Further to the written ministerial statement given by my honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry), on 18 December 2014, the Department for Transport has continued to work with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and industry to resolve an issue with fuel tankers manufactured and incorrectly certified in South Africa. Following a detailed investigation these tankers were found not to be in full compliance with internationally agreed regulations (the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road – ‘ADR’).
Since the previous statement, around 60 new replacement tankers have entered into service, reducing the number that are not in full compliance to about 70 tankers, all built after the middle of 2010.
During this time the Department for Transport commissioned further research of around £0.5 million, the outcome of which, published today (30 November 2015) on the department’s website, found no reason to extend further the use of the 70 tankers, which are to be withdrawn by 31 December 2015 as planned.
The research has also shown that improvements could be made to the international regulations and the standards referred to therein to enhance the safety of fuel tankers in the event of a collision or rollover incident. The department is already developing proposals with other European countries, and working with HSE and the industry to prevent any similar issues of non-compliance.
In addition, the research, in going beyond the scope of the normal inspections required by legislation, found a fuel tanker properly certified in the UK to contain defects of a lesser significance than those in the tankers found not to be in full compliance with regulations. A full scale test of the tanker undertaken during the research found that the safety of the tanker was not compromised by these defects, which due to the research are being addressed by the manufacturer.