International Carriage of Dangerous Goods
With such a wide variety of goods being shipped for transportation these days and so many of them falling within scope of what are being increasingly defined as ‘dangerous’ products, it is essential for the intermodal operator to be aware of the risks that such carriage portends and the extent and complexities of the legislation that controls it, bearing in mind that ISO containers or intermodal swap bodies loaded with such goods may come into his jurisdiction – even unwittingly. It is, of course, widely recognized that transporting dangerous goods poses a variety of both safety and environmental risks, irrespective of the mode used; but unfortunately, transport by road exacerbates these risks quite considerably due, primarily, to the close proximity of other road vehicles, the general public and the built environment, especially in congested urban areas. Hence the need for a strict legislative regime to protect against such risks and to ensure compliance with relevant safety standards, emergency procedures, and training requirements for personnel engaged in handling, packing, and transporting these substances. The international legislative regime is in the form of international and European Agreements and European Union (EU) directives that are structured to cover most eventualities and to protect all parties. It is presented in a form common to and recognized by most countries, in addition to which many national governments have their own domestic legislative provisions, as with the UK, for example.