Foreword to Rev. 16

UN Model Regulations

                         UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods - Model Regulations
                                                                   Foreword to the 16th revised edition

 The Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods are addressed to governments and to the international organizations concerned with safety in the transport of dangerous goods.

The first version, prepared by the United Nations Economic and Social Council's Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, was published in 1956 (ST/ECA/43-E/CN.2/170).

In response to developments in technology and the changing needs of users, they have been regularly amended and updated at succeeding sessions of the Committee of Experts pursuant to Resolution 645 G (XXIII) of 26 April 1957 of the Economic and Social Council and subsequent resolutions.

At its nineteenth session (2-10 December 1996), the Committee adopted a first version of the “Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods”, which were annexed to the tenth revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. This was done to facilitate the direct integration of the Model Regulations into all modal, national and international regulations and thereby enhance harmonization, facilitate regular up-dating of all legal instruments concerned, and result in overall considerable resource savings for the Governments of the Member States, the United Nations, the specialized agencies and other international organizations.

By resolution 1999/65 of 26 October 1999, the Economic and Social Council extended the mandate of the Committee to the global harmonization of the various systems of classification and labelling of chemicals which are applicable under various regulatory regimes, e.g.: transport; workplace safety; consumer protection; environment protection, etc.

The Committee was reconfigured and renamed “Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals”, supported with one sub-committee specialized in transport of dangerous goods and another one addressing the global harmonization of classification and labelling of chemicals.

At its fourth session (12 December 2008), the Committee adopted a set of amendments to the Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, concerning, inter alia, the inclusion of new provisions (e.g. transport of substances which are toxic by inhalation, requirements for metal hydride storage systems, provisions for fuel cell engines, use of open cryogenic receptacles ) or revision of existing provisions (e.g. transport of dangerous goods packed in limited quantities, classification criteria for environmentally hazardous substances, use of electronic data interchange transmission techniques and special provisions for fumigated cargo transport units ).

Close cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also continued and resulted in amended provisions concerning the transport of radioactive material.

This sixteenth revised edition of the Recommendations takes account of all amendments which were adopted in December 2008 and consolidated in documents ST/SG/AC.10/36/Add.1, -/Corr.1, -/Corr.2 and -/Corr.3.

At its fourth session, the Committee adopted also amendments to the “Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria” (ST/SG/AC.10/36/Add.2 and -/Corr.1 ), which will be reflected in the fifth revised edition of the Manual (ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.5), as well as amendments to the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals” (GHS) (ST/SG/AC.10/36/Add.3), which are reflected in the third revised edition of the GHS published as document ST/SG/AC.10/30/Rev.3.

This publication has been prepared by the secretariat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which provides secretariat services to the Economic and Social Council's Committee of Experts.