[ID] => 10589
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-02-12 09:22:49
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-12 09:22:49
[post_content] => The UN Economic Commission for Europe’s (ECE) Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP15) held its 105th session in Geneva on 6 to 9 November 2018; it was chaired by JA Franco (Portugal) with Ariane Roumier (France) as vice-chair.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 26 countries, participants from seven others, the EU, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and three non-governmental organisations.
The meeting was comparatively brief but nevertheless did adopt some amendments to the annexes to the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) for entry into force in 2021. The meeting took place before the final biennial session of the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG), which will doubtless generate many more amendments in the two sessions of WP15 scheduled to take place in 2019.
STATUS OF ADR
Since the previous session, Nigeria had acceded to ADR, bringing the number of contracting parties to 51.
The Working Party made its usual appeal to those countries that have not yet deposited the required legal instruments for the Protocol of amendment of 1993 to take the necessary measures, so that it can come into effect.
The previous session had agreed that the current title of ADR should be amended, deleting ‘European’. To do so, a Conference of the Contracting Parties to ADR will need to be held during the 106th session, scheduled to take place in mid-May 2019. This Conference will be subject to the agreement of at least one quarter of the Contracting Parties, i.e. 13 states, within four months. The secretariat invited those countries that support the proposal to send their letters of concurrence as soon as possible and, in any case, no later than 13 February.
Austria aired some concerns about the potential consequences of opening ADR up to countries outside the ECE region, albeit there are a number of such contracting states already. It could be that issues involving transport operations in developing countries could take up a lot of time in WP15’s sessions, making it difficult to find time to discuss safety-critical issues; and, while European countries find it relatively easy to attend meetings in Geneva, this might not be the case for representatives of other states, particularly poorer countries, increasing the potential for sessions to be inquorate.
These concerns were noted but the overriding mission has to be the role of ADR as one of the UN’s legal instruments that can contribute to improving road safety around the globe. If problems do arise, there is the potential for WP15’s procedures and rules to be amended.
A representative of the EU-funded EuroMed Transport Support Project gave an update on developments. This seeks to improve the transport infrastructure and regulatory convergence of the countries of northern Africa and the Levant. Of those, Morocco and Tunisia are already ADR contracting states and one aim of the EuroMed project is to help others to prepare to accede to ADR. As such, representatives of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the State of Palestine presented the activities currently under way in their respective countries, while representatives from Morocco and Tunisia provided an update on the status of implementation of the Agreement in their countries.
The Working Party took note of the ongoing discussions between EuroMed, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Linguistic Services of the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, for an agreement to translate the ADR into Arabic and welcomed this initiative as it would facilitate accession of some countries.
WORK OF THE JOINT MEETING
The secretariat provided summaries of the decisions taken by the Joint Meeting of RID/ADR/ADN Experts at its spring and autumn 2018 sessions (HCB
June 2018, page 76; February 2019, page 70).
The extensive amendment of Chapter 6.8 was adopted in square brackets; the Working Party noted that work on standards related to 126.96.36.199.18 was still ongoing and it was considered premature to adopt it formally.
The guideline proposed by the Joint Meeting relating to the early application of EN 12972:2018 was adopted; the Working Party asked the secretariat to publish the guideline on the UN ECE website to encourage its use. [This is now available at www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/adr/adr_guidelines.html.]
The other amendments adopted by the Joint Meeting were all agreed, for inclusion in the 2021 edition of ADR. These included:
- New transitional provisions for fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) tanks at 188.8.131.52.2
- Addition of ‘unloader’ to the list of those responsible for submitting incident reports in 184.108.40.206
- Clarification of the classification of used articles containing halogenated compounds (typically transformers and condensers) in 220.127.116.11.3
- A new special provision 675, assigned to UN 2211 and 3314, prohibiting the mixed loading of packagings containing those substances with substances and articles of Class 1, other than 1.4S
- A new hazard identification number, 836, for corrosive, flammable and toxic substances, initially assigned to UN 2683
- Various new and updated standards applicable to gas cylinders and tanks for the transport of dangerous goods
- Numerous consequential and editorial amendments.
The Working Party also noted the work done by the secretariat to identify all references to competent authorities in ADR and to determine which competent authority or authorities are relevant to each case. An informal working group was to handle this work, but the Working Party felt it important that it should also be involved, taking into account the outcome of that informal working group.
The secretariat had also provided a list of instances where the term ‘competent authority’ appears in Parts 8 and 9 of ADR – the sections that are specific to road transport. The Working Party invited the secretariat to submit this in the form of an official document for the next session, so that the necessary changes can be made.
CONSTRUCTION AND APPROVAL
The UK proposed to include in ADR a waiver for the first inspection of EX/II, EX/III, FL and AT vehicles and mobile explosives manufacturing units (MEMUs) until the first anniversary test, following a two-year trial in the UK that showed a very low number of issues. Out of the 642 vehicles covered by the trial, which ended in September 2018, only six failed their first anniversary test, of which only one failed on ADR grounds – and this was due to an unauthorised modification carried out after the vehicle entered service.
Delegations who took the floor were not in favour of allowing competent authorities to waive the first inspection; most considered that the first inspection often allows to detect and correct non-conformity as regards the equipment of these vehicles. As a result, the UK delegate withdrew the proposal.
France reported problems of compliance with the new requirements introduced in 2017 regarding ISO standards for the conformity of cables used in different electrical circuits on road vehicles. It appears that there are problems obtaining supplies of such cabling – some manufacturers require a minimum order of 100 km, which is rather a lot for the average tank vehicle manufacturer. In addition, the cables have not specific marking, making it impossible for an inspection to verify compliance. France also noted that the requirement had extended coverage to EX/II vehicles, which had not previously been in scope, meaning that vehicles may have to be completely rewired.
Some delegations felt that the transitional period provided had been sufficient to implement the provisions. It was also deemed unfortunate that there were not representatives of the manufacturers present to assist the discussion. France said it would coordinate with other countries that are experiencing similar problems and may submit a formal proposal in the future.
The Netherlands opened discussion on the potential future use of electric and hybrid heavy trucks in the transport of dangerous goods and how this should be dealt with in ADR. The Working Party agreed that there is a need to start looking at this, although some delegates considered that the issues raised by the Netherlands were beyond the scope of ADR and should instead be addressed by the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP29). It might be more appropriate to allow WP29 to set the overall parameters for such vehicles before considering aspects specific to the transport of dangerous goods.
The representative of the Netherlands invited delegations to provide feedback on the issues raised and offered to act as a focal point for ongoing discussions and comments.
Germany returned with a formal proposal to amend the Instructions in Writing by changing ‘8 or 9’ in footnote b of 18.104.22.168 by ‘8, 9 or 9A’. The proposal also included a two-year transitional provision. This proposal received the same response as had its earlier informal document on the same subject: some delegations queried the value of the equipment mentioned in note b would be of any use in an incident involving lithium batteries, and there has been great reluctance to change the text of the Instructions too often.
Romania reminded the Working Party that the Joint Meeting had set up an informal working group to look at the definitions of ‘risk’ and ‘hazard/danger’ and that its work, which will be presented at the spring 2019 session of the Joint Meeting, would include proposals for amendment of the Instructions in Writing. The representative of Germany said she would liaise with Romania and consider submitting a revised proposal.
Another paper from Germany, again following up on discussions at the previous session, sought to allow additional information to be included on the back of the ‘ADR Card’ – the driver training certificate – or to amend 22.214.171.124.5 of ADR. Once more, the proposal included a transitional provision.
This time there was general support for the idea, though some suggested making the additional item optional, in which case there would be no need for a transitional provision. Germany will take the comments made into account in the framing of a revised proposal for the 106th session.
Belarus sought to align the texts of 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 with respect to tank marking; these sections refer to inspections, tests and checks and Belarus felt that, in 184.108.40.206.1 in particular, ‘test’ should be replaced by ‘inspection’. The Working Party noted that this would apply to all modes of transport and so should be discussed by the Joint Meeting; the Belarus representative said a proposal would be submitted to the spring session.
Switzerland proposed amendment of 220.127.116.11 to clarify the approval term of a certificate of approval issued before the expiry of the previous certificate. Its paper delved back into the history of the text of 18.104.22.168, which resulted from a proposal by the Netherlands in 1995 (and appeared as marginal 10282 (4) in the 1997 edition of ADR). Conflicting opinions were expressed and some delegations thought this a matter for the Joint Meeting. Switzerland will consider the comments made before tabling a revised proposal.
Another informal document from Switzerland sought an exemption from the requirement to carry firefighting equipment in the case of excepted packages of radioactive material consigned in the post. Its paper said that many postal delivery vehicles are not equipped with a 2-kg fire extinguisher, which is a requirement of 22.214.171.124.2.
Most delegations were opposed to such a move; they could see no reason why postal vehicles should not be able to carry a fire extinguisher and noted that the requirements in 126.96.36.199.2 apply to all vehicles carrying dangerous goods, regardless of the nature of those goods. The Swiss delegate was not swayed by the arguments and said a formal proposal would be forthcoming.
The International Road Transport Union (IRU) proposed allowing e-learning as part of the refresher training required by 188.8.131.52.2 of ADR. Other delegations shared their experience with online training and e-learning and there was a general understanding that new training technologies could be beneficial, although only in combination with teacher-led training.
The representatives of Tunisia and EuroMed drew attention to the potential difficulties of providing e-learning courses in some countries, especially if mandatory provisions were to be adopted.
Some delegations reminded the meeting that this topic had already been discussed on several occasions, both by the Working Party and the Joint Meeting; in the end IRU was invited to submit a proposal to the spring 2019 session of the Joint Meeting.
The UK felt it would be useful, especially when interpreting the exemptions available for the carriage of gases, to define the unit Nm3 used in the table in 184.108.40.206; an appropriate footnote was offered. There was a general feeling that the idea was justified, although France felt that the definition should be added in 1.2.2, where other units are defined. The UK was invited to submit an official proposal at the next session.
Another informal document from the UK dealt with UN 3316 chemical and first aid kits. Following the revised entry for such kits appeared in the 2019 text, there is now no means of assigning a transport category to those kits for which a packing group cannot be assigned. However, a transport category is still required on the transport document to allow carriers to correctly assess their loads for compliance with the provisions of 220.127.116.11. The UK’s suggested solution was to assign such kits to transport category 2.
While there was general support for the proposal, Austria pointed out that it could mean that similar kits including articles to which a packing group is applied could end up in transport category 3. The Working Party also confirmed that the proposal could not be considered as a correction to the 2019 edition of ADR and invited the UK to present a formal proposal to the spring 2019 Joint Meeting.
An informal document from Finland and Sweden sought to initiate discussion of the restriction in 8.1.1 that states: “A transport unit loaded with dangerous goods may in no case include more than one trailer (or semi-trailer).” The two countries are party to a multilateral special agreement, M304, which allows for more than one trailer; commonly this involves the tractor unit, a dolly axle and a semi-trailer. M304 and earlier agreements have been in force for more than ten years with no reported safety-related incidents or accidents in Finland or Sweden. Is it time, perhaps, to extend this permission to ADR?
Opinions were divided; some delegations were strongly against the proposal, others supported it, but not for tank trailers; some were of the view that these vehicle combinations should be limited to domestic transport. The representatives of Finland and Sweden took note of the comments made and said they would consider how best to proceed.
Austria reported on problems it was experiencing with ADR driver training certificates during roadside inspections. Ideally, such certificates can be compared against specimens published on the UN ECE website but not all countries have specimens on that site and other problems occur when model certificates are amended. Austria sought the Working Party’s views and an exchange of information.
The Working Party reminded the contracting parties of their obligations to provide the minimum information on the competent authorities and their models of driver certificates for publication on the UNECE website to ensure mutual administrative support between contracting Parties.
Germany proposed a correction to Table A of Chapter 3.2 where, column (15) against UN 3363 has no information. This should, Germany said, include a dash ‘(-)’ in accordance with the explanatory note. As the proposal had been submitted late and in an informal document, several delegations felt unable to make a decision. Germany was invited to return to the 106th session with a formal proposal.
INTERPRETATION OF ADR
Georgia sought assistance in applying the provisions of 18.104.22.168(c) in its domestic legislation, in particular the phrase: “Carriage undertaken by such enterprises for their supply or external or internal distribution does not fall within the scope of this exemption.”
The opinion of most delegations was that transport of dangerous goods to or returns from working sites (for example building or civil engineering sites) by the workers who use them is exempted. Switzerland said it would share the interpretation it uses at national level and other delegations were invited to do the same.
Another informal document from Georgia sought clarification of the term “other articles of consumption” in 22.214.171.124.1(e); it thought this to be rather broad and invited an accurate definition of what is covered. Most of the delegations that took the floor agreed that the existing text lacked clarity and could be interpreted in different ways. Since it was also relevant to other modes of transport, the representative of Georgia was invited to submit a document to the spring 2019 session of the Joint Meeting.
The Netherlands invited opinions on the applicability of 126.96.36.199 to electronic equipment in the driver’s cab of FL vehicles. The cab is classified as a Zone 2 area where explosive atmospheres may occasionally be present. The electronic equipment found in the cab – toll boxes, radios, mobile phones, and so on – generally work on relatively low voltages and low currents. However, finding such equipment that meets the requirements of IEC 60079 is difficult and, when available, it is very expensive. Should, therefore, electronic equipment be regarded as part of the electrical installation on a vehicle?
The Working Party referred the representative of the Netherlands to discussions that had taken place on that subject at its 90th session; it also noted that the TDG Sub-committee was engaged in ongoing work on the development of provisions for data loggers and other equipment and that several documents on this topic would be discussed at its upcoming session.
There were also two papers relating to the correct wording in the Russian text of ADR, together with three other informal documents that had to be held over to the next session due to lack of time.
In a lengthy informal document, Sweden reviewed the provisions in Chapter 8.5 concerning the supervision of vehicles and sought a discussion of the minimum level of supervision that is considered acceptable and how the text of ADR could be amended to make this clear. It had raised the issue at the previous session and, since then, had distributed a questionnaire to find out how the various contracting parties approach the issue.
Several delegations welcomed the work that Sweden had done but considered that more was needed before any concrete proposals for amendment to Chapter 8.5 could be developed. The EU representative highlighted the fact that any decisions taken for ADR could have an impact on regulations addressing other modes of transport and urged the Working Party to keep this in mind.
After discussion, the representative of Sweden said that she would continue the work on this topic and would consider submitting an official document to the 106th session. Delegations that wished to provide further comments and answers to the questions raised in the responses to the questionnaire were invited to share them with her.
Romania reported on the work it had carried out to develop a consolidated table of the applicable provisions of Part 9 of ADR for the technical inspection of EX/II, EX/III, FL and AT vehicles and MEMUs. The Working Party strongly supported the results of this work and asked the secretariat to publish the resulting guidelines on the UN ECE website. It was noted that the guidelines for completing the certificate of approval according to 9.1.3 might need to be updated to take account of the latest revision of ADR.
France offered up a suggestion to create a library of interpretations made by the Working Party, to be made available on the UN ECE website. It acknowledged that this might be a quite substantial task and sought the Working Party’s views on how best to go about it.
The Working Party thought this would be a good idea; for future interpretations, it was suggested that the authors of the requests could prepare a consolidated, detailed text of the outcome.
Italy provided a report on the major incident that had taken place at the A1/A14 junction near Bologna on 6 August 2018. An LPG tanker ran into the rear of a truck carrying solvents, which had stopped in traffic; the tanker driver was killed in the collision. The solvents caught fire and, after a few minutes, the blaze spread to the tank of the LPG tanker, causing a boiling liquid evaporating vapour explosion (BLEVE). Aside from the driver who was killed, 95 people were injured, including emergency personnel. The road was badly damaged, with part of the flyover collapsing onto the parking area of a car dealership.
The representative of Italy said he would seek advice from WP29’s Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear and the Joint Meeting’s informal working group on the reduction of the risk of a BLEVE. Investigation of the accident is ongoing and a full report will be submitted to the secretariat in due course.
Germany reported on the outcome of the second meeting of the informal working group on clarification of 188.8.131.52, which took place in Bonn on 1 and 2 October. The working group had determined that, in general, sparking and electrostatic discharge do not pose a risk in the transport of explosives, so long as the explosives are packaged in conformity with the regulations. However, the working group felt it appropriate to set a limit value for the internal temperature of EX/III vehicles. A final report of the meeting will be prepared in time for the next session.
The 106th session of WP15 will he held from 13 to 17 May. As José Alberto Franco was due to retire shortly and was participating in the Working Party for the last time, Ariane Roumier was elected to chair the Working Party for 2019, with Alfonso Simoni (Italy) appointed vice-chair.
[post_title] => ADR: Driving directions
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[post_modified] => 2019-03-07 11:50:49
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