According to customer and freight typology, dangerous goods transportation (DGT) can be carried out by road, rail, waterway, sea or air. Regulations are applied to each means of transport. They limit the risk of accidents, that could affect people, goods and the environment.
Each product considered as dangerous is classified according to the hazards it may incur. Each dangerous product has a UN code made up of four numbers, printed in an orange box outlined in black. There are nine categories and sub-categories of dangerous goods, which encompass explosives, flammable gas and liquids, and any other toxic, infectious or radioactive agents.
Dangerous goods transportation by road is done in accordance with the rules set out by the European agreement related to the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods (ADR) - ratified by 49 countries.
Dangerous goods transportation by rail is governed by the regulation related to the “International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail”, known as the RID. It stems from the work and recommendations issued by the intergovernmental organisation dedicated to international rail transport (OTIF), and was ratified by 46 countries.
The ADN agreement (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways) governs the transport of dangerous goods through waterways. It was drawn up by governments from 18 countries and by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
International maritime transport is governed by an International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The rules pertaining to the carriage of dangerous goods stem from the articles drafted in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). These rules are stipulated in several international codes, including the IMDG (packaged produce) and IMSBC (bulk solids), amongst others.
The French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) drafted the rules governing the transportation of dangerous goods by air.
It should be noted that all these modes of transport are subjected to approval by the nuclear safety authority when it comes to transporting radioactive products.
For air transport: technical air safety instructions for dangerous goods as drafted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).