[ID] => 10127
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-09-28 09:21:45
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-28 08:21:45
[post_content] => HCB’s October 1988 issue was something of a whopper – almost as big as the current number. There were two reasons for that: there was a lot to report on in terms of regulatory changes, while it was also the preview issue for the Gastech exhibition in Kuala Lumpur later that month. In those days, LNG was something of a niche subject but, over the past decade, the business has grown so much that every man and his dog has an opinion on it and there are a lot of specialised publications, so it is not a market we now cover to any great extent.
Meanwhile, back in the world of hazardous and noxious substances, IMO’s Legal Committee was just about to take a close look at the draft HNS Convention, which sought to do for bulk and packaged chemicals what the Civil Liability Convention had already done for oil cargoes: to establish a system to provide compensation to those who suffer losses in the event of pollution.
It seemed a relatively straightforward idea at the time, but so many complications became apparent over the years that the HNS Convention still awaits ratification by the required number of IMO members.
Another initiative was somewhat more successful. We carried a report from Michael Gut of the Swiss Society of Chemical Industry on the system of classifying road tunnels from the point of view of the dangerous goods that were permitted through them. This was an issue of particular concern to Switzerland, which has more tunnels per kilometre of road than any other country. The Swiss model was used, after a number of serious incidents, as the basis for the tunnel restrictions now in place in ADR.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament was becoming interested in the transport of dangerous goods, again in response to some serious accidents. It was about to debate the ‘Visser Report’, compiled by Ben Visser, MEP. The report included some sensible proposals, particularly on training, licensing and, perhaps most significantly, the need to ensure harmonisation in terms of classification and the transport provisions across various modes.
There were, though, some more problematic proposals, such as the mandatory separation of dangerous goods from passenger transport; this would hardly be feasible in, say, ferry operations, nor in air transport. It had also been proposed that all dangerous goods should be moved by “the least dangerous mode of transport”, taking account of loading and handling as well as the actual movement of goods.
At the time, HCB wondered if the insistence on harmonisation was a good thing, as there had been a trend towards the mutual recognition of national regulations and that seemed to be working well. However, the European Parliament had in mind the aim to create a free transport market across what was then the European Economic Community (EEC, now the EU) and stressed that this could only be achieved if “binding decisions on harmonisation are taken to guarantee the safety of humans and the environment when dangerous substances and wastes are transported”.
That may have been a radical idea at the time but now, with all 28 EU states applying RID and ADR to their domestic transport as well as international movements, we have to say that harmonisation has worked.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: October 1988
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => 30-years-ago-october-1988
[post_modified] => 2018-09-19 09:24:59
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-19 08:24:59
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10127
[menu_order] => 0
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[comment_count] => 0
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30 Years Ago: October 1988
// By Peter Mackay on 28 Sep 2018
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