4.1.1 The advice of this section applies to CTUs in which dangerous cargoes are packed. It should be followed in addition to the advice given elsewhere in these Guidelines.
4.1.2 International (and often national) transport of dangerous cargoes may be subject to several dangerous cargoes transport regulations depending on the final destination and the modes of transport used.
4.1.3 For combined transport, involving several modes of transport other than by sea, the rules and regulations applicable depend on whether it is a national movement or international transport or transport within a political or economic union or trading zone, such as the European Union.
4.1.4 International transport of dangerous cargoes by road, rail or inland waterways is subject to the following Agreements in Europe:
- The European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR);
- Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID); and
- Regulations for the Carriage of Dangerous Substances on the Rhine (ADNR) based on the provisions contained in the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN).
4.1.5 The provisions of ADR, RID, ADNR and ADN are harmonised. Most national and
international regulations are based on the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (Orange Book). However, national rules, applicable to domestic transport, may differ from international regulations.
4.1.6 For maritime transport, the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods
Code apply. The IMDG Code provides detailed guidance on all aspects of the transport of packaged dangerous goods by sea. Special attention is drawn to the following sections of the General Introduction to the IMDG Code:
- Section 7 - Identification, marking, labelling and placarding of dangerous goods;
- Section 8 - Labels, placards, marks and signs;
- Section 9 - Documentation of dangerous goods shipments;
- Section 12 -Container traffic;
- Section 14 -Stowage;
- Section 15 -Segregation; and
- Section 17 -Carriage of dangerous goods on roll-on roll-off ships.
4.1.7 Dangerous goods are divided into the following classes:
Class 1 - Explosives
Class 1 is divided into six divisions:
Division 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard
Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard
Class 2 - Gases: Compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure
Class 2.1 - Flammable2
Class 2.2 - Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
Class 2.3 - Toxic3
Class 3 - Flammable liquids
For the stowage of cargo on-board ships this class is, in the IMDG Code, subdivided as follows4
Class 3.1 - Low flashpoint group of liquids having a flashpoint below -18 degrees C (0 degrees F), closed cup test
Class 3.2 - Intermediate flashpoint group of liquids having a flashpoint of -18 degrees C (0 degrees F) up to, but not including 23 degrees C (73 degrees F), closed cup test
Class 3.3 - High flashpoint group of liquids having a flashpoint of 23 degrees C (73 degrees F) up to, and including, 61 degrees C (141 degrees F), closed cup test
Class 4 - Flammable solids
Class 4.1 - Readily combustible solids and solids which may cause fire through friction: Self reactive (solids and liquids) and related substances; Desensitized explosives.
Class 4.2 - Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
Class 4.3 - Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
Class 5 - Oxidizing substances (agents) and organic peroxides
Class 5.1 - Oxidizing substances (agents)
Class 5.2 - Organic peroxides
Class 6 - Toxic and infectious substances
Class 6.1 - Toxic substances
Class 6.2 - Infectious substances
Class 7 - Radioactive materials
Class 8 - Corrosives
Class 9 - Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles Class 9 comprises:
|.1||substances and articles not covered by other classes which experience has shown, or may show, to be of such a dangerous character that the provisions of part A of chapter VII of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, as amended, should apply. These include substances that are transported or offered for transport at temperatures equal to or exceeding 100 degrees C in a liquid state, and solids that are transported or offered for transport at temperatures equal to or exceeding 240 degrees C; and|
|.2|| substances not subject to the provisions of part A of chapter VII of SOLAS 1974, as amended, but to which the regulations of Annex III of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), apply.|
4.2 Before packing
4.2.1 Information should be provided by the shipper about the properties of the dangerous cargoes to be handled and their quantities. The basic items of information necessary for
each dangerous substance, material or article to be transported by any mode of transport are the following:
- the proper shipping name (correct technical name);
- the class and/or division (and the compatibility group letter for cargo of class 1);
- the UN number and the packing/packaging group; and
- the total quantity of dangerous cargoes (by volume, mass and for explosives the
net explosive content).
