[ID] => 10781
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-03-29 09:03:20
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-29 09:03:20
[post_content] => Thirty years ago, the world of the dangerous goods shipper and packer was dominated by one issue: the impending arrival of new UN specifications for dangerous goods packagings. At the time, we pointed out that the UN packaging performance tests were designed to sure the global implementation of uniform transport standards. However, while many companies, especially larger shippers, had seen that the early transition to UN standards made good business sense and were already applying them, there was a group of laggards that had not yet started the process, even though mandatory implementation of the new provisions was little more than a year away – arriving in ADR and RID on 1 May 1990.
It seems like common sense now but at the time it was quite a revolution for many in the business. The system places the onus on the shipper to decide what they want from the packaging they use to contain their products and then to determine how those requirements can be fitted into the UN packaging requirements, depending on the hazard characteristics of the goods being shipped.
In fact, back in 1989 a survey undertaken by HCB found that, while most packaging manufacturers had conducted the necessary tests and could therefore label their packagings correctly, shippers were far less prepared. Some of those surveyed felt that, as the existing dangerous goods packaging requirements were only lightly enforced, it was hard to take the UN deadline seriously. It also came as something of a shock to those in the UK that had only been operating in the domestic market: the UK’s impending adoption of ADR for domestic road transport would mean that they would have to come up to scratch with UN packaging.
Meanwhile, over in Geneva, the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods had just held its 15th biennial meeting. At that time, most of the work was done by the UN Group of Rapporteurs and the UN Group of Experts on Explosives, with their recommendations generally adopted by the Committee. At their 1988 session, however, the experts deferred some topics – in particular the work on the reclassification of gases – and made significant changes in other areas.
The December 1988 session of the UN Committee was notable in a number of other ways. It would be the last to be chaired by Al Roberts, who had decided it was time for someone else to take the helm, and it was also the last to take input from the two Groups. As from 1989, the preparatory work was to be done – as it still is today – by the UN Sub-committee of Experts on TDG.
There were complaints at the meeting that the Spanish language version of the UN Recommendations had failed to appear in the previous two biennia, possibly due to a shortage of funds for the translation work. It was suggested that the Recommendations should be updated every four years rather than every two, which would lighten the burden of work, and also that the UN should take a leaf out of IMO’s book and take a more commercial approach. Neither proposal was taken up at the time, which is probably a good thing in terms of global safety in the transport of dangerous goods.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: April 1989
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => 30-years-ago-april-1989
[post_modified] => 2019-03-22 16:05:30
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-22 16:05:30
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10781
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[post_type] => post
[comment_count] => 0
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