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Transport of dangerous goods by road

Road transport complies with VAK and ADR legislation.

ADR is a treaty between the ADR member states on the transport of dangerous goods by road renewed once every years. Domestic traffic complies with the VAK legislation. The VAK legislation is almost identical with the international ADR legislation, which forms the basis of the VAK legislation. Similar to the ADR legislation, the VAK legislation is also renewed once every two years.

In Europe, road transport complies with the ADR agreement (European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). The ADR is maintained by an institution under the auspices of the UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The Member States that have acceded to the treaty apply the ADR to the international transport of dangerous goods by road and in their national legislation through their competent authorities.

The ADR treaty specifies how dangerous goods may be transported between countries that have ratified the ADR. The purpose of the treaty is to increase transport safety and define the obligations and responsibilities of the parties. The regulations concern the liabilities of the transport chain parties, transported products, documents, transport modes and drivers and the obligation to appoint a safety adviser, among other things.

The Ministry of Transport is the competent authority in Finland for the transport of dangerous goods by road and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Traficom performs the tasks imposed on it in regulatory supervision and the development of legislation with regard to the VAK and ADR legislation.

Matters to be taken into consideration in the transport of dangerous goods by road

In Finland, the Act on the Transport of Dangerous Goods 719/1994 (as amended) is in force nationally, which must always be taken into account in transport, including the decrees, decisions, regulations and other instructions issued under it.

The international ADR treaty is in force in the international transport of dangerous goods by road. The ADR treaty specifies, among other things, the classification of substances, the responsibilities and obligations of the different parties to the transport chain and requirements for the qualifications of personnel. Apart from minor exceptions, the ADR treaty is in line with the national VAK provisions.

Sender’s obligations

Section 8 of the Act on Transport of Dangerous Goods lays down the sender’s obligations.

The sender is always responsible for the classification and packaging of dangerous goods and reporting related information correctly. All required information must be provided in connection with the transport order so that the transport can take place as required by law.

The sender is always responsible for the goods transported, their correct classification, packaging, labelling and documentation and for it being possible to transport the goods/materials in modes of transport used in all transport routes in compliance with their regulations.

The sender must investigate the transport modes used in the transport and the classification data, packaging regulations and necessary documents required by them well in advance of the transport.

Usually, the required transport classification data can be found the easiest in the safety data sheet for the product shipped. The transport classification data is provided in section 14 of the safety data sheet, and the required safety data sheet can be requested from the manufacturer of the goods.

Recipient’s obligations

The recipient may not refuse to accept the delivery unless there are compelling reasons.

After unloading, the recipient must ensure that the requirements imposed on the recipient by the regulations have been fulfilled.

If the recipient uses the services of third parties, such as an unloader, cleaner or other remover of hazards, they must take sufficient measures to ensure that the imposed requirements have been met.

Obligation to appoint a safety adviser

Undertakings transporting or loading dangerous goods or whose activities otherwise affect the transport safety of such goods by road and/or rail must appoint a person specially trained for this purpose as the company's safety adviser.

Legislation on safety advisers is laid down by Government Decree 274/2002.

The safety adviser must have a certificate (road and/or rail) specific to the mode of transport proving that the person has the required expertise. The certificate is issued by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).

Review the legislation to find out whether your company also needs to have a legally required security adviser to perform the tasks defined in the relevant decree.