Explanation to Measures for Safety Management of Dangerous Goods by Road Transportation (Draft for Public Comments)

Road transportation of dangerous goods has always been a major focus of dangerous goods relevant enterprises in China. As we know, IMDG is adopted as standard for maritime transportation of dangerous goods and IATA is adopted as standard for air transportation of dangerous goods in China. Meanwhile, Measures for Safety Management of Dangerous Goods by Road Transportation is adopted for the management of road transportation. 

In order to comply with the complicated situation, the “Measures for Safety Management of Dangerous Goods by Road Transportation” was updated recently. Currently, these Measures are still under public consultation. If enterprises have any opinions, they should give their feedbacks to corresponding departments as soon as possible.

The following five parts including exempted scope, excepted quantities(EQ) and limited quantities(LQ), dangerous goods consignment list, other obligations of the consignor as well as the punishments to the consignor for their illegal acts are mostly connected to industries. 

1. Exempted Scope 

Compared with former version, radio pharmaceutical for diagnosis use and some products for personal or domestic use are included in the latest exempted scope. For example, if products with personal or domestic use meet the following conditions, they can be exempted from dangerous goods transportation. 

--- Unofficial translated --- Personal or domestic used dangerous goods carried by individuals, with the retailing packages that can prevent contents from leakage in normal transportation conditions. These dangerous goods are classified as flammable liquids only and are contained in reusable containers with the capacity of each container and each transport unit no more than 60L and 240L, respectively. 

Comments: Flammable liquids for personal and domestic use don’t need to be transported as dangerous goods although those products belong to dangerous goods. It not only will reduce the transportation cost, but also can facilitate people’s daily lives.

 2. Limited Quantities (LQ) and Excepted Quantities (EQ)  

This part is the biggest highlight of the update this time. Although China formally implemented GB 28644.1 and GB 28644.2 at the end of 2012, aiming at the use of EQ and LQ during road transportation, however, many provinces still do not accept EQ and LQ in actual situation. Relevant articles concerning EQ and LQ are particularly added into the updating Measures.

--- Unofficial translated ---Enterprises having obtained safety production certificate of hazardous chemicals or public institutions for scientific research, education and military industry may transport their dangerous goods in the form of EQ or LQ. Where dangerous goods are transported in the form of EQ or LQ, the consignor shall provide the carrier with the packaging performance test report issued by professional test institutions or a written statement. The written statement shall meet either of following requirements: General Specifications for Transport Packages of Dangerous Goods (GB 12463), Excepted Quantities and Packing Requirements of Dangerous Goods (GB 28644.1)/Limited Quantities and Packing Requirements of Dangerous Goods (GB 28644.2) and Safety Code for Inspection of Packaging of Dangerous Goods Transported by Road (GB 19269). The driver shall carry on the test report or the written statement. 

Comments: Enterprises’ transportation cost can be effectively reduced after the implementation of EQ or LQ. By satisfying relevant preconditions, dangerous goods in the form of EQ or LQ can be treated as special normal goods during transportation. However, the updates this time only take into consideration of enterprises manufacturing dangerous goods. A great many enterprises operating dangerous goods are still not included in the scope. These enterprises shall submit their opinions to relevant departments as soon as possible.

3. Consignment List of Dangerous Goods 

Compared with previous Measures, more contents including the --- unofficial translated --- consignor, the consignee, the loading unit, transportation origin and destination of the dangerous goods, the carrier, the shipping name, code, class, packing group, package, specification and quantity of the dangerous goods as well as the 24-hour emergency contact number are added into the consignment list in the updating Measures. In addition, the safety information of the dangerous goods such as hazard characteristics, precaution, first aid, fire-fighting measures and accidental release measures shall also be enclosed. All these information shall be kept for at least one year. 

Comments: Compared with previous requirement, the consignor has to provide more information to meet the requirement of the consignment list of dangerous goods. In addition, the 24h emergency contact number is also an extra requirement for enterprises.

4. Other Obligations of the Consignor  

The previous Measures require that the consignor must finish all relevant procedures regulated by other laws and administrative regulations before the transportation of specific dangerous goods. The carrier shall check whether all the procedures are completed by the consignor before undertaking the transportation. However, the requirements of relevant laws and regulations are not clear to many consignors. Requirements for the consignor are clearly stated in this update.

--- Unofficial translated ---Where the consignor needs to transport highly toxic chemicals, he shall provide the carrier with road transport certificate for highly toxic chemicals issued by public security departments; Where the consignor needs to transport civil explosives, he shall provide the carrier with transport certificate for civil explosives issued by public security departments; Where the consignor needs to transport fireworks and crackers, he shall provide the carrier with the road transport certificate for fireworks and crackers issued by public security departments; Where the consignor needs to transport radioactive goods, he shall provide the carrier with the nuclear and radiation safety approval report for the transportation of radioactive products issued by National Nuclear Safety Administration; Where the consignor needs to transport hazardous goods, he shall provide the carrier with the hazardous wastes transfer list issued by environmental protection departments.

Comments: As requirements for the consignor are clearly recorded in the updating Measures, consignors shall finish all the relevant procedures before the consignment of their goods as soon as possible. Otherwise, their goods are not allowed for consignment.

5. Punishment to the Consignor for their Illegal Acts  

Any violation of the regulation will be punished according to different levels of illegal acts listed in the updating Measures. CIRS only lists some of the most common and severe illegal acts.

--- Unofficial translated ---In case enterprises manufacturing, operating, storing and using hazardous chemicals are in one of the following circumstances, the transport departments shall order the enterprise to make correction and impose a fine between RMB 100,000 and RMB 200,000 (15,000-30,000 US dollars); In serious cases, the safety manufacturing supervision and management departments can order the enterprise to suspend its business for internal correction or revoke its license; In case the circumstances constitute crimes, the enterprise will be held criminally responsible:

(1). Violation of paragraph 1 of article 7 of the Measures. The consignor entrusts any enterprises, units or even individuals without the qualification of road transportation of dangerous goods to undertake the transportation;

(2). Violation of article 9 of the Measures:

(i) Dangerous goods are transported along with common goods; or

(ii) The class of the dangerous goods is falsely provided to the carrier; or

(iii) Dangerous goods are claimed as common goods.

Comments: During the actual transport process, in order to save the cost of transportation of dangerous goods, some enterprises may transport dangerous goods along with common goods or entrust an enterprise without the qualification of dangerous goods transportation. However, after the Measures are updated, once enterprises are found with illegal activities mentioned above, huge fines will be imposed on the enterprises. Therefore, enterprises shall strictly comply with the requirements of relevant regulations to avoid unnecessary punishments.

“Measures for Safety Management of Dangerous Goods by Road” (Draft for Public Comments) was released after the explosion in Tianjin on Aug 12th, 2015 when governments enhanced the supervision and management on hazardous chemicals, especially on the transportation of hazardous chemicals. After the updates, not only requirements for consignor are higher, but also punishments for enterprises not in compliance with requirements of the Measures are more severe. Furthermore, some of the international standards such as EQ and LQ are also listed in the updating Measures so that enterprises can transport these kinds of products in a more convenient way. Unfortunately, many enterprises operating dangerous goods are still not allowed to transport dangerous by using EQ or LQ. These enterprises should give their opinions to the authorities as soon as possible during the public comment period.