareness, which must be relevant to their job. This includes your operatives and drivers moving exempt loads (all other drivers must hold an ADR licence), as well as management, supervisors, admin staff and storemen.



What does a DGSA do?

Answer -

There is much more to the role than someone just sending you a copy of their DGSA certificate!

To quote ADR Chapter

the adviser has the following duties in particular:

  • monitoring compliance with the requirements governing the carriage of dangerous goods
  • advising his undertaking on the carriage of dangerous goods;
  • preparing an annual report to the management of his undertaking or a local public authority, as appropriate, on the undertaking's activities in the carriage of dangerous goods. Such annual reports shall be preserved for five years and made available to the national authorities at their request.

It then expands on the minimum responsibilities in some detail:

The adviser's duties also include monitoring the following practices and procedures relating to the relevant activities of the undertaking:

  • the procedures for compliance with the requirements governing the identification of dangerous goods being transported;
  • the undertaking's practice in taking account, when purchasing means of transport, of any special requirements in connection with the dangerous goods being transported;
  • the procedures for checking the equipment used in connection with the carriage, loading or unloading of dangerous goods;
  • the proper training of the undertaking's employees and the maintenance of records of such training;
  • the implementation of proper emergency procedures in the event of any accident or incident that may affect safety during the carriage, loading or unloading of dangerous goods;
  • investigating and, where appropriate, preparing reports on serious accidents, incidents or serious infringements recorded during the carriage, loading or unloading of dangerous goods:
  • the implementation of appropriate measures to avoid the recurrence of accidents, incidents or serious infringements;
  • the account taken of the legal prescriptions and special requirements associated with the carriage of dangerous goods in the choice and use of sub-contractors or third parties;
  • verification that employees involved in the carriage, loading or unloading of dangerous goods have detailed operational procedures and instructions;
  • the introduction of measures to increase awareness of the risks inherent in the carriage, loading and unloading of dangerous goods;
  • the implementation of verification procedures to ensure the presence on board the means of transport of the documents and safety equipment which must accompany transport and the compliance of such documents and equipment with the regulations;
  • the implementation of verification procedures to ensure compliance with the requirements governing loading and unloading;
  • the existence of the security plan indicated in