Transport Requirements

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Transport Legislation in Australia

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State enforced regulations cover the transport of dangerous goods which call up the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code) with only minor variations. IATA accreditation applies to the transport by air and specific State regulation applies to explosives (including flares, ammunition etc). The codes are generally consistent with international practice. The ADG Code is based on the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (the Orange Book) which therefore provides directions for changes in the Code.

The regulations address procedures for managing and packaging chemicals as well as a system diamond-shaped placarding and labels and other information-based actions designed to encourage appropriate response by other persons.

This part of the Guide comprises of references to the ADG Code which, on the theme of this Guide, should always be regarded as minimum requirements. On this premise, but on discretion, the scope could be extended from only covering dangerous goods, to include also other hazardous substances. Obviously, such extension will depend on the substance, its packaging, the amount and other circumstantial factors.


Dangerous goods which are transported by land are subjected to the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code currently fifth edition). The Code forms the basis for State and Territory legislation with mandatory and advisory requirements.

The Code addresses containers and vehicles involved with the movement of dangerous goods, but only if;
bullet Dangerous goods are moved outside of the premises; and
bulletTransported beyond the boundaries of the place where they are packaged.
The Code details;
bulletForms and markings of packages, vehicles and transport containers;
bulletPackaging methods and requirements;
bulletInformation, (marking, labelling, Emergency Procedure Guides, shipping documents etc.);
bulletProcedures for segregation, compatibility and safe stowage;
bulletCriteria for compliance, methods and testing; and
bulletDefinitions for the classification of substances (to dangerous goods classes and packaging groups).
So that for any dangerous goods;
bulletCorrect transport container is used;
bulletCorrectly stowed;
bulletDocumentation of load is carried on vehicle (to enable verification of load in emergency);
bulletVehicle is appropriately marked (to enable correct response);
bulletIncompatible goods are appropriately segregated;
bulletFor emergency; - equipment is provided (loading and unloading sites and vehicle); and - procedures are known and documented.
bulletWorkplace legislation addresses hazardous substances (which includes some dangerous goods) in the workplace, and storage regulations (24), which cover stored dangerous goods and other specified goods.
bulletGoods of classes 1 (explosives), 6.2 (infectious substances) and 7 (radioactive substances) are covered by separate and specific State laws.
bulletA list of environmentally hazardous substances are under development in the USA and Europe. Harmonised criteria are anticipated to be developed by year 2000 which can then be incorporated into the ADG code. These are provided for by UN 3077 and UN 3082. Imported into Australia, these are regarded as Class 9 dangerous goods and moved according to the ADG Code.
bulletEmpty containers which have held dangerous goods, unless free of dangerous goods (ie. residues), are to be regarded as if containing dangerous goods. Therefore, such containers, together with the vehicle are subject to the same restrictions as if containing dangerous goods and in the quantities as if filled to their normal capacity (ADG Code
bulletThere are Special Provisions of the United Nations Recommendations that provide for variations to the ADG Code (see also 28.4).
bulletFor example Special Provision 242 applies to sulfur not being a dangerous good if transported in quantities of less than 400kg per package or when transformed to a specific shape (eg. prills, granules, pellets, pastilles or flakes.
bulletThe Victorian HSO (tel 03 9628 8111): The Dangerous Goods Brochure Series which describes the regulations in simple terms.
bulletThe Victorian EPA (tel 03 9628 5622) Dangerous Goods Requirements for the Transport of Prescribed Waste which is relevant to waste producers and transporters.


There are certain activities which are exempt from the Code.

By or on behalf of the emergency services to protect the safety of persons or property in an emergency.

Providing that spillage is prevented by using packaging sufficiently strong and closed (with gas cylinders subject to AS2030) and these are stowed, protected and restrained against movement (ADG Code 7.3; refer (35.2)), being;

bulletEmergency purposes;
bulletfor use in carrying out a trade or profession, and the amount of goods carried does not exceed the equivalent of 25 per cent of the net aggregate quantity of Table 2 (32.1) (ie. 25 per cent of that amount at which the vehicle would have been required to be marked); or
bullet purchased by the person and not for resale or use with any business, and the amount of goods carried does not exceed the equivalent of 25 per cent of the net aggregate quantity of Table 2 (32.1) (ie. 25 per cent of that amount at which the vehicle would have been required to be marked).


