Dangerous goods are substances and items containing substances which, due to their nature, properties or condition, may, during transport, present a risk to public safety or order,, in particular to the general public, important public goods, the life and health of humans, animals and other property, and which are to be classified as dangerous goods under legal provisions.

The legislation regulating the transport of these dangerous goods is not part of the REACH and CLP regulations, but is found in the so-called ADR. The abbreviation stands for “Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road”. The agreement was first signed in 1957 and now has 52 contracting parties. Annexes A and B of the ADR are updated every two years according to the latest scientific findings to reflect the latest technical and legal developments.

Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods requires all EU Member States to transpose the ADR into national law. The provisions of the ADR are therefore enshrined in law and compliance with them is mandatory for the transport of dangerous goods.

The ADR, consisting of the agreement itself and Annexes A and B, comprises a total of nine parts which regulate the international transport of dangerous goods. They define, among other things, the conditions under which transport may take place, as well as the requirements for vehicles, packaging, containers, labelling and documentation.

The goods to be transported are classified according to their properties. The classification results in the assignment of a UN number and the classification into a dangerous goods class. There is a total of thirteen of these dangerous goods classes, some of which also have subclasses. Each dangerous goods class is assigned a pictogram which differs from the CLP pictograms.

Find below the pictograms used in the context of ADR:

Where appropriate, dangerous goods must be marked, inter alia:

  • on the package by means of warning and hazard labels,
  • in the accompanying documents, in which the goods are precisely defined,
  • as well as on the respective means of transport by means of danger labels (large labels) and orange warning signs.

On the orange, rectangular warning label there are usually two numerical codes, one below the other, which provide information about the type of danger (upper number = hazard number) and the type of goods being transported (lower number = UN number).

The key part for the use of ADR is Table A of Chapter 3.2, which contains the list of dangerous goods according to the UN numbers. Once the number of a particular dangerous substance or article has been determined, the table indicates, by cross-reference, the special requirements which apply to the carriage of that substance or article, and the chapters or sections in which the requirements in question appear. However, in addition to these special requirements, the general requirements or the requirements specific to a given class found in the various parts of the ADR also remain applicable. In addition to the labelling of packages and transport units, a transport document and written instructions are also required. In addition, vehicles, all containers, packages and tanks may be subject to specific regulations regarding construction, testing and approval.

Before transporting dangerous goods, however, it must be checked whether one of the possible (partial) exemptions from the overall ADR applicability rules and requirements (e.g. 1.1.3;; 3.3; 3.4 and 3.5) can be considered.

Drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods must be in possession of an ADR driver training certificate. The drivers concerned acquire this certificate through training courses, which serves as proof to the control authorities that the driver is authorised to drive a dangerous goods vehicle and that he has the necessary knowledge. In addition, any person involved in the transport of dangerous goods by road must have received training in accordance with Chapter 1.3 of the ADR on the provisions applicable to the transport of such goods, in accordance with his responsibilities and duties.

Companies that pack, transport, handle or are otherwise involved in the transport of dangerous goods must have a dangerous goods safety adviser who is responsible for ensuring compliance with any dangerous goods regulations. The dangerous goods safety adviser must undergo and successfully complete ADR training in each case, otherwise the dangerous goods cannot be handled. Furthermore, the necessary ADR equipment, which differs according to the class of dangerous goods, must always be available for the transport of dangerous goods. The dangerous goods officer should communicate this in written instructions.

Each member of the vehicle crew must have personal protective equipment. In most cases, this includes eye protection (such as safety goggles), at least one pair of protective gloves, a portable lighting device and a high-visibility waistcoat.

The counterparts of ADR for the other modes of transport are called:

  • RDI for transport of goods by rail
  • ADN for the transport by inland waterways
  • IMDG Code for maritime transport
  • ICAO-TI for aviation

Article 4 of the amended law of 24 December 1999 on dangerous goods safety advisers for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterways, which states (translated from French law text): "No one may, either principally or incidentally, carry on in Luxembourg the activity of safety adviser for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterway without prior written authorisation, where this activity is carried on in a self-employed capacity on behalf of third parties. The authorisation in question is granted only to persons who provide the necessary guarantees of good repute and professional qualification. It shall be issued in accordance with the conditions and in the forms laid down in Title I of the Law of 28 December 1988 1° regulating access to the professions of craftsman, trader, industrialist and certain liberal professions; 2° amending Article 4 of the Law of 2 July 1935 regulating the conditions for obtaining the title and certificate of mastery in the exercise of trades. Good repute is assessed on the basis of the applicant's criminal record and all the elements provided by the administrative enquiry. The professional qualification of the person who has applied for authorisation to exercise the activity of safety adviser is established by the training certificate he or she must hold. The training certificate is issued by the Minister after the person concerned has passed an examination. The terms and conditions for the establishment and validity of this certificate are laid down by Grand-Ducal regulation ".

In other words, this means that in Luxembourg, only persons who hold the "Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser Training Certificate" and meet at least one of the conditions listed below may be appointed as a dangerous goods safety adviser:

  • Be an employee of the company where the person is appointed as a dangerous goods safety adviser.
  • Be an employee of a company established in Luxembourg other than the one where the person is appointed and this company is authorised to act as a dangerous goods safety adviser.
  • Self-employed dangerous goods safety adviser established in Luxembourg.

The competent authority for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways is Transport Department of the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works, with the exception of dangerous goods of Class 7 - Radioactive Substances, for which the Ministry of Health is responsible.

The competent service of the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works can be reached at:

adr@tr.etat.lu                the transport of dangerous goods by road.

rid@tr.etat.lu                 for the transport of dangerous goods by rail.

adn@tr.etat.lu               for the transport of dangerous goods by inland waterways.