Inland transport of dangerous goods
Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods
It lays down common rules for the safe and secure transport of dangerous goods within and between EU countries by road, rail or inland waterway. It also covers aspects such as loading and unloading, the transfer to and from another mode of transport, as well as the stops in the course of the transport process. It extends the application of international rules to national transport of dangerous goods.
The directive does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods:
— by vehicles, wagons or vessels belonging to or under the responsibility of the armed forces;
— by seagoing vessels on maritime waterways forming part of inland waterways;
— by ferries only crossing an inland waterway or harbour;
— wholly performed within the perimeter of an enclosed area.
For reasons other than safety during transport (e.g. environmental protection or national security), EU countries are entitled to regulate or exclude the transport of dangerous goods within their own territory. They may also set down specific safety requirements for the national and international transport of dangerous goods within their own territory with regard to:
— the transport of dangerous goods by vehicles, wagons or inland waterway vessels not covered by this directive;
— the use of prescribed routes, where justified, including the use of prescribed modes of transport;
— special rules for the transport of dangerous goods in passenger trains.
The international transport of dangerous goods is regulated by the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)*, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN)* and the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID)*. These international rules must be extended to national transport in order to harmonise across the EU the conditions under which dangerous goods are transported and to ensure the proper functioning of the EU’s common transport market. The texts of these agreements are referred to in the Directive’s annexes.
The ADR, RID and ADN have drawn up a list of dangerous goods, indicating whether their transport is prohibited or not and defining the requirements for their transport if it is authorised. EU countries may request temporary derogations under certain conditions.
Application & Background
From 20 October 2008.
* ADR: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, concluded at Geneva on 30 September 1957.
* ADN: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways concluded at Geneva on 26 May 2000.
* RID: the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail, appearing as Appendix C to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) concluded at Vilnius on 3 June 1999.
Road Safety webpage
Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods
Entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
OJ L 260, 30.9.2008, pp. 13-59
Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/68/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference only.
Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road
Directive 95/50/EC — uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road
It introduces a uniform EU-wide system of random checks of vehicles transporting dangerous goods by road to ensure high levels of safety.
The directive applies to checks carried out by EU countries on the transport of dangerous goods by road in vehicles travelling in their territory or entering it from a non-EU country. It does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods under the responsibility of the armed forces.
These checks are carried out in the territory of an EU country, provided that they are not carried out as frontier checks at the internal frontiers of the EU, but as part of normal checks without discrimination.
The directive has 3 annexes:
Annex I — the checklist that needs to be completed during an inspection;
Annex II — a list and categorisation of infringements (for example, Category I includes transport of goods not authorised for transport, absence of a consignor’s declaration on the conformity of the goods and their packaging with transport legislation, inappropriate vehicle or packaging, etc.);
Annex III — model standard form for the report to be sent by the EU country to the European Commission concerning infringementsand penalties recorded nationally.
cover at least the items included in the checklist in Annex I;
be carried out at different places, at any time of the day; and
cover a sufficiently extensive portion of the road network to make checkpoints difficult to avoid.
EU countries’ authorities may immobilise consignments that do not comply. They may oblige them to be brought into conformity before continuing their journey or make them subject to other appropriate measures, depending on the circumstances or the safety requirements. This may include, where appropriate, refusal to allow such vehicles to enter the EU.
Checks may also be carried out at business premises.
EU countries must work together to implement this directive effectively (report infringements to the country in which the carrier is registered, share information, etc.).
Each EU country must send the Commission a report for each calendar year on the application of the directive, including the particulars listed in the directive, such as:
the estimated volume of dangerous goods transported by road (in tonnes transported or in tonnes/kilometres);
the number of checks carried out and the number of vehicles checked by place of registration (vehicles registered nationally, in other EU countries, or in non-EU countries);
the number and categories of infringements recorded;
the type and number of penalties imposed.
Every 3 years, the Commission must send the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of the directive by the EU countries.
Application & Background
It has applied since 17 October 1995 and had to become law in the EU countries by 1 January 1997.
For more information, see:
Dangerous goods (European Commission).
Council Directive 95/50/EC of 6 October 1995 on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road (OJ L 249, 17.10.1995, pp. 35-40)
Successive amendments to Directive 95/50/EC have been incorporated in the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application by the Member States of Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road (COM(2017) 112 final, 6.3.2017)
Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods (OJ L 260, 30.9.2008, pp. 13-59)
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