Without prior approval in writing from the Competent Authority, certain dangerous goods are prohibited to be transported if listed in;
bulletADG Code 9.6 (Too Dangerous to be Transported); or
bulletADG Code 9.4, column 9, with the expression `TRANSPORT PROHIBITED'.


The following goods are subject to specific controls;
bulletListed in ADG Code 9.4 with the expression `SHALL NOT BE TRANSPORTED IN BULK' are not be transported in bulk; or
bulletListed in ADG Code 9.4 with qualifications in column 2 with respect to composition (mixed, stabilised, wetted etc.), which impacts on the hazard of the substance.

Special Provisions

Certain goods are subject to additional requirements identified in ADG Code Table 9.1 (Special Provisions). The identification is by a reference (SP with a number) in column 9 of ADG Code Section 9.4.


The ADG Code identifies general responsibilities (29.1) and certain additional responsibilities (29.2) depending on the quantities and container types.

General - all quantities and packagings.

Responsibilities regardless of the quantity of dangerous goods (ADG Code 8.2.6). Additional requirements may apply for the transport of certain containers (29.2.2) or in excess of a specified amount (29.2).

The general requirements (ADG Code 8.2.10) for all persons or organisations involved in classification, pacakging, labelling, consigning, loading, transporting or importing of dangerous goods to have in place written procedures.

The written procedures;
bulletto ensure ensure compliance with the Code;
bulletto be of scope and complexity appropriate to the extent of involvement of transport of dangerous goods; and
bulletwritten evidence of existence may be requested by the Competent Authority.
The specific requirements include for those who;
bullet Offer or consign dangerous goods for transport, to;
bullettake all practicable steps to ensure the packaging and the marking of packages comply with the ADG Code; and
bulletensure the transport document(s) (ie. shipping documents and, if required, the Emergency Procedure Guide - see 34.1.2) are provided to the driver and available to persons of authority on request (including police and State authorities).
bullet Load, or cause to load packages, must not permit leaking or impaired packages to be loaded;
bullet Transport, load or unload dangerous goods in packages, from vehicles or freight containers, must;
bulletprovide protection (including from the weather) for the goods in the vehicle (ADG Code;
bulletensure segregation of incompatible goods (ADG Code 7.2);
bulletensure safe stowage (ADG Code 7.3); and
bulletcomply with the special (and important!) requirements for the particular dangerous goods classes and types of dangerous goods (detailed in ADG Code 7.4).
bullet Unloading (ADG Code may not be undertaken by the driver unless;
bulletthe consignee or representative is present; or
bulletby prior arrangement with the consignee or prime contractor, unloads into a secure place.
bullet Classify, pack, label, consign, load, transport or import dangerous goods are required to establish written procedures to ensure compliance with the ADG Code appropriate to the extent of involvement with dangerous goods (ADG Code 8.2.10, Quality Assurance); bullet Carriers involved in the transport of dangerous goods to obtain accreditation based on the Requirements and Procedures for Carrier Accreditation published by ACDG Competent Authorities Sub-committee effective 1 January 1993 (ADG Code 8.3.2).

Accidents - all quantities

In the event of an accident such as a fire, spill, explosion or leakage involving dangerous goods in any form or quantity, as a minimum requirement (ADG Code 8.2.8 and see also for major quantities), the driver;
bullet Minimise the accident including;
bulletprevent other vehicles and ignition source coming within 8 m of the vehicle if there is any escape of dangerous goods presenting a flammability hazard;
bulletprevent or minimise the escape of dangerous goods into drains, sewers or natural watercourses.
bullet Warn or cause to warn any persons in the vicinity; bullet Report or cause to report the event to;
bulletfire brigade, police and/or other authority (subject to local statutory requirements or as necessary); and
bulletprime contractor as soon as reasonably practicable.
Note. If the vehicle carried foodstuffs, other products for human or animal consumption, or foodstuffs empties, these may be consigned on for their purpose only with the approval of the Competent Authority (ADG Code

Additional - Quantity Dependent

There are additional responsibilities for those involved with dangerous goods (in freight containers, bulk containers, and vehicles) in quantities which would require the marking of the vehicle (32.1); (ie. transporting goods with an aggregate net quantities detailed in Table 3, 32.1 - and generally required to be licensed).
* These additional responsibilities are over and above those applicable to the movement of dangerous goods in all quantities (ie. regardless of whether the vehicles and the transport containers have to be marked by containing goods over specified amounts).

