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Transport of dangerous goods by road

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

You must comply with a number of Dutch laws when transporting dangerous goods by road in the Netherlands. These laws are based on the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (Europese overeenkomst voor het vervoer van gevaarlijke stoffen over de weg, ADR). The ADR contains safety regulations for the dispatcher, the addressee, the loader, the packer, the haulier and the filler. The haulier is responsible for:

  • checking if consignments comply with the ADR
  • checking if the right documents accompany the load
  • making sure the transport vehicle and the way the goods are loaded comply with the rules
  • transporting, loading, unloading and temporarily offloading dangerous goods.
There are some additional rules on top of the ADR in the Netherlands. These are compiled in a system called Basisnet and exist to safeguard those living near transport routes. Basisnet (in Dutch) states how many dangerous goods can be transported on public roads, railways and waterways. It also prescribes the maximum risk allowed for those living and working near the route. If the risk is high, there should be no houses, hospitals, schools or care homes near the trajectory.

Obligatory route for transporting dangerous goods

In the Netherlands, there is an obligatory route for a number of dangerous goods (in Dutch). In some provinces and towns the obligatory route is indicated by traffic signs (pdf, in Dutch). If you want to deviate from this route in a municipality, e.g. for loading or unloading, you must apply to the local council for an authorisation to do so.

Tunnels

You are not allowed to drive through every tunnel. It depends on the tunnel's safety category (in Dutch) which dangerous goods can pass. There are no restrictions for tunnels from Category A. For the categories B to D there are increasing limitations as to the type and quantity of dangerous goods that can pass. There is a ban on transporting almost all dangerous goods through Category E tunnels.

Parking

You are not allowed to park vehicles loaded with dangerous goods everywhere. For example, you are not allowed to park in residential areas. Municipalities may have allocated parking spaces for trucks carrying dangerous goods in their General Municipal By-Law (APV).

Loading

The goods should be handled carefully and be loaded properly inside the vehicle. This means securing them in a way that they cannot slide or get damaged on the way.

Equipment

The vehicle should be equipped with the right tools to handle an incident. There should be a fire extinguisher and general personal protection equipment.

Exemption from prohibition on transport

In certain circumstances, such as icy road conditions or dense fog, you are prohibited from transporting dangerous goods. You can obtain an exemption from this prohibition on transport if these circumstances are persistent and if you can demonstrate that the transport is urgent. You can obtain this exemption (in Dutch) from the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport, ILT).

ADR certificate for drivers

The driver who transports the dangerous goods needs an ADR certificate of professional competence. You can apply for one at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (CBR, in Dutch).

Soot filters

The ADR describes the requirements for exhaust pipe guard and safety regarding electrical components. If you are going to install a soot filter in a vehicle that transports dangerous goods, please note that the vehicle must continue to meet these requirements.

Recognition placards

The rules on the labelling of dangerous goods are laid down in the ADR. In addition, every vehicle transporting such substances must show the orange recognition placards with the Kemler codes.

Hazard cards

Drivers who transport dangerous goods must carry a written instruction, called a hazard card. This card provides information on the danger posed by the substances, the precautionary measures to be taken and the tools and personal protective equipment that must be present. You must give this card to your driver and ensure that they understand the text and are capable of taking the right course of action. You can download hazard cards in different languages from the UNECE website. In some cases the driver is exempt from carrying a hazard card.

Inspections of vehicles carrying dangerous goods

In some cases, vehicles intended for carrying dangerous goods (ADR, in Dutch) must undergo a periodic inspection in addition to the periodic motor vehicle test (APK). The inspections depend on the type of vehicle and are carried out by a testing station run by the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW). After the inspection you will receive an inspection certificate. The driver must carry this certificate in the vehicle during the transport.

Transport safety advisor for dangerous goods

If you dispatch, transport, load, unload or temporarily store dangerous goods, often you will have to employ a safety advisor. However, in some cases you may be exempt from this requirement, or you may instead hire an external safety advisor. Safety advisors for dangerous goods have for instance the following tasks:

  • advise the company on the transport of dangerous goods
  • supervise compliance with the rules
  • take measures to prevent accidents

A safety advisor must have a safety advisor certificate that is granted by the CCV department at the Central Office for Motor Vehicle Driver Testing (Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen, CBR).

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO