Last reviewed 16 December 2019

Caroline Raine highlights changes in the 21st Revised edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations.

Model Regulations: 21st Revised edition — Introduction

The model regulations are updated every two years and the changes are then fed into the transport regulations (ADR, RID, ADN, IMDG and IATA).

The United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, 21st Revised edition includes changes on:

  • electric storage systems (including lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units and defective batteries)

  • explosives

  • infectious waste of Category A

  • waste gas cartridges

  • harmonisation with the 2018 Edition of IAEA's Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material

  • listing of dangerous goods

  • update of LC50 values for some toxic gases and use of in vitro skin corrosion methods for classification.

The English version of the model regulations can be downloaded from the UNECE website.

Volume 1

Volume 2

A file showing the track changes is also available on the UNECE website (in English only).

Overview of the changes

New definitions

In Chapter 1.2 two new definitions have been introduced:

  • “Dose rate means the ambient dose equivalent or the directional dose equivalent, as appropriate, per unit time, measured at the point of interest.”

  • “Self-accelerating decomposition temperature (SADT) means the lowest temperature at which self-accelerating decomposition may occur in a substance in the packaging, IBC or portable tank as offered for transport. The SADT shall be determined in accordance with the test procedures given in Part II, Section 28 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria.”

New UN numbers

0511 DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC programmable for blasting

0512 DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC programmable for blasting

0513 DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC programmable for blasting

3549 MEDICAL WASTE, CATEGORY A, AFFECTING HUMANS, solid or MEDICAL WASTE, CATEGORY A, AFFECTING ANIMALS only, solid.

Significant changes to Special Provisions

  • SP 274 New paragraphs to be added to the end of the special provision:

    “For UN 3077 and UN 3082 only, the technical name may be a name shown in capital letters in column 2 of the Dangerous Goods List, provided that this name does not include “N.O.S.” and that special provision 274 is not assigned. The name which most appropriately describes the substance or mixture shall be used, eg:

    UN 3082, ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE, LIQUID, N.O.S. (PAINT)

    UN 3082, ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE, LIQUID, N.O.S. (PERFUMERY PRODUCTS)”.

  • SP 327 is to be amended slightly “Waste aerosols consigned” will be replaced by “Waste aerosols and waste gas cartridges consigned” and “transported under this entry for” by “transported under UN 1950 or UN 2037, as appropriate, for”.

    There is also a new sentence: “Waste gas cartridges, other than those leaking or severely deformed, shall be packed in accordance with packing instruction P003 and special packing provisions PP17 and PP96, or packing instruction LP200 and special packing provision L2.”.

    Also “aerosols shall be transported in salvage packagings” will be replaced by “aerosols and gas cartridges shall be transported in salvage pressure receptacles or salvage packagings”.

    In the last sentence, “Waste aerosols shall not” replaced by “Waste aerosols and waste gas cartridges shall not”. And at the very end: “Waste gas cartridges that were filled with gases of Division 2.2 and have been pierced are not subject to these Regulations” is to be added.

  • SP 360 will be changed to “Lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units, designed only to provide power external to the transport unit shall be assigned to entry UN 3536 LITHIUM BATTERIES INSTALLED IN CARGO TRANSPORT UNIT.”

  • SP 370 is to be amended to start with “This entry only applies to ammonium nitrate that meets one of the following criteria:” and the paragraph “This entry shall not be used for ammonium nitrate for which a proper shipping name already exists in the Dangerous Goods List of Chapter 3.2 including ammonium nitrate mixed with fuel oil (ANFO) or any of the commercial grades of ammonium nitrate.” is to be added.

  • SP 376 the Note is SP376 is to be changed to:

    “NOTE: In assessing a cell or battery as damaged or defective, an assessment or evaluation shall be performed based on safety criteria from the cell, battery or product manufacturer or by a technical expert with knowledge of the cell’s or battery’s safety features. An assessment or evaluation may include, but is not limited to, the following criteria:

    1. Acute hazard, such as gas, fire, or electrolyte leaking;

    2. The use or misuse of the cell or battery;

    3. Signs of physical damage, such as deformation to cell or battery casing, or colours on the casing;

    4. External and internal short circuit protection, such as voltage or isolation measures;

    5. The condition of the cell or battery safety features; or

    6. Damage to any internal safety components, such as the battery management system.”

  • SP 388 At the end of the seventh paragraph, the following sentence is to be added:

    “Lithium ion batteries or lithium metal batteries installed in a cargo transport unit and designed only to provide power external to the cargo transport unit shall be assigned to the entry UN 3536 LITHIUM BATTERIES INSTALLED IN CARGO TRANSPORT UNIT lithium ion batteries or lithium metal batteries.”

New Special Provisions

  • SP390 When a package contains a combination of lithium batteries contained in equipment and lithium batteries packed with equipment, the following requirements apply for the purposes of package marking and documentation:

    (a) the package shall be marked “UN 3091 Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment”, or “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment”, as appropriate. If a package contains both lithium ion batteries and lithium metal batteries packed with and contained in equipment, the package shall be marked as required for both battery types. However, button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards) need not be considered.

    (b) the transport document shall indicate “UN 3091 Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment” or “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment”, as appropriate. If a package contains both lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries packed with and contained in equipment, then the transport document shall indicate both “UN 3091 Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment” and “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment.”

  • SP393 The nitrocellulose shall meet the criteria of the Bergmann-Junk test or methyl violet paper test in the Manual of Tests and Criteria Appendix 10. Tests of type 3 (c) need not be applied.

  • SP394 The nitrocellulose shall meet the criteria of the Bergmann-Junk test or methyl violet paper test in the Manual of Tests and Criteria Appendix 10.

  • SP395 This entry shall only be used for solid medical waste of Category A transported for disposal.

New special packing provision

  • PP96 - For UN 2037 waste gas cartridges transported in accordance with special provision 327, the packagings shall be adequately ventilated to prevent the creation of dangerous atmospheres and the build-up of pressure.

  • PP97 - For fire extinguishing agents assigned to UN 3500 the maximum test period for periodic inspection shall be 10 years. They may be transported in tubes of a maximum water capacity of 450 l conforming to the applicable requirements of Chapter 6.2.

Packing instructions

There is a new packing instruction P622 - This instruction applies to waste of UN 3549 transported for disposal.

P801 is to be replaced with This instruction applies to UN Nos. 2794, 2795 and 3028.

P903 and LP200 are amended slightly.

Add there is a new packing instruction LP622 - This instruction applies to waste of UN 3549 transported for disposal.

Conclusions

Whilst this feature covers some of the changes in the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, 21st Revised edition Revision 8, it is not fully comprehensive. Nor is it yet in the legal regulations for the five modes of transport.

  • Continue to monitor the regulatory landscape for these changes to be implemented in future publications of the regulations, for example in ADR 2021 and 2023.

  • When transporting dangerous goods always use the most current version of the regulations for the rules to be followed.

  • If in doubt speak to your company Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA) or get in touch with Croner-i!