Harmonised rules for dangerous goods transport
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission has proposed to harmonise the rules for the transport of dangerous goods by making them as user-friendly as possible. The new proposal integrates the existing rules into one piece of EU law, which covers all three land transport modes: road, rail and inland waterway. It contributes thereby to the Commission’s strategic objective of legislative simplification. Simpler rules also mean safer transport.
Vice-President Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner for transport, said: “A billion tonnes of dangerous goods are transported annually in the territory of the EU. Transport operators on road, rail and inland waterways are carrying cargos under different sets of rules. Today’s multi-modal transport needs harmonised rules, which render transport operations safer, faster and cheaper and reduce administrative work by all participants.”
The EU law on transport of dangerous goods already covers road and rail transport, but in many separate, partly outdated sets of rules, which the proposal recasts into one set of rules only. For citizens, transport operators and national authorities the new format is much easier to understand and apply than the current one.
The proposal also covers inland waterway transport, for which no EU rules currently exist. Even if being the smallest mode in volume, an accident in inland waterways might have serious consequences and an extensive impact. One single set of rules for all inland waterway transport of dangerous goods reduces this risk.
The public consultation carried out on the basic ideas of the proposal clearly demonstrated the need for this kind of action.