Collection

Transporting dangerous goods

How to transport dangerous goods, including guidance notes, authorisation notices, exception notices and multilateral agreements.

Dangerous goods are assigned different classes ranging from 1 to 9.

These classes cover goods from the highly dangerous, such as explosives, flammables and fuming acids, to everyday products such as paints, solvents and pesticides.

You can receive updates relating to the carriage of dangerous goods from the Department for Transport (DfT) by joining our mailing list.

Transporting dangerous goods securely

Recommendations on the secure carriage of dangerous goods are contained in chapter 1.10 of both the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID).

The security provisions of ADR and RID apply in the UK through Regulation 5 of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (CDG) 2009. Regulations 7 and 8 contain additional security provisions that apply in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). DfT has published detailed guidance on the security requirements for the carriage of goods by road and rail.

DfT is responsible for the enforcement of the secure carriage of dangerous goods requirements (excluding class 7 radioactive materials).

DfT has an expert stakeholder group called the Industry Advisory Group to develop and monitor the implementation of these security requirements and any supporting guidance.

Dangerous goods security enquiries

Contact DfT if you have a question about government policy and regulations for the secure carriage of dangerous goods. You can:

Transporting dangerous goods safely

When transported, dangerous goods need to be packaged correctly to comply with international and national regulations for each transport mode, to ensure they are carried safely.

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) Dangerous Goods Office is responsible for the certification of dangerous goods packaging within the UK.

ADR/RID packaging and technical enquiries

Contact the VCA Dangerous Goods Office if you have a packaging or technical question about how requirements contained in ADR or RID may affect you. You can:

Safe carriage of dangerous goods enquiries

Contact DfT if you have a question about government policy and regulations for the safe carriage of dangerous goods. You can:

Enforcement of the safe carriage of dangerous goods

The enforcement for the safe carriage of dangerous goods is undertaken by several authorities (excluding Class 7 radioactive materials). The authority responsible for enforcing the regulations depends on the mode of transport:

Guidance notes

Dangerous goods are assigned classes ranging from 1 to 9.

Guidance on the carriage of radioactive material (class 7) is published by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR).

The Department for Transport provides guidance on all other classes, which supports the regulations for the carriage of dangerous goods.

Further guidance on the carriage of dangerous goods is available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A simple overview of how to ship, package and label dangerous goods is available on GOV.UK.

Authorisation notices

The Secretary of State for Transport for transport, can issue written authorisations that allow for deviations from ADR requirements and RID requirements. These authorisations carry conditions and time limits, and apply to carriage within Great Britain only.

The authorisations can be withdrawn by the competent authority at any time by means of a written notice.

Authorisation notices about transporting radioactive materials

Authorisations concerning the transport of radioactive materials are published by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Exception notices

Under the carriage regulations, the Department for Transport can issue exception notices, which make various provisions to the dangerous goods regulations.

Multilateral agreements (MA)

ADR and RID allow contracting parties to agree temporary exemptions between themselves.

If carrying dangerous goods in accordance with an MA, a copy of it must be carried on the vehicle.

Report an accident involving the carriage of dangerous goods

You can use our form to report an accident or incident involving the carriage of dangerous goods.

Published 11 May 2013
Last updated 16 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added the document 'The testing of PRVs fitted to LPG road tankers (Authorisation 948)' to the collection.

  2. Annual inspection waiver for tank vehicles added.

  3. Guidance on the transport of patient specimens suspected of containing Coronavirus (COVID-19) added to page.

  4. Tanks below the minimum thickness: Authorisation 839 added to collection.

  5. 'Transporting fireworks multilateral agreement M322' published.

  6. 'Approval of the early use of EN 12972:2018' exception notice.

  7. Transporting of solid medical or clinical waste, category A (ADR M317).

  8. Added Multilateral agreement M318: the carriage of class 2 gases in refillable pressure receptacles authorised by the United States of America Department of Transportation.

  9. Carriage of dangerous goods guidance note 16.

  10. Carriage of dangerous goods exception notice 34.

  11. Updated links to latest ADR and RID regulations.

  12. Carriage of dangerous goods exception notices 30 and 31 revised.

  13. Carriage of dangerous goods authorisation 476.

  14. Carriage of dangerous goods exception notice 33.

  15. Carriage of dangerous goods exception notice 32 added.

  16. Carriage of dangerous goods multilateral agreement ADR M299 added to page.

  17. Multilateral agreement ADR M291.

  18. Carriage of dangerous goods multilateral agreement ADR M296 added.

  19. List of authorisations to carry dangerous goods updated.

  20. First published.