Descartes UK

2019 Dangerous Goods Regulations – are you ready?

2019 Dangerous Goods Regulations – are you ready?

Labeline International explains the importance of keeping abreast of regulatory change & of being aware of future developments – such as the move towards adopting electronic DG documentation.

If you are involved in the movement of dangerous goods, you will be aware that the rules change every two years for all forms of transport. The regulations for 2019 have now been published and new editions of the following publications are now available from the world’s leading authorised distributor, Labeline International:

  • ADR 2019 (road)
  • IMDG Code 39-18 (sea)
  • ICAO Technical Instructions 2019
  • IATA DGR 60th Edition (air) Errata issued for the IATA DGR and found on the site
  • RID 2019 (rail)
  • ADN 2019 (inland waterways)

The regulations are implemented from 1st January 2019 and take immediate effect for air shipments, whilst there are transition periods for the other modes during which the outgoing rules may still be applied.

This year, Labeline has introduced special offers, such as Reg’s bundles and free laptop bags with selected publications. For information about this, please visit the website: Home page, Active DG Regulations for 2019.

Buyer Beware

At a recent Distributors’ Meeting, one of the key points raised was the issue around counterfeit publications. As the DG Regulations are, by necessity, relatively expensive, there has been a history of unauthorised copies being created of both IATA and IMO manuals - with the potential risk to safety and breach of copyright. To ensure that your regulations are the official and correct versions, make sure that you purchase from an approved distributor. Labeline is the only authorised reseller in UK and Ireland for all the regulatory agencies, the largest service provider worldwide for Air regulations and the only official UK and Ireland importer/distributor for IATA. 

Biennial Dangerous Goods Roadshow

The forthcoming changes to the regulations were covered, in detail, in a series of presentations delivered by experts during two important update seminars in November. 

Chaired by HCB’s Editor-in-Chief, Peter Mackay, the second Biennial Dangerous Goods Roadshow was held in the lavish setting of the Sheraton Skyline at Heathrow and in the prestigious Radisson Blu at Manchester Airport. Both events followed the same programme and were preceded by a relaxing ice-breaker the previous evening.

After a brief welcome and introduction to the sponsors and exhibitors, delegates were treated to a light-hearted history of the evolution of dangerous goods legislation, from the original Explosives Act of 1875 up to the structured multi-modal approach that we have now across the world. This was delivered by the experienced double act of two former regulators, Jeff Hart OBE and Geoff Leach. They gave a fascinating insight into the process of how regulations are proposed, considered, voted on and then adopted by the UN, before being filtered down to each of the modal regimes and subsequently into national legislation.

E-Documentation and the way ahead

Next up on stage was Herman Teering, MD of DGOffice B.V., the company behind the world-renowned software for generating dangerous goods documentation. DGOffice is also at the forefront of the move to electronic data transfer, or e-freight as it is known, for disseminating information on dangerous goods shipments.

Herman highlighted the amount of paperwork that is currently used throughout the journey of a shipment and the number of times that information - often the same data - is manually entered during a journey. Apart from the obvious benefits of using paperless systems, e-freight will avoid multiple data entry repetitions and reduce input errors that often result in consignments being held en route.

The current regulations already allow for electronic data transfer instead of hard copy documents, although any system must enable the printing of the standardised document. The first paperless consignment of dangerous goods was recently handled by Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt, using the eDGD programme from DGOffice. DGOffice is now e-freight ready for shippers and, eventually, this process will apply to all DG shipments, by all modes.

Available to Labeline’s clients, is a 14 day free trial to explore the full potential of DGOffice. The software creates compliant DG documentation for all transport modes and reduces the likelihood of snags - wherever you are in the world. Contact

The changes…

For many delegates, the most important session of the day covered the upcoming multimodal amendments to the dangerous goods regulations. The Biennial Dangerous Goods Panel of experts comprised of:

Jeff Hart, the former Head of the Dangerous Goods Division at the DfT, is the advisor to the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) on matters relating to the IMDG Code.

Geoff Leach, former Head of the Dangerous Goods Office at the Civil Aviation Authority, current Chair of the IATA Lithium Battery Workshops and attends the ICAO DG Panel meetings on behalf of DGAC.

Richard Masters, DGSA, author and a chartered member of IOSH. He has provided high-level training in the safe handling of dangerous goods by sea and road around the world.

Gene Sanders, from USA, has 20 years experience as a dangerous goods trainer and consultant, a true professional with in-depth knowledge of the regulations by all modes and the requirements specific to the United States (49CFR).

To help the talk run smoothly, it was pre-determined which Panel member would deliver the explanation for each of the key amendments. After lunch, the Panel covered the changes that are specific to each mode.

Geoff then presented a summary of the rules pertaining to lithium batteries, the hazards posed by counterfeit products, and the important changes that will apply to shipments of lithium batteries from January 2019.

How an Incident changed the Rules…

Richard Masters and Gene Sanders discussed the major explosion and the subsequent tragic loss of life on board the container ship, MSC Flaminia. Gene was an expert witness at the trial that reached its conclusion on 10th September 2018 and, although not directly involved, Richard was working for MSC UK at the time. The sequence of events that led to the incident was explained and we heard how the tragedy triggered regulatory change, including the introduction of new UN numbers and changes in protocols. The resulting court case ruled that the multi-million dollar liability should be shared between the chemical manufacturer and their carrier whilst the shipping line and the ship owners were not liable. 

Gene stayed on stage to show the anomalies, potential complications and differences between classifying products for Safety Data Sheets and supply labels (GHS/CLP) and DG notes for transport.

We then heard from Gene’s compatriot, Bill Diesslin, representing the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM). Bill explained the merits of the Certificate of Dangerous Goods Professionals (CDGP) accreditation. This is a vocational qualification that is recognised around the world and successful candidates are enrolled as members of the Institute. Anyone who has been involved in the industry for five or more years is open to apply and Labeline will be hosting a course and exam in the UK in September 2019.

Caroline Raine, Associate Director at NCEC and Chair of the British Association of Dangerous Goods Professionals (BADGP) rounded off the day with a thought-provoking look at the Limited Quantity exemptions across all modes. Apart from clearly defining the thresholds, Caroline highlighted the differences between the modes, the requirements to appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA) and the importance of training.

We had a lot of positive feedback from those who attended the events:

“Really liked the informality - well done for lightening the presentation.”

“Hotel staff/facilities excellent.”

“Very informative and all the participants were available and approachable”

“See you next time!”

“Excellent event - well done Labeline! Good set-up, having group conversations.”

During the intervals, delegates had the opportunity to network and meet with the speakers and the exhibitors.

Ambipar Response sponsored the evening ice-breaker receptions.

The lunch/refreshment breaks were sponsored by DGOffice (LHR) and IATA (MAN).

The media partner for the event is HCB, the only international dedicated journal for the dangerous goods industry.

Truck and Track kindly provided photographic services.

Keith Kingham, MD of Labeline International, would like to say a big “Thank you” to all the speakers, sponsors and attendees who helped to make the 2018 “DG Biennial” such a success. With its steady growth we are already planning our 2020 event (September2020). Labeline aims to make this the must go to and prestigious event for the DG industry.