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Look both ways
ROAD/RAIL Caught between the UN experts on the one hand and the modal plenary bodies on the other, the joint meeting of RID/ADR/ADN experts has to consider both the broader and more specific impact of its decisions. Its latest session advocated some late changes to the rules due to appear next year
The first of the 2012 joint meetings of the RID Committee of Experts and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (WP 15) took place in Bern this past March 19 to 23. The joint meeting is responsible for discussing potential amendments to the RID, ADR and ADN regulations and their decisions are subsequently passed on to the relevant plenary sessions for final approval.
On this occasion, most of the amendments proposed will enter into force on January 1, 2013, although a number have been held over until the next version of the regulatory texts in 2015.
The meeting was chaired by Claude Pfauvadel (France) with Helmut Rein (Germany) as vice-chairman. It was attended by representatives from 24 countries as full members, an observer from South Africa and consultants from the European Union (EU) and 13 non-governmental organisations.
Official submissions from the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) were passed to the Standards Working Group, chaired by Karol Wieser (CEN), for consideration.
The document from OTIF dealt with matters discussed by the RID Committee of experts at their meeting in Malmö (HCB April 2012, page 8). The joint meeting considered the suggestions sent forward by the Working Group and accepted the following changes.
1. In 22.214.171.124, paragraph (7)(b) of P200 should read:
LPG to be filled in cylinders shall be of high quality; this is deemed to be fulfilled if the LPG to be filled is in compliance with the limitations on corrosiveness as specified in ISO 9162:1989.
2. In the table in paragraph (11) of P200, the square brackets around standard EN ISO 11372:2011 are deleted.
3. In paragraph (12) of P200, 2.5 is amended to read:
the limitations on corrosiveness as specified in ISO 9162:1989.
4. There are numerous alterations in 126.96.36.199:
(a) in the amendments for standards EN 1975:1999+A1:2003, EN 12245:2002 and EN 13769:2003+A1:2005, "Before 1 January 2015" is replaced by "Until 31 December 2014";
(b) in the amendment concerning the introduction of standard EN ISO 9809-1:2010, "(ISO/DIS 9809-1:2008)" is replaced by "(ISO 9809-1:2010)”;
(c) in the amendment concerning the introduction of standard EN ISO 9809-2:2010, "(ISO/DIS 9809-2:2008)" is replaced by "(ISO 9809-2:2010)”;
(d) in the amendment concerning the introduction of standard EN ISO 9809-3:2010, "(ISO/DIS 9809-3:2008)" is replaced by "(ISO 9809-3:2010)";
(e) the amendment concerning the introduction of standard EN ISO 7866:2011 is put in square brackets;
(f) in the amendment concerning the introduction of standard EN 14638-3:2010, "EN 14638-3:2010" is replaced by "EN 14638-3:2010/AC”; and
(g) in column (3) of the new standards EN ISO 14245:2010 and EN ISO 15995:2010, “188.8.131.52 and” is inserted before “184.108.40.206”.
5. In the Table in 220.127.116.11, under ‘for design and construction’, in column (4), “Before 1 July 2003” replaces “Until 30 June 2003” once; “Before 1 July 2005” replaces “Until 30 June 2005” once; and “Before 1 July 2007” replaces “Until 30 June 2007” five times.
6. A new entry is inserted in the Table in 18.104.22.168 after the row for standard EN 13110:2002 (see Figure 1).
7. In 22.214.171.124, the square brackets around standard EN 1440:2008+A1:2012 are removed.
8. The text in the Table in 126.96.36.199 for standard EN 14189:2003 is amended to read “Until 31 December 2014”.
9. A new entry is inserted in the Table in 188.8.131.52 after the row for standard EN 14189:2003 (see Figure 2).
10. In 184.108.40.206.1 of ADR, “1.2.1, 6.8.1” is deleted from column (1) against the new standard EN 12493:2008+A1:2012 and for the existing standard EN 12493:2008.
11. The title of column (4) in the Table in 220.127.116.11.2 is amended to read “Applicable”.
12. In footnote 2 to 18.104.22.168.1(a) in ADR, “EN 50015” is deleted.
Figure 1: New entry in the Table in 22.214.171.124
|EN 13110: except clause 9||Transportable refillable welded aluminium cylinders for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – Design and construction||126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52||Until further notice|
Figure 2: New entry in the Table in 184.108.40.206
|Reference||Title of document||applicable|
|EN ISO 22434:2012||Transportable gas cylinders – Inspection and maintenance of cylinder valves (ISO 22434:2006)||Mandatorily from 1 January 2015|
In an official submission, the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) drew attention to its intention to replace four standards referenced in 6.2.2 by newer versions. This matter had been discussed at the 40th session of the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the transport of dangerous goods (HCB Jun 2012, page 10) when it was agreed that it was desirable to harmonise for all modes of transport, internationally, the transitional periods for the application of these new ISO standards for the construction of UN receptacles. The joint meeting left it to the UN body to make the final decision on this matter.
