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Adr transport

Specialists with extensive knowledge are required to successfully arrange freight transport. Customers send all sorts of cargoes. It is not exceedingly difficult to organise transport for standard cargoes on Euro pallets, which take up a full 13.6 m long truck. However, when it comes to carriage of dangerous goods significantly more knowledge is required. Woz-Trans staff have this knowledge and are willing to help customers avoid the many pitfalls during transport.

Legal basis for carrying dangerous goods

W 1957 roku podpisano The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) was signed in 1957. This treaty regulated many issues related to the carriage of ADR goods, including ADR classes or safety rules for the carriage of such goods. Significantly, the agreement is updated every 2 years. This is due to the fact that the chemical industry is constantly producing new dangerous goods. And the carriage of these requires regulating.

What are hazardous goods (ADR)?

In the simplest terms, a dangerous good is a good listed in the ADR Agreement. These are goods whose physical, chemical, or biological properties may pose a risk to:

  • people
  • animals
  • the environment.

ADR hazard classes

All goods and risks that may arise from their carriage must be classified in accordance with the procedures in the ADR agreement. In practice this means that:

  • each dangerous good has been assigned a unique 4-digit UN number
  • an ADR good must be marked with appropriate labels, number, and names to facilitate its identification
  • dangerous goods must be packed in certified packaging to ensure safe carriage

The ADR treaty specifies 9 hazard classes (in all there are 13, but some classes have sub-classes):

  1. Explosive substances and articles – hazard: explosion. e.g., glycerine, fireworks

Insider tip: Coming up to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there are plenty of special deals for the carriage of fireworks and pyrotechnic articles. Sometimes inexperienced forwarders simply require an ADR qualification from the driver. However, not every driver is licensed to carry ADR Class 1 dangerous goods. Such freights are usually worth quite a lot of money as it is not easy to find appropriately qualified hauliers. However, entrusting us with such cargo means that your goods will be in safe hands.

  1. Gases – hazard: corrosive, poisonous, flammable, e.g., chlorine, propane-butane container
  2. Flammable liquids – hazard: flammable, e.g., petrol, kerosene
    1. Flammable solids – hazard: flammable, explosive, e.g., sulphur, matches, rubber
      1. Substances liable to spontaneous combustion e.g., white phosphorus
        1. Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases e.g., carbide, sodium
    1. Oxidizing substances – hazard: readily give off oxygen, speed up the development of a fire e.g., potassium permanganate
      1. Organic peroxides e.g., white phosphorus
    1. Toxic substances – hazard: fatal poisoning, e.g., potassium cyanide, arsenic
      1. Infectious substances – hazard: cause epidemics or diseases, e.g., medical waste
    1. Radioactive material – hazard: radiation, e.g., alpha, beta, gamma rays
    2. Corrosive substances – hazard: damage to membranes and skin, e.g., acids
    3. Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles – hazard: various, making it difficult to qualify, e.g., asbestos, polystyrene, asphalt.

Who is allowed to haul ADR freight?

An experienced forwarding operator knows that drivers carrying dangerous goods have to satisfy the following criteria:

– 21 years old or more – not applicable Polish Armed Forces drivers who acquire relevant skills during their military training

– a successfully completed ADR course – Regulation of the Minister of Transport, Construction and Maritime Economy of 15 February 2012 defines in detail how to obtain ADR certificates and the form and manner of the ADR exam

– valid ADR certificate – issued for 5 years, optional extension for another 5 years.

Important: According to multi-manning rules, if two drivers are present both must be ADR qualified, even if only one drives the vehicle for the entire journey.

It is also worth mentioning that a driver hauling dangerous goods must also be carry certain equipment. This should include:

  • two fire extinguishers,
  • at least one suitable wheel chock for the size of vehicle and its wheels to secure a stationary vehicle on a slope.
  • two self-standing warning signs powered independently from the vehicles electrical system, such as triangles, fluorescent cones or orange flashing lights,
  • warning vest for each member of the vehicle crew,
  • torch without metal surfaces (to prevent sparks) for each member of the vehicle crew,
  • goggles – for each member of the vehicle crew,
  • protective gloves – for each member of the vehicle crew.

Certain classes of dangerous goods will also require:

  • eye rinsing liquid – not required for carriage of 1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3,
  • emergency escape mask for each member of the vehicle crew if carrying 2.3 or 6.1 class goods.

