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It lays down common rules for the safe and secure transport of dangerous goods within and between EU countries by road, rail or inland waterway. It also covers aspects such as loading and unloading, the transfer to and from another mode of transport, as well as the stops in the course of the transport process. It extends the application of international rules to national transport of dangerous goods.
The directive does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods:
by vehicles, wagons or vessels belonging to or under the responsibility of the armed forces;
by ferries only crossing an inland waterway or harbour;
wholly performed within the perimeter of an enclosed area.
For reasons other than safety during transport (e.g. environmental protection or national security), EU countries are entitled to regulate or exclude the transport of dangerous goods within their own territory. They may also set down specific safety requirements for the national and international transport of dangerous goods within their own territory with regard to:
the transport of dangerous goods by vehicles, wagons or inland waterway vessels not covered by this directive;
the use of prescribed routes, where justified, including the use of prescribed modes of transport;
special rules for the transport of dangerous goods in passenger trains.
The ADR, RID and ADN have drawn up a list of dangerous goods, indicating whether their transport is prohibited or not and defining the requirements for their transport if it is authorised. EU countries may request temporary derogations under certain conditions.
WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
From 20 October 2008.
* ADR: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road, concluded at Geneva on 30 September 1957.
* ADN: the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways concluded at Geneva on 26 May 2000.
* RID: the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail, appearing as Appendix C to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) concluded at Vilnius on 3 June 1999.