Other items of information may be required, depending on the mode of transport
(flashpoint for maritime transport, instructions to be followed in case of incident for road
transport under the ADR regime, special certificates, e.g. for radioactive materials, etc.).
The various items of information required under each regulation and applicable during
combined transport operations should be provided so that appropriate documentation may be
prepared for each shipment.
4.2.2 The shipper should also ensure that dangerous cargoes are packaged, packed, marked, labelled, placarded and provided with the required signs, in accordance with the
applicable regulations. A declaration that this has been carried out is normally required.
Such a declaration may be incorporated into or attached to the transport documents.
4.2.3 The shipper should also ensure that the cargoes to be transported are authorized for transport by the modes to be used during the transport operation. For example, self-reacting substances and organic peroxides requiring temperature control are not authorized for
transport by rail under the RID regime. Certain types of dangerous cargoes are not
authorized to be transported on-board passenger ships and therefore the requirements of the
IMDG Code should be carefully studied, particularly before the consolidation of several
shipments of dangerous cargoes in a CTU which may need to be segregated ?way
from?each other. These shipments may only be carried in the same unit with the approval
of the competent authority concerned.
4.2.4 Current versions of all applicable regulations (IMDG Code, ADR, RID, ADN and
ADNR) should be easily accessible during packing to ensure appropriate checking.
4.2.5 Dangerous cargoes should only be handled, packed and secured under direct and identifiable supervision of a responsible person who is familiar with the legal requirements,
risks involved and knows the measures that should be taken in an emergency.
4.2.6 Suitable measures to prevent fires should be taken, including the prohibition of smoking in the vicinity of dangerous cargoes.
4.2.7 Packages of dangerous cargoes should be examined and any found to be damaged, leaking or sifting should not be packed into a CTU. Packages showing evidence of
staining, etc. should not be packed without first determining that it is safe and acceptable
to do so. Water, snow, ice or other matter adhering to packages should be removed before
packing. Liquids that have accumulated on drum heads should initially be treated with
caution in case they are the result of leakage of contents. If pallets have been contaminated by spilt dangerous cargoes they should be destroyed by appropriate disposal methods to prevent use at a later date.
4.2.8 If dangerous cargoes are palletised or otherwise unitised they should be compacted so as to be regularly shaped with approximately vertical sides and level at the top. They
should be secured in a manner unlikely to damage the individual packages comprising the
unit load. The materials used to bond the unit load together should be compatible with the
substances unitised and retain their efficiency when exposed to moisture, extremes of
temperature and sunlight.
4.2.9 The stowage and method of securing of dangerous cargoes in a CTU should be planned before packing is commenced.
4.3 Packing and securing
4.3.1 Special care should be taken during handling to avoid damage to packages. However, if a package containing dangerous cargoes is damaged during handling so that the contents leak out, the immediate area should be evacuated until the hazard potential can be assessed. The damaged package should not be shipped. It should be moved to a safe place
in accordance with instructions given by a responsible person who is familiar with the risks involved and knows the measures that should be taken5
in an emergency.
4.3.2 If a leakage of dangerous cargoes presents safety and health hazards such as explosion, spontaneous combustion, poisoning or similar danger, personnel should
immediately be moved to a safe place and the Emergency Response Organization notified.
4.3.3 Dangerous cargoes should not be packed in the same CTU with incompatible cargoes. In some instances even cargoes of the same class are incompatible with each other and should not be packed in the same unit. The requirements of the IMDG Code
concerning the segregation of dangerous cargoes inside CTUs are usually more stringent
than those for road and rail transport. Whenever a combined transport operation does not
include maritime transport, compliance with the respective inland transport regulations, such
as ADR, RID, ADN and ADNR may be sufficient. However, if it cannot be guaranteed
that no part of the transport operation will be by sea, the segregation requirements of the
IMDG Code should be strictly complied with.
4.3.4 When dangerous cargoes are being handled, the consumption of food and drink should be prohibited.
4.3.5 Vented packages should be packed with the vents in an upright position and in such a way that the vents will not be blocked.
4.3.6 Drums containing dangerous cargoes should always be stowed in an upright position unless otherwise authorized by the competent authority.
