Safe transport of goods and materials

Transporting dangerous goods by road or rail


You must comply with a number of legal requirements when transporting dangerous goods by road or rail, such as legal obligations under the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006.

This legislation is designed to correspond with the current European legislation - the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) - so your obligations are broadly similar whether you are transporting dangerous goods in the UK or throughout the European Union.

Legal duties when transporting dangerous goods

Some of your key duties when transporting dangerous goods are:

  • Packaging must be suitable and adequate. It must stand up to the normal pressures of transport and repeated handling during loading and unloading. There will be specific packaging requirements depending on the classification of the goods.
  • The vehicle, container, tank or wagon you use must meet special requirements according to the classification of the goods.
  • All packaging must be labelled so that people handling the goods - including the emergency services in the case of an incident - can take appropriate precautions.
  • People carrying wastes - including hazardous wastes - need to register with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).
  • Proper procedures must be followed when goods are being loaded and unloaded.
  • Road vehicles must carry specified types of safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers.
  • You may need to appoint a qualified dangerous goods safety adviser.
  • All drivers must have suitable training, not just to drive their vehicle, but also on what to do if an accident occurs. Drivers of all vehicles need to hold an ADR training certificate.
  • If there is an incident or emergency, the driver must notify the emergency services and, in certain circumstances, Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), NIEA and the Department for Infrastructure.

Find information on carriage of dangerous goods vehicle testing.

There are, however, some exceptions to the rules - for example, if you're only carrying small quantities of certain types of dangerous goods by road.