Germany expressed concern at the assignment of fire extinguishers to UN 1044. It seemed that this covered a range of equipment, from simple portable fire extinguishers to sets of cylinders designed to supply complex fixed systems. In an informal document, Germany presented ways of clarifying the situation.
It was decided that the matter should be referred to the UN Sub-committee, asking for clarification as to what sorts of fire extinguishers are covered by UN 1044. Subsequently a decision may be made as to whether European regulations are applicable. Should it prove necessary, the matter could also be discussed by the informal working group on the periodicity of the testing of cylinders.
Both the UK and Sweden submitted informal documents seeking more clarity in determining the nature of radioactive material that could be exempted from the regulations. The UK believed this could be done by amending the notes in 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. Sweden and some other delegates disagreed and maintained that the opinion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should be sought.
In the end, there was majority support for the UK proposal and, in the aforementioned notes, “see also 22.214.171.124” will replace “see 126.96.36.199”.
Belgium referred to the provisions in 188.8.131.52 concerning the loading of dangerous substances. Terminal operators are unclear how these should be interpreted in the light of their safety obligations, since the provisions are being interpreted differently in various member states/contracting parties.
Belgium believed the scope and implementation of 184.108.40.206 when imposing physical and administrative inspections in container terminals (both deep-water and intermodal) should be clarified. The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) agreed that problems exist and supplied a proposal to amend 220.127.116.11. However, after discussion, no action was thought necessary.
Packing Instruction P200
The European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) referred to discussions that had taken place at the September 2009 joint meeting (HCB February 2010, page 4) concerning the setting up of an informal working group to discuss the test periods for Packing Instruction P200.
As requested, EIGA had consulted other interested industrial organisations and reached the conclusion that it would be helpful to create an informal working group to explore the options to increase the periodicities of cylinder testing for certain gases of Division 2.2. The principles involved would be:
(a) to restrict any increase in periodicity to certain gases of Division 2.2;
(b) to restrict any changes in the 15-year test regime to cylinders that comply with the technical requirements of ADR;
(c) applying a documented quality system to cylinder filling facilities;
(d) for oxidising and acidic gases (e.g. oxygen and carbon dioxide) so as to prevent internal corrosion, only to allow cylinders fitted with residual pressure valves to operate under a 15-year test regime; and
(e) to require that the cylinder and/or valve should undergo a positive pressure and a functionality check after each filling for all cylinders operating under a 15-year test inspection regime.
The joint meeting supported the organisation of an informal working group to study the possibility of extending the interval between periodic tests for industrial gas cylinders based on the aforementioned principles. The group should study failures observed in the current test system, make provision for quality assurance systems capable of being effectively implemented for all the companies concerned, and ensure that the tests would not incur excessive administrative charges for the competent authorities. The group was to meet in Bonn and be chaired by a German representative.
Switzerland contended that the new text of P200 due to enter into force in 2013 fails to take account of approval by the bodies effectively in charge of the approvals mentioned in 18.104.22.168.1. The joint meeting agreed this should be remedied and in paragraph (9) of P200 replaced “by the competent authority of the RID Contracting State/Contracting Party to ADR which has approved the technical code for the design and construction” by “by the competent authority or body designated by this authority which issued the type approval”.
In the Note at the end of paragraph (3)(d), “which approved the receptacles” is replaced by “or body designated by this authority which issued the type approval”.
A problem raised by the RID Committee of Experts about Special Provision 636(b) is being dealt with by the UN Sub-committee of Experts. Another point raised at the same meeting in Malmö related to the original objective of 1.8.5 in respect of incident reporting. The joint experts said that reports should only be transmitted if they could address regulatory gaps or improve the regulations. However, it was acknowledged that for risk and statistical analyses it could be useful to systematically collect all accident reports and France was ready to prepare a proposal to that effect after consultation with the Secretariat.
The Secretariat drew attention to corrections that had been made to the 17th revised edition of the UN model regulations. These should be reflected in the RID and ADR regulations. As a result, the following changes were made:
(a) in Special Provision 207, “plastics” is inserted before “moulding compounds”;
(b) in 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199, “6.3.5” replaces “6.3.2”;
(c) in 188.8.131.52.7(a), “as indicated by the distinguishing signs of motor vehicles in international traffic” is inserted after “and test”; and
(d) in 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11(a), “18.104.22.168” is inserted after “22.214.171.124”.
The OTIF Secretariat had noticed that the expiry period quoted in 126.96.36.199 was no longer valid and that therefore this sub-section should be deleted. The joint meeting agreed.
Uncleaned packaging waste
A subject that had been discussed at a number of previous occasions (HCB April 2012, page 4) was the carriage of uncleaned packaging waste. Commercial and industrial waste treatment is becoming more important, the European waste management sector being involved on a daily basis in disposing of significant quantities of wastes comprising damaged or non-reusable packagings. Such wastes cannot be regarded as “empty uncleaned packagings” and exempted by virtue of 188.8.131.52.
