Last reviewed 15 May 2013

In this article, Desmond Waight explains the issues that may be faced when attempting to carry a load consisting of both “fully regulated packages” and limited quantity (LQ) packages on a vehicle involved in both road and sea crossings (eg Manchester to the Isle of Wight).


The term “fully regulated packages” is used to describe those packages that do not get any of the relaxations available in ADR and International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code chapters 3.4 (limited quantity (LQ) packages) and 3.5 (excepted quantity (EQ) packages). Fully regulated packages bear appropriate class danger labels, are marked with the UN number for ADR, and have the corresponding proper shipping name (PSN) for the sea leg of the journey. The packages may or may not be marked with the ADR Environmentally Hazardous Substances (EHS)/Marine Pollutant (MP) mark.


LQ by road

For the LQ packages under ADR, the carrier has to be advised by the consignor, in a traceable form, of the total gross mass of the LQ packages being consigned. According to ADR, this advice has to be provided “in advance of carriage” to the carrier (not the driver), although ADR does not specify how far in advance.

LQ by sea

For the sea leg of the journey it is necessary that the consignor provides a fully completed “transport of dangerous goods document” (often known as a Dangerous Goods Note, or DGN), giving the full dangerous goods description, supplemented by the words “limited quantity” or the annotation “LTD QTY”. It is normal for the carrier to have, at least, the appropriate details about the goods being consigned in advance of collection, in order to satisfy the ADR requirement.

Fully regulated goods by road and sea

A fully completed transport document is required.

The Dangerous Goods Note

DGNs, whether for LQ or fully regulated packages, must include any special IMDG code issues that may be over and above the ADR requirements for documentation. For example, if the goods have a flashpoint of 60ºC or less, minimum flashpoints needs to be provided or, if applicable, the appropriate IMDG code segregation group needs to be indicated.

If the LQ or the fully regulated packages are EHS/MP, then the DGNs must, at least, say “Marine Pollutant”, noting that, for sea, this requirement for the supplementary description applies to UN 3077 and UN 3082 as well.


In practice, it is recommended to always use the combined phrase “Marine Pollutant/Environmentally Hazardous Substances”, as this combined statement is always acceptable for road only or sea only, as well as for combined shipments.

Example mixed load

An operator is asked to take a mixed load consisting of:

  • UN1950 AEROSOLS, 2, (contains 3-ethyl-2-methyl-2-(3-methylbutyl)-1,3-oxazolidine), MARINE POLLUTANT/ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES, LIMITED QUANTITY — 3000 boxes, 20,000kg

  • UN1133 ADHESIVES, 3, PG III — 50 drums, 500 litres (flashpoint 39ºC)

  • UN3106 ORGANIC PEROXIDE TYPE D, SOLID (contains Dibenzoyl peroxide), 5.2 — 50 drums, 62kg

  • some non-dangerous goods.

A DGN suitable for sea is provided for each of them. The carrier will consolidate the load on the transport unit.

Road segregation

This proposed load consists of different classes of goods (Classes 2, 3 and 5.2). On the road journey, there is no requirement under ADR to separate them from each other on the lorry.

Sea segregation

When transporting by sea, the segregation rules under the IMDG code are far more restrictive than ADR.

Under the IMDG code, the Class 5.2 and Class 3 must be “separated from” each other and thus cannot be shipped on the same transport unit. Accordingly, either the UN3106 ORGANIC PEROXIDE or the UN1133 ADHESIVE will have to be removed from the load and shipped separately.

The rest of this article is based on the UN3106 being removed.

Transport unit placarding and marking

ADR requirements

For ADR, as the transport unit is carrying more than 8t of LQ packages and exceeds 12t maximum permitted mass, it should be marked for ADR at the front and rear with the enlarged LQ mark.

ADR would not require any vehicle placards or marks to indicate the presence of the 50 x 500 litre drums of UN1133 ADHESIVE, flammable, whether carried directly in the transport unit or in freight containers on the transport unit, as the load of fully regulated dangerous goods does not exceed the load size threshold of ADR, and therefore no orange plate is required, nor is a Class 3 placard on the freight containers required.

IMDG code requirements

Under the IMDG code, if only carrying the LQ packages directly in the transport unit then it would be required to display enlarged LQ marks on both sides and the rear of the transport unit. If carrying the load in freight containers on the transport unit, then the IMDG code would require enlarged LQ marks on both sides and both ends of the freight container.

However, due to the presence of the UN1133 ADHESIVE, flammable, the IMDG code requires, if carried directly in the transport unit, that the transport unit display a Class 3 placard to both sides and the rear, but if carried in freight containers that the freight containers display a Class 3 placard on both sides and both ends of the freight container.

Due to the way the IMDG code is worded, the current interpretation of the IMDG code 2012 in is that, due to the presence of the Class 3 placard, there shall be no enlarged LQ mark shown (despite the large amount of LQ in the load). However, because the LQ packages are Marine Pollutants, the IMDG code in still requires that the transport unit also displays the enlarged MP mark (both sides and rear if loaded directly in the transport unit, or both sides and both ends of the freight container).

However, since this is a combined road sea journey, the exemptions in ADR apply. This permits the carriage under the IMDG code provisions for placard marking of the transport unit freight containers, rather than “… placarding and orange plate marking of ADR … ”

Additionally, this has a consequential effect on the DGNs, which must therefore be additionally annotated with the statement “Carriage in accordance with”, to alert any inspecting authority as to why the IMDG provisions have taken precedence over the ADR provisions in this case.

The carrier must also complete a Cargo Transport Unit (CTU) packing certificate, either as a separate document or by completing the appropriate area on one of the two consignor-supplied DGNs.


As can be seen from the above example, care must be exercised to ensure that the requirements of both the IMDG code and ADR are complied with when sending a mixed load of LQ and fully regulated dangerous goods by a combined road and sea journey.