4.3.7 Dangerous cargoes consignments which form only part of the load of a CTU should, whenever possible, be packed adjacent to the doors with markings and labels visible.
Particular attention is drawn to 3.3.1 concerning the securing of cargo by the doors of a
4.4 On completion of packing
18.104.22.168 Placards (enlarged labels) (minimum size 250 mm x 250 mm) and if applicable for maritime transport, "MARINE POLLUTANT" marks (minimum size of a side 250 mm)
and other signs should be affixed to the exterior surfaces of a CTU or unit load or over
pack to provide a warning that the contents of the unit are dangerous cargoes and present
risks, unless the labels, marks or signs affixed to the packages are clearly visible from
the exterior of the unit. The placards, labels, marks or signs on the outside of the CTU,
as far as is practicable, should not be obscured when the CTU is open.
22.214.171.124 CTUs containing dangerous cargoes or residues of dangerous cargoes should clearly display placards and, if applicable for maritime transport, "MARINE POLLUTANT"
marks or other signs as follows:
.1 a container, one on each side and, in addition for maritime transport, one on each
end of the unit;
.2 a railway wagon, at least one on each side; and
.3 any other CTU, at least one on both sides and on the back of the unit and, in
addition for a semi-trailer, one on the front of the unit.
Placards on the sides of a CTU should be affixed in such a position that they are
not obscured when the unit doors are opened (for international road transport under the
ADR regime, the display of enlarged labels on vehicles is only required for transport in
Figure 37 - Placards on a container
Figure 38 - Placards on a railway wagon
Figure 39 - Placards on a trailer
126.96.36.199 Whenever dangerous cargoes present several risks, subsidiary risk placards should
be displayed in addition to primary risk placards. CTUs containing cargoes of more than
one class however, need not bear a subsidiary risk placard if the hazard represented is
already indicated by the primary risk placard.
188.8.131.52 Where individual schedules in the IMDG Code indicate that no hazard label or
class marking is necessary on individual packages, then no placard or class marking is
required on the CTU, provided the UN number is displayed on the unit in accordance with
184.108.40.206 For maritime cargo, any CTU containing packaged dangerous cargoes of a single
commodity which constitute a full load and for which no placard is required, should be
durably marked with the proper shipping name of the contents.
220.127.116.11 Consignments of packaged dangerous cargoes of a single commodity other than
cargoes of Class 1, which constitute a full load for the CTU, should have the UN
number for the commodity displayed in black digits not less than 65 mm high either
against a white background in the lower half of the class placard or on an orange
rectangular panel not less than 120 mm high and 300 mm wide, with a 10 mm black
border, to be placed immediately adjacent to the placard (see annex 2). In those cases the
UN number should be displayed immediately adjacent to the proper shipping name.
18.104.22.168 For international transport by road under the ADR regime, vehicles carrying
dangerous cargoes should display two rectangular, reflective orange-coloured plates, 40 cm
long and not less than 30 cm high, affixed vertically and with black borders not more
than 15 mm wide (see annex 2). One should be affixed at the front, the other at the rear
of the vehicle, both perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. They should be
22.214.171.124 For radioactive materials special requirements apply (see, for example, section 6.5
of the introduction to class 7 in the IMDG Code).
126.96.36.199 When solid carbon dioxide (CO2 - dry ice) or other expendable refrigerant is
used for cooling purposes, a Warning Sign should be affixed to the outside of the doors
so that it is clearly visible to any person operating the doors. The sign should warn of the
possibility of an asphyxiating atmosphere. An example of such a Warning Sign is given in
188.8.131.52 As CTUs offered for shipment under fumigation may require special precautions,
they should only be accepted with the agreement of the carrier and they should be
identified to him prior to loading. CTUs under fumigation are now included in Class 9 of
the IMDG Code.