As a result, France submitted three alternative options for the experts’ consideration in the hope of resolving the problem satisfactorily. This had drawn informal documents from Belgium, Switzerland and, jointly, from several associations representing packaging manufacturers and reconditioners. It was apparent that differences of opinion exist as to how best to deal with the issue. This led to the decision to convene an informal working group to meet in Brussels in April under the chairmanship of a French representative. The following principles should be adopted.
1. The definition and specific provisions for “empty uncleaned packaging waste” being transported with residues of dangerous goods shall not restrict the ability to apply 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11.3, 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 in their respective contexts.
2. The specific provisions shall not be applicable to the most dangerous goods as listed in the proposal from France.
3. Packagings having contained goods of classes 3, 4.1, 8 and 9 may be subject to simplified provisions and may be transported in mixed loads.
4. For packagings having contained goods of Divisions 5.1 and 6.1 (including subsidiary risks), provisions that do not cover the totality of the regulations may be more stringent than for the cases mentioned in 3, concerning their packing, carriage in bulk, segregation and hazard communication.
5. The working group shall check the possibility of including the specific provisions in the general framework of the regulations and, if necessary, shall define suitable UN entries to cover the cases mentioned in 3 and 4, with relevant texts. However, in the event that the UN Sub-committee of Experts cannot adopt a suitable text before the end of the current biennium the working group shall provide alternative identification numbers, to be included in RID/ADR/ADN only, with relevant text.
Point 5 makes it obvious that the UN Sub-committee has a role to play and the informal working group was to submit proposals to that body’s June 2012 meeting.
The OTIF Secretariat had noticed that in harmonising the RID/ADR/ADN regulations with the UN model regulations, there had been some omissions. These were recognised by the joint meeting and two changes made:
(a) at the beginning of 126.96.36.199, “and overpacks” is added after “Packages”; and
(b) in 188.8.131.52(a)(ii), “as requested for packages in 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11” is inserted after “marked with the UN number preceded by the letters ‘UN’” .
Liquefied petroleum gas
Switzerland proposed changes to the definitions for liquefied petroleum gas that had been adopted at the autumn 2010 session (HCB March 2011, page 7). After studying the issue, the joint meeting decided that it was only the German text that required amendment.
Damaged lithium batteries
These days few meetings on the transport of dangerous goods take place without some mention of lithium batteries and cells. On this occasion it was Germany that renewed its appeal for the insertion of provisions describing how to treat damaged lithium batteries. Currently no regulations exist and carriers are dependent on individual authorisations. It was appreciated that the UN Sub-committee of Experts is also discussing this issue (HCB June 2012, page 9) but it was felt that the matter is sufficiently urgent to warrant the joint experts taking immediate action. As a result the Special Provision presented by the German expert was adopted:
661 Carriage of damaged lithium batteries if not collected and presented for carriage for disposal according to special provision 636 is permitted only under additional conditions defined by the competent authority of any RID Contracting State/Contracting Party to ADR who may also recognise an approval granted by the competent authority of a country which is not an RID Contracting State/a Contracting Party to ADR, provided that this approval has been granted in accordance with the procedures applicable according to RID and ADR.
Only packing methods which are approved for these goods by the competent authority may be used.
(RID:) The competent authority may define a more restrictive transport category code, which shall be included in the competent authority approval.
(ADR:) The competent authority may define a more restrictive transport category or tunnel restriction code, which shall be included in the competent authority approval.
A copy of the competent authority approval shall accompany each consignment or the transport document shall include a reference to the competent authority approval.
The competent authority of the RID Contracting State/Contracting Party to ADR granting an approval in accordance with this special provision shall notify the secretariat of OTIF/the UNECE for the purpose of circulation of this information through its website.
NOTE: Any recommendations made by the United Nations for technical requirements for the carriage of damaged lithium batteries shall be considered when granting the approval.
Damaged lithium batteries means in particular:
– Batteries identified by the manufacturer as being defective for safety reasons;
– Batteries with damaged or considerably deformed cases;
– Leaking or venting batteries; or
– Batteries with faults that cannot be diagnosed prior to carriage to a place of analysis.
In the Dangerous Goods List, “661” is added in column (6) for UN Nos 3090, 3091, 3480 and 3481. These amendments are due to enter into force on January 1, 2013 but the joint meeting suggested that multilateral special agreements could be drawn up to allow early application. [An agreement under ADR, M252, is currently ‘reserved’ pending a text from Germany.]
The expert from Austria voiced a reservation on the grounds that states are being required to accept conditions imposed by the country of origin and that country is required to take account of hitherto unknown recommendations that might be made by the UN.
The second part of this two-part report in next month’s Bulletin will cover discussions relating to overpacks, explosives, carriage in bulk, definitions, telematics and the deliberations of the Working Group on Tanks.
SUMMARY Devil in the detail
Even at this late stage, the joint experts made amendments to the new versions of the RID, ADR and ADN regulations due to enter into force on January 1, 2013. Some of them entailed references to the introduction of new standards but in the section on definitions the difference between the inner receptacle of a composite packaging and the inner packaging of a combination packaging is dealt with in detail. HJK