What is ADR compliance and why is it important?

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What is ADR?

ADR or the Accord européen relative au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route is an international treaty. ADR covers the classification, labelling and transportation of dangerous goods.  When translated into English it’s the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.

The ADR treaty was first concluded in Geneva in 1957. It was most recently amended on 1 January 2017. Within the treaty Article 2 states that with the exception of exceptionally hazardous materials, hazardous materials can be transported internationally in wheeled vehicles, providing that two sets of conditions are fulfilled.

  • Annex A covers the labelling and packaging used on the hazardous materials
  • Annex B regulates the vehicle specifications and equipment used for transporting the hazardous materials

You can download ADR 2017 from the UNECE website.

Why is ADR compliance important?

All businesses that transport hazardous materials must use ADR trained drivers and ADR compliant vehicles. This includes a waste company that is collecting hazardous wastes. It also forms part a waste producer’s Duty of Care to ensure that their waste management company transports, stores and processes hazardous wastes legally. Consequently, any breaches of ADR compliance can lead to significant consequences for the business and/or individuals that are in breach.

ADR equipment & vehicles

When dangerous goods are transported by road any accident has the potential to cause harm to people and significant damage to the environment.

In the event of a spillage or accident it is vital that the vehicle has safety equipment. This is vital to protect the driver, the general public and the surrounding environment; items should include (this list isn’t exhaustive):

  • Wheel chocks suitable for the size of vehicle
  • Folding warning sign
  • Chemical spill kit
  • PPE
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Torch
  • Warning beacons
  • Respirator

ADR training

To legally drive a goods vehicle carrying regulated hazardous substances a driver must hold an ADR Vocational Training Certificate. To obtain an ADR Training Certificate drivers must attend a Department of Transport approved course and pass the relevant SQA Examinations.

As a result drivers and other vehicle crew must carry photo identification in the form of an up to date ADR licence. Notably the holder must complete refresher training every 5 years to keep the licence valid.

What next?

If you are looking for a waste management company that owns and maintains its own fleet of ADR compliant vehicles and trained drivers contact Novus Environmental.


Quotes It is important that we have a service that is cost effective and consistent, but flexible enough to accommodate enquiries for varied waste types received from our customers. Novus Environmental have given us a service that has been both of those things and their customer services team are fantastic in their approach – helpful and knowledgeable.