184.108.40.206 When a closed CTU or its contents has been fumigated and is to be shipped
under fumigation, a Warning Sign should be affixed to the outside of the doors so that it
is clearly visible to any person operating the doors. An example of such a Warning Sign
is given in annex 2. The sign should state the fumigant, method of fumigation employed
and the date and time when it took place. The sign should only be removed when the
unit has been ventilated after fumigation to ensure that no harmful concentration of gas
220.127.116.11 For maritime transport, regulation 5 of chapter VII of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS,1974, as amended) requires that the person
responsible for the packing of dangerous cargoes into a container or road vehicle shall provide a signed Container Packing Certificate or Vehicle Declaration stating that the cargo in the unit has been properly packed and secured and that all applicable transport requirements are met.
18.104.22.168 The IMDG Code recommends the following declaration:
The vehicle or freight container was clean, dry and apparently fit to receive the
If the consignments include cargoes of class 1, other than division 1.4, the vehicle or
freight container is structurally serviceable in conformity with section 12 of the
introduction to class 1 of the IMDG Code.
No incompatible cargoes have been packed into the vehicle or freight container
(unless authorized by the competent authority concerned in accordance with 12.2.1 or
22.214.171.124 of the General Introduction to the IMDG Code).
All packages have been externally inspected for damage, leakage or sifting, and only
sound packages have been packed.
All packages have been properly packed into the vehicle or freight container and
Drums have been stowed in an upright position, unless otherwise authorized by the
The vehicle or freight container and the packages therein are properly marked,
labelled and placarded.
When solid carbon dioxide (CO2 - dry ice) is used for cooling purposes, the vehicle
or freight container is externally marked or labelled in a conspicuous place, e.g. at
the door end, with the words:
"DANGEROUS CO2 - GAS (DRY ICE) INSIDE.
VENTILATE THOROUGHLY BEFORE ENTERING".
The dangerous goods declaration required in subsection 9.4 of the General
Introduction to the IMDG Code has been received for each dangerous cargoes consignment
packed in the vehicle or freight container.
126.96.36.199 A Container Packing Certificate/Vehicle Declaration is not required under the RID,
ADR, ADN ADNR regimes, even though they may be required for inland domestic
transport in certain countries. However, such certificates will be needed if the transport
operation includes sea voyages. They will then need to be provided prior to loading as
port authorities, berth operators and shipmasters may wish to sight them (or a copy) before
accepting containers or vehicles packed with dangerous cargoes into their premises or
aboard their ship.
188.8.131.52 For international road transport under the ADR regime, when several items of
dangerous cargoes are packed together in a single CTU, the shipper should declare that
such mixed packing is not prohibited.
184.108.40.206 The functions of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (see 4.2.2) and of the Container
Packing Certificate/Vehicle Declaration, may be incorporated into a single document; if not,
these documents should be attached one to the other. If these functions are incorporated
into a single document, e.g. a dangerous goods declaration, a shipping note, etc., the
inclusion of a phrase such as it is declared that the packing of the cargoes into the
vehicle or freight container has been carried out in accordance with the provisions of
section 17 of the General Introduction to the IMDG Code may suffice. Where both
declarations are included in a single document, separate signatures are required for the two
4.4.3 The transport of certain types of dangerous cargoes may require that closed types of
CTUs be locked and sealed. In such cases the keys should be readily available at the port
and placed aboard the ship.
4.4.4 Where dangerous cargoes are kept in combined transport terminals in port areas,
reference should be made to the IMO Recommendations on the Safe Transport of
Dangerous Cargoes and Related Activities in Port Areas.
4.4.5 CTUs packed with dangerous cargoes should only be collected from terminals by a
driver who has been properly trained and instructed. The driver should possess a driver
training certificate proving that he is allowed to drive a vehicle carrying dangerous cargoes
of the classes contained in the unit. Before departure, he should be provided with all
relevant documentation for the dangerous cargoes, as well as, with written instructions on
the action to be taken in the case of incidents involving the dangerous cargoes.
International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code published by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
"inflammable" has the same meaning as "flammable".
"poisonous" has the same meaning as "toxic".
Depending on the flashpoint group, cargo transport units may not be accepted on-board passenger ships.
The Emergency Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods (EmS) and the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG) in the Supplement of the IMDG Code give further useful advice, but it should be borne in mind that the former may not be appropriate for use on land; emergency response handbooks, giving emergency response information cross-referenced to the substance United Nations identification number (UN number) are usually available at the national level.