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About the Manual of Tests and Criteria

UN Manual of Tests and Criteria

Introduction

 

The Manual of Tests and Criteria contains criteria, test methods and procedures to be used for classification of dangerous goods according to the provisions of Parts 2 and 3 of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, as well as of chemicals presenting physical hazards according to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). As a consequence, it supplements also national or international regulations which are derived from the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods or the GHS.

Originally developed by the Economic and Social Council’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which adopted a first version in 1984, it has been regularly updated and amended every two years. Presently, the updating is done under the auspices of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, which replaces the original committee since 2001.

The classification procedures, test methods and criteria contained in the Manual of Tests and Criteria are divided into three parts, as follows:

 

Part I:

those relating to assignment of explosives to Class 1;

 

Part II:

those relating to assignment of self-reactive substances to Division 4.1 and of organic peroxides to Division 5.2;

 

Part III:

those relating to assignment of substances or articles to Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Division 5.1, Class 8 or Class 9.

In December 2004, the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals decided to add a new part IV relating to test methods concerning transport equipment.

 

The sixth revised edition

 

This sixth revised edition includes all the amendments to the fifth revised edition adopted by the Committee at its fifth and sixth sessions in 2010 and 2012 (published under the symbols ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.5/Amend.1 and ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.5/Amend.2) and those adopted at its seventh session in 2014 (ST/SG/AC.10/42/Add.2).

The new amendments adopted in 2014 address in particular:

  • A new test to measure the sensitiveness of the substance to drop-mass impact and to determine if the substance is too dangerous to transport in the form tested (Section 13, Test 3 (a) (vii): Modified Bureau of Mines impact machine test);
  • Updated procedures for the classification of lithium metal and lithium ion cells and batteries (sub-section 38.3);
  • A new test procedure for the classification of substances of Class 9 which may evolve flammable vapours (sub-section 38.4);
  • A new Part V containing schemes for the classification of desensitized explosives for supply and use (including storage) according to the GHS;
  • A new test for the classification of cartridges, small arms (UN No. 0012) (Appendix 9); and
  • Updating of miscellaneous existing provisions.