* State regulations may require the consignor to ensure the customer's premises are licensed, though sometimes only for deliveries in bulk.

The following responsibilities and procedures are identified in the ADG Code for the transport of dangerous goods in such quantities as to require the marking of the vehicle - some of these depend on whether the goods are in packages or in bulk.

Responsibilities - all Containers.

Additional responsibilities to the general requirements of 29.1 apply regardless of containers;
bulletThe consignor of the goods for transport, is required to take practicable steps to ensure compliance with ADG Code (vehicle, containers, drivers procedures, marking etc);
bulletThe driver and owner of the vehicle is required ensure the vehicle complies with the terms of the license (including vehicle loads);
bullet Vehicle loads must not exceed local regulations and the terms of the license; and if a bulk container, not overfilled to exceed the relevant regulations (including ullage);
bulletThe driver and persons, who causes or permits the loading of dangerous goods onto a vehicle, are required to ensure that the vehicle is marked according to ADG Code 3.4 (33.1) with those markings fully exposed and firmly affixed;
bulletThe owner of the road vehicle is required to ensure;
bulletVehicles and equipment are safe, roadworthy, clean and safe. The load area, and load securing devices must be in good condition, (ADG Code 7.3); and
bulletBulk container fittings are maintained and tested.
bullet The driver and the prime contractor are responsible for all aspects of correct stowage; bullet The person supervising their loading is responsible for their segregation and compatibility (35.1; ADG Code 7.2); bullet The owner, driver and prime contractor is required to ensure;
bullet no inappropriate or misleading markings are used; and
bulletif the vehicle is free of dangerous goods, (including empty containers free of dangerous goods), the markings must be removed or concealed from view.
bullet No passengers are to be carried unless they are employees of the owner, authorised by the prime contractor, or under direction of the police or the Competent Authority; bullet If the vehicle carries dangerous goods of classes or of Sub-Risks, 2.1, 3, 4 or 5, the driver is required to take practical steps to ensure there is no smoking, lighting or the carrying of matches or other sources of fire, and ensure the compliance by other persons; bullet The driver must observe railway crossing procedures (ADG Code; and bullet Transit routes (and locations for parking) should as far as practical, not pass through heavily populated, environmentally, dangerous thoroughfares (eg. dangerous crossings, tunnels, alleys etc), or concentrations of people (ADG Code
bulletThe Competent Authority may define routes and areas.
bulletRoutes (and parking) should be preplanned as possible.

Documentation, License and Legal Documentation

bulletA license is the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle; (to demonstrate road worthiness and suitability to carry specified dangerous goods);
bulletAn insurance policy, current and adequate to cover incidents involving the movement of dangerous goods, is the responsibility of the owner (ADG Code 8.3.6);
The prime contractor is required to ensure that the owner holds such an insurance policy (or an exemption issued by the Competent Authority);
bullet Emergency Procedure Guides (EPG) (34.1.2) are the responsibility of the driver and who is to ensure that;
bulletit is carried in the appropriate holder in the cabin;
bulletonly those EPGs appropriate to the goods are carried (including in anticipation during the journey) and held in the holder (in addition to the always present Vehicle Fire EPG); and
bulletthey are available to authorities, and, in an emergency, to any person with apblank responsibility.

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment must be provided by the owner of the vehicle and confirmed by the prime contractor. The equipment should consist of;
bullet Protective clothing and equipment as indicated ADG Code Table 8.1. Refers to the need and specifies types of eye wash kits, respirators and types, faceshield, gloves, overalls, boots and torch depending on the class of dangerous goods involved;
bullet Fire extinguisher(s) for;
bullet. packages - dry chemical complying with AS1846 with a rating, according to AS1850, of at least 30B;
bullet. bulk goods - type and number as specified by AS2809.1; and
bullet. all containers, to be accessible, attached and tested according to AS1851 Part 1.
bullet Three or more double sided reflector signals complying with ASE38. Instruction and Training

The owner of the vehicle and the prime contractor, are required to provide adequate instruction and training to the driver (ADG Code 8.3.14). The training should address the;
bullet Hazardous properties of the dangerous goods being transported;
bullet Duties to comply with the ADG Code;
bulletTheory and application of equipment for;
bulletemergency; and
bulletother relevant functions;
bullet Procedures to follow in an incident or emergency involving the vehicle and/or the dangerous goods. To include spill and fire procedures and contact details of emergency services in each area; and bullet Special routes and, if necessary, details of safe overnight parking of the vehicle. (This may include details of dangerous rail or road crossings, tunnels, areas of high traffic or high population density.) The vehicle is also a workplace and subject to the National Model Regulations with training requirements as detailed on 30.

