UN Model Regulations
UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods - Model Regulations
Nature, Purpose and Significance of the Recommendations
1. These Recommendations have been developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods in the light of technical progress, the advent of new substances and materials, the exigencies of modern transport systems and, above all, the requirement to ensure the safety of people, property and the environment. They are addressed to governments and international organizations concerned with the regulation of the transport of dangerous goods. They do not apply to the bulk transport of dangerous goods in sea-going or inland navigation bulk carriers or tank-vessels, which is subject to special international or national regulations.
2. The recommendations concerning the transport of dangerous goods are presented in the form of "Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods", which are presented as annex to this document. The Model Regulations aim at presenting a basic scheme of provisions that will allow uniform development of national and international regulations governing the various modes of transport; yet they remain flexible enough to accommodate any special requirements that might have to be met. It is expected that governments, intergovernmental organizations and other international organizations, when revising or developing regulations for which they are responsible, will conform to the principles laid down in these Model Regulations, thus contributing to worldwide harmonization in this field. Furthermore, the new structure, format and content should be followed to the greatest extent possible in order to create a more user-friendly approach, to facilitate the work of enforcement bodies and to reduce the administrative burden. Although only a recommendation, the Model Regulations have been drafted in the mandatory sense (i.e., the word "shall" is employed throughout the text rather than "should") in order to facilitate direct use of the Model Regulations as a basis for national and international transport regulations.
3. The scope of the Model Regulations should ensure their value for all who are directly or indirectly concerned with the transport of dangerous goods. Amongst other aspects, the Model Regulations cover principles of classification and definition of classes, listing of the principal dangerous goods, general packing requirements, testing procedures, marking, labelling or placarding, and transport documents. There are, in addition, special requirements related to particular classes of goods. With this system of classification, listing, packing, marking, labelling, placarding and documentation in general use, carriers, consignors and inspecting authorities will benefit from simplified transport, handling and control and from a reduction in time-consuming formalities. In general, their task will be facilitated and obstacles to the international transport of such goods reduced accordingly. At the same time, the advantages will become increasingly evident as trade in goods categorized as "dangerous" steadily grows.