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Dangerous Goods Transport: Regulations and Law

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When dangerous goods are transported, special guidelines apply. When does a transport count as a dangerous goods transport?

The transport of dangerous goods is referred to as the transport of dangerous goods. Special requirements during these transports are intended to prevent the substances or objects classified as dangerous from causing damage to people, the environment, or important general goods due to incorrect or careless actions. 

In order to carry dangerous goods in accordance with legal requirements, those involved in the transport must have been instructed in the relevant requirements. A dangerous goods safety advisor can provide support and advice here; if the requirements are more stringent, a dangerous goods safety advisor must be appointed. In addition to this, special requirements are also placed on, among other things, the labeling and packaging of the dangerous goods, the training of the drivers, the equipment of the vehicle and the transport documents.

Further responsibilities and obligations for parties involved in the transport of dangerous goods arise from the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, also called the “Ordinance on the National and International Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road, Rail and Inland Waterways” – GGVSEB for short, and the “Law on the Transport of Dangerous Goods” – GGBefG, as well as the ADR.

Which goods must be marked as dangerous goods? How are dangerous goods marked for identification during transport? What additional qualifications do drivers need and when do you appoint a dangerous goods safety advisor?

Dangerous goods carriage is subject to strict legal regulation. If substances and objects defined as dangerous goods are transported without appropriate safeguards, labeling and in violation of the legal guidelines, there is a risk of severe fines.

For carriage of dangerous goods you must note:

With a trained dangerous goods safety advisor you get the necessary know-how for the correct handling, transport and documentation of dangerous goods.

What is dangerous goods? Definition

Dangerous goods or hazardous materials are all substances and objects that, when transported, pose a risk to public safety, public order, the general public, important common goods, human and animal life and health, or property, or in short, that have a UN number. You can also read more about this in our blog post What is dangerous goods.

Legal obligations then exist in the respective phases of dangerous goods transport: as the consignor’s principal, as the shipper, as the packer, as the loader, as the carrier, as the driver, and as the unloader and consignee of dangerous goods.

Dangerous goods transports marking

Dangerous goods are marked on the packaging or outer packaging and, depending on the quantity or points, on the vehicle. Not every transport of dangerous goods is subject to the requirements of labeling. Below 1000 points (ADR), in many cases the obligation to mark the vehicle does not apply. Above 1000 points (see 1000 points rule), the transport of dangerous goods must be marked with an orange warning sign. They are then easily recognizable as such, especially for rescue forces in the event of an accident.

Special qualifications for the transport of dangerous goods

For the transport of dangerous goods by road, drivers of motor vehicles require further training. For transport units with less than 1000 points, instruction according to ADR 1.3 is sufficient – for more than 1000 points, an ADR certificate is required. Without these qualifications, drivers are prohibited from transporting dangerous goods. Incidentally, this also applies to co-drivers; each occupant must be appropriately qualified.

Dangerous goods safety advisors are consultants and not responsible for the transport itself. They advise, document, monitor and can instruct drivers in accordance with ADR 1.3 so that drivers can carry out dangerous goods transports under 1000 ADR points.

Vehicle equipment for the transport under 1000 points

If dangerous goods are shipped, vehicles for transport of dangerous goods under 1000 points must have this equipment:

  • a warning triangle, collision wedges, cargo safety material
  • one high-visibility vest per crew member
  • one first-aid kit (note expiration date!)
  • valid fire extinguisher (min. 2 kg ABC)
  • certificate of attendance for the instruction according to ADR 1.3 (recommended)

Please check the equipment before each ride!

Costs for transport of dangerous goods

The costs of transporting such goods vary depending on the type of dangerous goods. They are made up of various items that must be calculated individually by responsible logisticians. These include, among others, the costs for:

  • Dangerous goods safety advisor
  • Special means of shipping and vehicles
  • Protective containers, special load securing
  • Additional costs for trained personnel
  • Labeling, documentation and storage of documents

The cost of transporting hazardous goods also depends on what goods are being transported and in what quantities (transporting a pallet of batteries is cheaper than transporting fuel rods). It may also be necessary to comply with additional legal regulations such as the Chemicals Prohibition Ordinance in addition to hazardous goods law.

ProSafeCon as your partner

In order to see through the jungle of regulations and to avoid costly mistakes in the transportation ProSafeCon offers experts around that topic.

ProSafeCon offers you:

  • Dangerous goods consulting (ADR, ADN, IMDG, RID),
  • scalable costs,
  • Training (e.g. according to ADR 1.3.) for employees and drivers
  • Consulting in the field of occupational safety and
  • advice on the storage of hazardous materials.

With dangerous goods safety advisors from ProSafeCon you reduce your costs especially if you transport dangerous goods and hazardous substances only occasionally and your own dangerous goods safety advisor would not be able to cope with the workload. The issue of personal liability of a dangerous goods safety advisor should also be considered.

In addition to external specialists for the haulage of dangerous goods, at ProSafeCon you will also find ADR training, trainings and IATA training on lithium batteries, cargo securing or testing of storage conditions of hazardous materials as a service.

Many of the courses can be completed online, making them particularly flexible for all participants.

Transporting dangerous goods – sensitive giants from roads to the air

The volume of dangerous goods and particularly sensitive dangerous goods require that trained personnel determine the safe means of transportation, process applications, establish transportation documents, and maintain them in accordance with legal requirements.

When carrying dangerous goods nationally and internationally by road, rail, sea and air – and especially when changing modes of transport – various laws and regulations must also be observed.

With an external service provider, you get dangerous goods safety advisors and specialists who, in addition to basic training, can also check the conditions surrounding the storage, transport and loading of dangerous goods and advise you on relevant legal issues concerning the various classes of dangerous goods and their special features.

Compared to own dangerous goods safety advisors and permanent specialists, outsourcing is cheaper and offers you an uncomplicated and good calculation and planning of the arising costs.


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Dangerous Goods Transport: Regulations and Law | ProSafeCon

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