Responsibilities - Certain Containers

The following details are additional responsibilities (in addition to 29.1 and 29.2.1) which depend on the types of containers.

Packaged Goods

The owner of the vehicle, is required to ensure that the vehicle is of suitable design and construction for the particular goods (as perhaps indicated by being licensed for that purpose).

The driver of vehicle with packaged dangerous goods aboard must not allow the vehicle to remain stationary;
bulletin a public place within a town or city; and,
bulletwithin 15 metres of protected works (buildings, ships etc), unless;
bulletloading or unloading dangerous goods;
bulletessential brief rest stops; or
bulletto comply with the law.
* The owner of the vehicle should as far as practical take measures to ensure the vehicle need not be parked within the above restraints if carrying dangerous goods.

* This section does not apply to the exclusive carriage of manufactured dangerous goods of PG III in packages (ie. the section excludes many solvent-based paints; ADG Code

Bulk Goods

The owner of any road vehicle, which will move bulk containers, must ensure that the vehicle has the approval of the Competent Authority and/or the relevant State Authorities. * Imported bulk containers must comply with IMDG regulations, and equipment and fittings must not leak or be defective.

* State regulations may require the consignor to ensure the premises are licensed if the goods are delivered in bulk..

Requirements include, the;
bullet Driver to be licensed and authorised by the Competent Authority, and to comply with ADG Code in terms of age, experience, understanding, training and health;
bullet Vehicle to be approved and licensed by the relevant authority;
bullet Prime contractor, and the person who offers or consigns dangerous goods in bulk, must provide a telephone service (for emergency contact) while the goods are aboard the vehicle;
The telephone service is to provide technical advice to the driver, and on request to the police or fire service, about the hazards, methods of control, containers, equipment and fittings and cleanup of spills, and to enable the provision of at least one person for assistance (ADG Code 8.3.13);
bullet Neutralising and absorption agents (42.5) must be (readily) available in the types and quantities appropriate to the types and quantities of dangerous goods carried on the vehicle; and
bulletIf any compartments contains different dangerous goods, the delivery valve of each compartment should be marked to indicate the contents.
Storage, Parking and Repairs
The driver of a vehicle carrying bulk who offers assistance to another vehicle also carrying bulk, is required to ensure that;
bulletif parked, the vehicle does not increase the risk of a traffic accident;
bulletwarning lights are carried as per ADG Code; and
bulletdistance between the vehicles to be not less than 50 metres, unless transferring dangerous goods between the vehicles.
The driver and prime contractor is required to ensure (ADG Code semi-trailer (with dangerous goods) is not detached from the prime mover except;
bulletapproved by the Competent Authority for storage of dangerous goods on the trailer;
bulletdesignated by local or State Authority for loading and unloading;
bullettransport depot designed for loading and unloading dangerous goods;
bulletfor immediate exchange of trailers between prime movers; or
bulletin an emergency in interest of safety providing;
bullet. semi-trailer to be supported;
bullet. secured to prevent movement; and
bullet. constantly attended.
The owner, prime contractor and the driver of a road vehicle carrying liquid or gaseous dangerous goods in bulk is required to ensure that the vehicle is not stored, parked or garaged in a building with more than one wall except for such time as reasonably necessary to carry out service or repair work to the chassis, cab or engine. The driver, owner and person in charge of carrying out the work should comply with relevant requirements specified by the Competent Authority and State laws. * The battery must be electrically isolated when the vehicle is unattended unless required to supply power to warning lights to prevent a traffic hazard, or if required by a State law.
Transferring Bulk Fluids
ADG Code 8.5 applies to the transfer of bulk fluids between road tank vehicle, rail tank vehicle or a bulk container.

Scope includes;
bulletChemical compatibility (ADG Code 8.5.3);
bullet Segregation and ullage (ADG Code 8.5.4);
bulletControl of ignition sources (ADG Code 8.5.5); and
bulletOther procedures and controls (ADG Code 8.5.6, 8.5.7 and 8.5.8).

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Chemlink Pty Ltd ACN 007 034 022. Publications 1997. All contents Copyright © 1997. All rights reserved. Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Products and companies referred to are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders. URL: