[ID] => 7775
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2017-03-10 09:43:01
[post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-10 09:43:01
[post_content] => The seventh session of the RID Committee of Experts’ standing working group was held in Prague on 22 to 24 November 2016 with the task of getting on with agreeing the amendments that will appear in the 2019 edition of RID, the regulations governing the transport of dangerous goods by rail throughout Europe.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 20 RID contracting States as well as Russia, which although a member of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), does not apply RID. Also at the meeting were representatives of the European Commission (EC), the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), the Organisation for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) and four non-governmental organisations.
The meeting was chaired by Caroline Bailleux (Belgium) with Colin Bonnet (Switzerland) as deputy chairman.
THE POLAND PROBLEM
To some extent the meeting followed on from discussions at the meeting of the Economic Commission for Europe’s Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP15) earlier in the month. So it was with the first item on the agenda, the problems raised by the entry into force of a Polish law requiring that the name and address of the owner of the dangerous goods being carried be entered on the transport documents.
The International Union of Railways (UIC) questioned whether the law applies to international transport to or through Poland, as well as to domestic transport; it was also questioned whether, in light of Directive 2008/68/EC, it is permissible to make carriers responsible for such information. The EC representative reported that the Commission had not been notified of the law and explained that it would check to ensure that there is no obstacle to the free movement of goods. Several delegates asked the EC representative to put the issue on the agenda for the next meeting of the EU Dangerous Goods Regulatory Committee, which met in December.
As had happened at WP15, the Polish delegate explained that the law was intended to stop black market traffic in dangerous goods. Other delegates countered that this black market activity concerns only liquid fuels whereas the law is a blanket provision applicable to all UN entries.
The Polish government has asserted that the law is not a dangerous goods provision per se
and is not incorporated into its national legislation on the transport of dangerous goods; as such a breach of the provision is not punished in accordance with dangerous goods legislation. It follows therefore that the standing working group (and for that matter WP15) is not the correct forum to challenge the provisions. In principle that seems to be the case but the effect is to erect an obstacle to the free movement of goods.
The OTIF Secretariat, delving into the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, asserted that the aim of RID is to avoid personal injury and damage to property and he environment arising from the carriage of dangerous goods. The main aim of the transport document is to provide essential information about the hazards posed by the goods being carried. It is questionable, OTIF said, whether there is any connection between stemming the black market in fuels and the hazards posed by those fuels. As such, use of the dangerous goods transport document is the wrong means to address the issue.
The Polish representative thanks the meeting for its comments and confirmed that they would be examined by national government.
A paper from Spain sought the working group’s opinions on the responsibilities of freight terminal operators as participants in the carriage of dangerous goods by rail. Within the transport chain, several different operations may be carried out at freight terminals, involving different participants. These are not easily assigned to the definitions of participants in Chapter 1.4.
For instance, if a terminal operator undertakes wagon movements within a terminal using its own locomotives, does that make it a “carrier”? Spain’s competent authority considers this to be the case but some terminals consider that “carrier” can only apply to a railway undertaking.
During discussions, a range of views were expressed and it was far from clear how the matter could be resolved. Most felt that operations that take place wholly within a private area, such as within the perimeter of a terminal, are outside the scope of RID, although ERA was of the opinion that such an interpretation would depend on applicable national legislation, which may differ between states. Some questioned whether the situation would be different in a public terminal as opposed to a private facility, and whether any limitation of RID applicability could extend to operations between a terminal and, say, an adjacent port area.
The Spanish representative thanked the meeting for its contributions, noting that several had indicated that the definition of “carrier” is not equivalent to “railway undertaking”. Clearly, though, this issue remains unresolved.
In an informal document, UIC provided the working group with a copy of a document it intended to submit to the December 2016 meeting of the EU Dangerous Goods Regulatory Committee discussing the consequences of the new directive on railway safety (2016/798/EU) on the obligations of carriers, infrastructure managers, railway undertakings and other participants.
UIC was concerned that the new directive overlaps with existing safety obligations under RID and is asking the Committee for clarification. ERA, on the other hand, felt that, as the safety directive does not lay down any new requirements, there should be no need for consequential amendments to RID.
The OTIF Secretariat had prepared a document containing corrections to the printed edition of RID 2017, which was approved by the working group. The corrections are mainly editorial in nature. The document itself can be found on the OTIF website at https://otif.org/fileadmin/user_upload/otif_verlinkte_files/05_gef_guet/02_RID_fach_01_gt_p/021_2016/CE_GTP_2016-INF_04_E_List_of_corrections_notification_texts.pdf.
Another document from the Secretariat summarised discussions at the 101st session of WP15 that might be of relevance to RID. The Secretariat noted that OTIF is involved in a parallel EuroMed project involving rail transport and has taken part in events in Egypt, Israel and Tunisia in order to provide information on RID and the work of the standing working group.
Italy reported on the work of the informal working group on checklists for the filling and emptying of liquefied gas tank wagons, which met in Milan in late October 2016. A preliminary draft text has been prepared and this will be developed further with the aim of submitting a formal proposal to the November 2017 meeting of the RID standing working group.
Switzerland felt that the requirement in 126.96.36.199.1(j) on the location of the hazard identification number on the transport document is misleading; the examples at the end of that sub-paragraph show the hazard identification number sitting before the letters ‘UN’ but, according to the definition in 1.2.1, the ‘UN number’ is the four-digit figure, without the letters “UN”. It proposed to change the wording slightly to make this clear. The Polish representative pointed out that the same issue exists in 188.8.131.52.5.
The working group agreed with the arguments and made the following changes:
…, the hazard identification number shall be entered in the transport document before the letters “UN” preceding the UN number (see 184.108.40.206.1(a)).
- The end of 220.127.116.11.5 will read:
…, the hazard identification number shall also be inscribed before the letters “UN” preceding the UN number (see paragraph (a)).
- The end of the first sentence of 18.104.22.168.1(j) will read:
- In the second sentence of 22.214.171.124.1(j), “or article” is added after “substance”.
The Czech Republic proposed doing away with the hazard identification number on the transport document in cases where the wagon is not marked with orange-coloured plats. However, this was opposed on the basis that the hazard identification number can provide useful additional information. There were other comments that indicated that the idea is not off the table and the Czech Republic was invited to submit a revised proposal at the next session.
Special provisions in 5.5.3 apply to packages, wagons and containers with substances that present a risk of asphyxiation when these are used for the purposes of cooling or conditioning other cargo. The Russian Federation proposed expanding this to substances used as a protective agent; it is the practice in Russia and neighbouring states to use compressed nitrogen to protect terephthalic acid transported in liner bags.
Most delegations did not feel it necessary to refer to specific substances used as protective agents, while others asked for further information on the quantity of compressed nitrogen used in such applications. The chair pointed out that any amendment to 5.5.3 would in any case have to be decided at the UN level and asked the Russian delegate to submit a revised proposal to the UN Sub-committee of Experts.
The standing working group also noted Russia’s proposal to harmonise the abbreviation for intermediate bulk containers in the Russian text of RID/ADR/ADN and the UN model regulations with that in SMGS Annex 2. Again, though, this was deemed a matter for the UN Sub-committee of Experts.
HARMONISATION WITH SMGS
The Latvian representative reported on the decisions taken by the OSJD Commission for Transport Law at its meeting in early October; this had already been discussed at the WP15 meeting and no further developments had been reported in the interim.
As things stand, Annex 2 of SMGS, which corresponds to RID, will remain in its 2015 edition; this means that the changes contained in the 2017 text of RID do not apply in those countries that use SMGS – the main problem is likely to be in the transport of engines, the classification of which changed in RID 2017. At the same time, however, SMGS states that use ADR for road transport have applied the 2017 edition, which means there is modal disharmony in those countries between road and rail transport.
In an informal document, the Russian Federation provided more information. It explained that, as only a few OSJD states are involved in the process of developing EN standards and EU directives, it would prefer SMGS Annex 2 to reference ISO standards. In particular, the paper referred to important aspects in the carriage of gases, which are covered by EN standards in RID.
Apart from this, the Russian paper said, it was prepared to support the entry into force of the 2017 amendments to SMGS Annex 2 as from 1 July 2017, in line with use of RID 2017.
The chair pointed out that, as far as RID/ADR experts are concerned, it is the technical content of the standards that is important, rather than their source. She invited the Russian federation to propose more suitable standards for liquefied gas cylinders to the RID/ADR/ADN Joint Meeting and thanked the Russian delegate for the desire to help resolve the situation.
INFORMATION FROM ERA
At the previous session of the standard working group, delegations had been asked to enquire of their respective national certification bodies whether it is still necessary to distinguish between dangerous goods tank wagons and other specialised dangerous goods wagons in the Entity in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) certificate. Three delegations responded: two saw no need to differentiate but one felt it would be useful to continue to do so for the purposes of statistical surveys.
The ERA representative reminded the meeting that the ECM certificate is a component of the ECM Regulation, which is in the process of revision. The question raised at the previous session relates to the coordination of dangerous goods law with general railway law and is therefore of some importance. He urged delegates to supply responses by the end of January.
ERA also reported on progress made on the development of a roadmap on risk management; progress made at the seventh workshop on this topic was presented to the autumn 2016 session of the RID/ADR/ADN Joint Meeting but a further workshop had since taken place to review the current status of the guides. It is hoped that these guides and the framework within which they sit can be finalised by the end of 2017.
ERA introduced the first version of the safety alert IT tool (SAIT) in September 2016. This is a web-based platform for the sharing and reporting of urgent safety information relating to defects and malfunctions of technical equipment between all railway actors in the EU. So far there is no access to this information for national safety and investigation bodies, ECM certification bodies or other external interests; indeed, ERA itself has only limited access to SAIT data. This is to encourage trust in the system. In due course the tool may be developed further so as to allow authorities to use the information.
ERA has also established a project plan for a European system for reporting occurrences, which will link to the ongoing work on the roadmap for risk management. A second consultation phase towards the development of a European Common Occurrence Reporting system took place in autumn 2016 and this will be followed up during the course of 2017.
A further paper from ERA contained guidelines on the use of derailment detectors. While there is no legal requirement to use such detectors on any type of freight wagon, where they are used there is a need for interoperability. Several delegations expressed regret that they had not been given the opportunity to examine the document prior to publication and, indeed, the German representative entered an official reservation.
The Italian representative objected to the guidelines on the basis that they did not reflect the decisions taken by the working group on derailment detection; he anticipated that a detailed request for improvement would soon be lodged.
The ERA representative acknowledged that the document could be improved but referred back to the urgency with which the working group on derailment detection had asked for its publication.
Switzerland reported on the derailment of a freight train in Daillens on 25 April 2015; four wagons overturned and leaked sulphuric acid and caustic soda. The direct cause of the derailment was the loss of an axle box.
In its report on the incident, the Swiss Safety Investigation Service issued several safety recommendations and the RID standing working group discussed one of them, dealing with the railway infrastructure manager’s responsibility to check the network for any protruding elements near the tracks that might damage a tank in the event of an accident.
There was no support for an addition to the infrastructure manager’s responsibilities in 126.96.36.199 of ADR; indeed, the working group expressed doubts as to whether it was the right forum for discussion of the issue. The chair suggested that national authorities should make infrastructure managers aware of the problems. However, she said, the investigation report contained important information on the correct use of salvage tank wagons.
The representative of the Netherlands reported on an incident in Tilburg on 6 March 2015 when a passenger train passed a signal at red and collided with the last wagon of a stabled freight train; the tank wagon was not fitted with devices to prevent the overriding of buffers or to limit damage to the tank in the event of an overriding.
After investigating the incident, the Dutch Safety Board recommended extending the scope of special provision TE25 to all tank wagons used for the transport of dangerous goods and also adding a requirement that the last wagon of a freight train may not contain any dangerous goods.
Austria and France both pointed out that the investigation highlighted a range of irregularities and safety gaps that had led to the incident and believed the focus should be on measures to avoid accidents rather than to limit their consequences; the UK representative also believed that the suggested measures could have negative consequences.
The Dutch delegation was asked to take these discussions into account when following up on the measures recommended by the Safety Board.
The representative of Switzerland reported on Common Declaration II on risk reduction measures for chlorine imports into the country, developed by industry, the rail operator SBB and federal authorities. This responded to an awareness of increased risk in the transport of chlorine by rail, due not least to rising number of people living near to railway lines.
Several delegations raised questions concerning international compatibility, although the Swiss representative assured the meeting that transit traffic would not be affected by the measures and that, in any case, they would only be mandatory for signatories to Common Declaration II.
The ERA representative urged Switzerland and other states that, for the transport of chlorine, they should apply the harmonised risk assessment method it is developing. Non-harmonised national agreements should be avoided as far as possible in order to protect the interoperability of European rail traffic. Switzerland was also urged to consider whether the measures being imposed should be established more generally for the international carriage of chlorine, in which case proposals should be submitted to the standing working group.
The standing working group was informed of the retirement of three long-standing representatives: Stanislav Hájek (Czeck Republic), Steen Riis Thomsen (Denmark) and Bo Zetterström (Sweden). The chair thanked them for their many years of active participation and wished them all the best for a long, healthy and happy retirement.
The eighth session of the RID Committee of Experts’ standing working group will take place in the Netherlands, beginning on 20 November 2017.
[post_title] => RID: Man the barricades
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => rid-man-barricades
[post_modified] => 2017-03-09 17:48:46
[post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-09 17:48:46
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