DEKRA highlights updates to European dangerous goods rules

ADR 2023 Soon Coming into Force

Nov 17, 2022

DEKRA’s dangerous goods experts have issued a reminder that an updated version of the Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) will be coming into force across Europe on January 1, 2023. This also means that a number of transition periods from previous versions of ADR will expire. Plus, there are amendments and additions relating to the transportation of lithium batteries. And for the first time, some electric vehicles can be approved for applications involving dangerous goods.

The dangerous goods transportation regulations are amended every two years to take technical advances into account. The next update is scheduled for January 1, 2023. As ever, the modifications will be accompanied by a six-month transition period until June 31, 2023, which should allow for alignment with the regulations for other modes of transportation. We provide a summary of some of the important changes below.
ADR 2023 will bring some previous transition periods to an end. ADR 2019, for instance, extended the requirement to appoint a dangerous goods safety adviser (DGSA) to companies who only act as consignors. This amendment was subject to a transition period running up to December 31, 2022, which will conclude when the new rules take effect.
The deletion of the transition provision in 1.1.46 removes a popular exemption for equipment and machinery containing dangerous goods internally. Until now, it has largely been possible to keep these out of consideration in road transportation. From January 1, 2023, these items will have to be assigned to one of twelve UN numbers if the quantities of dangerous goods contained exceed the LQ levels. This affects items such as pressure regulators and flow valves as well as machinery that contains dangerous materials or substances used for its operation.
Plus, the new ADR implements amendments relating to the transportation of lithium batteries. Examples include:
  • A test summary must be provided to demonstrate that the lithium batteries transported are a tested type in accordance with 38.3; this requirement does not apply to button cell batteries installed in equipment.
  • The form for the test summary will also be changing, with a signature not being required in the future and a telephone number no longer being mandatory in the marks for small lithium batteries. However, old-style marks can still be used until 2026.
  • The two packaging instructions for defective critical lithium batteries (P911 and LP906) have been revised.
  • Lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units (UN3536) will be assigned to transport category 2. Previously, no transport category had been assigned, which meant that the exemption for small quantities (“1,000 points rule”) was inapplicable. Now, up to 333 kilograms can be transported without an ADR training certificate.
DEKRA’s experts also emphasize that there are new provisions pertaining to vehicles. Until now, electric-powered models have only been permitted for breakbulk cargo. However, vehicles requiring a certificate of approval could only be approved with an internal combustion engine. As a first step, this will be changing for vehicles intended for the carriage of dangerous goods in tanks (“AT vehicles”). These are also permitted to be battery-electric from January 1, 2023. This allows for all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Work is currently underway to extend this further to FL and EX vehicles, although the inclination is to first wait for experience from the 2023 amendments. In addition, a solution still needs to be found for battery-electric vehicles with additional hydrogen storage and fuel cells.
With this in mind, businesses affected are best advised to promptly get to grips with the changes in order to ensure a smooth transition.