The following are obligatory for hauling solid or liquid substances labelled as 3, 4.1, 4.3, 8 or 9 class goods:

  • shovel,
  • drain deal,
  • collecting container,

ADR documents

The following documents are required to be carried on the transport unit when loaded with dangerous goods:

  • transport document detailing all dangerous goods carried
  • driver’s instructions in writing – what to do in the event of an accident/emergency
  • driver’s ADR certificate
  • ADR certificate of approval for vehicles transporting certain goods – only for tankers or vehicles transporting explosives
  • approval to carry certain goods with explosive properties
  • required ADR cat. driving licence

Vehicles hauling dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are most often carried by:

  • curtain/drop side tractor and semi-trailer units,
  • tankers,
  • containers.

A transport united loaded with dangerous goods has to be marked with orange plates at the front and rear. In addition, to obtain an approval, tankers and vehicles transporting explosives have to be tested by the Transport Supervision Office or at vehicle testing stations.

ADR in Poland

In Poland, dangerous goods may be carried by persons who are at least 21 years old. This does not apply to Polish Armed Forces drivers who acquired relevant skills during their military training Since 2003, every company in Poland involved with ADR haulage must employ an ADR safety adviser. They are responsible for implementing the procedures set forth in the ADR treaty.

Formal matters

ADR transport poses certain difficulties, not only because of the many safety requirements, but also because of the volume of formalities involved. Relevant authorities have to be notified if dangerous goods are to be transported, so that, in the event of any problems, the time and location of a potential accident much more dangerous than a car crash is known. Therefore, a set of the necessary documents, including but not limited to a shipper’s declaration, transport documents or instructions in writing, must be compiled before haulage commences.

Responsibility for ADR transport

The safety and correct carriage of hazardous goods is the responsibility of all transport operation participants: the sender,  haulier, driver and recipient. However, the greatest responsibility lies with the driver.

Obligations of a dangerous goods haulier

It is the haulier’s responsibility to ensure that the person carrying ADR goods is qualified and that the vehicle in which the goods are to be transported meets all technical requirements. The haulier should also properly secure the cargo to prevent movement during carriage.

Responsibilities of the driver carrying ADR goods

The driver must check that the freight sender has submitted the necessary documents and that the vehicle loaded with dangerous goods is properly marked. Importantly, the driver bears the greatest responsibility for loading, carriage and unloading dangerous goods. The driver’s responsibility is somewhat reduced if the sender fails to comply with their obligation to provide full information with regards to the consignment Those shipping dangerous goods should familiarise themselves with the specifics of ADR and have it handled by a forwarding company that meets all safety requirements.

Responsibilities of dangerous goods’ recipients

The recipient should not delay receipt of dangerous goods without good reason. Following unloading, the recipient must also check that their ADR requirements have been met:

  • Required cleaning and decontamination of vehicles and containers.
  • Ensuring that unloaded, cleaned and decontaminated containers are unmarked.

Carriage of ADR goods without the required documents

The penalties for violating ADR regulations are specified in the Transport of Dangerous Goods Act. Failure to comply with documentation rules, breaching regulations relating to mode of transport, means of transport and packaging infringements all constitute grounds for a fine. For example, a driver who transports dangerous goods and does not have the required ADR certificate may pay a fine of PLN 2000. The penalty for failing to obtain the required approval for a vehicle loaded with dangerous goods is PLN 6000.

ADR in international road haulage

Before sending ADR-labelled products abroad, make sure you can do so, as each country has its own regulations specifying products which cannot be transported across their borders. Approval or a licence is required to ship many dangerous goods. It is worth finding out in advance whether it is possible to send a given shipment, or whether additional documents are required.

Additional formalities associated with the carriage of dangerous goods

Forwarders working at Woz-Trans take customers step by step through all the difficulties involved in ADR transport. Our extensive knowledge in this field means we are able to assist customers in both the selection of a suitable haulier and other formalities.

One of these is the obligation to notify ADR transport to the relevant authorities. Notification should be made in writing to the Provincial Head of the Police and to the Provincial Head of the National Fire Service.

Such notifications shall be made by: 

  1. dangerous goods sender (no less than 5 days before commencement of transport) – if transport begins in the Republic of Poland and is carried out by a haulier who is a foreign entity;
  2. haulier (no less than 5 days before commencement of transport) – if transport begins in the Republic of Poland and is not carried out by a haulier who is a foreign entity;
  3. Competent Border Guard facility (before allowing the vehicle loaded with dangerous goods to enter Polish territory) – if transport starts abroad.

Unusual ADR? – not a problem!

Familiarity with regulations is essential to carry dangerous goods. By entrusting us with your goods, you do not have to worry about lack of knowledge on our part. The experience and continuous training of Woz-Trans employees means haulage of your dangerous goods is in safe hands.