Carriage of Dangerous Goods

Are you affected?

Any business that creates, moves or disposes of dangerous waste must comply with the CDG Regulations requirements. Amongst other things, this includes:

  • Waste that is toxic
  • Asbestos
  • Clinical waste
  • Flammable liquids
  • Acids
  • Waste Lead acid batteries*
  • Waste NiCad batteries

The CDG Regulations are the UK’s transposition of the EU ADR 2009 Regulations (For those that need to know these things, ADR stands for Accord européen relative au transport international des marchandises Dangerous par Route!) since superseded by ADR 2015.

The Department for Transport has produced a list of derogations that allow for reduced or no ADR to be applied in the movement of certain waste types (eg lithium batteries). 

These relate to different UN Classes of Dangerous Goods which are explained here. So for instance, under these derogations, you could transport up to 333kgs of flammable liquid in a vehicle without the normal CDG requirements being applied.

* The movement of lead acid batteries – whether new or used – comes under ADR. However, there is a specific derogation under Special Provision 598 of the European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road  (page 610) which allows lead acid batteries to be moved WITHOUT ADR regardless of quantity if they fulfil certain conditions. Likewise, if they DO NOT fulfil these conditions, then they MUST be moved under ADR regardless of quantity.

The conditions that mean lead acid (storage) batteries are not subject to the requirements of ADR are:

For new storage batteries when:

  • they are secured in such a way that they cannot slip, fall or be damaged;
  • they are provided with carrying devices, unless they are suitably stacked,
    • e.g. on pallets;
  • there are no dangerous traces of alkalis or acids on the outside;
  • they are protected against short circuits;

Used storage batteries when:

  • their cases are undamaged;
  • they are secured in such a way that they cannot leak, slip, fall or be damaged, e.g. by stacking on pallets;
  • there are no dangerous traces of alkalis or acids on the outside of the articles;
  • they are protected against short circuits.

“Used storage batteries” means storage batteries carried for recycling at the end of their normal service life.

This means that any garage vehicle or white van man carrying old batteries rattling around in the back would need to either ensure they are properly contained in a secure leakproof container or that they had all the necessary ADR requirements in place.

What is required for movements under ADR?

For producers of this waste (consignors), they must:

  • Correctly classify the waste
  • Package the waste according to specific standards
  • Label the waste correctly
  • Provide the collector with a consignors declaration that includes:
    • The correct shipping name eg Ethanol
    • The class eg Class 3 – flammable liquids
    • UN Number eg UN1170 (list of UN numbers can be found here)
    • Quantity and package size – it is the consignors responsibility to pack the waste into suitable containers which must be UN approved.
    • Packing group that indicates the severity of danger
    • The name and address of the consignor
    • The name and address of the consignee
    • The consignors signature

The carrier is responsible for ensuring:

  • the driver is properly ADR trained and has a valid ADR driving licence
  • the driver has the correct documentation
  • the correct signage is shown on the vehicles when carrying dangerous goods
  • the vehicle and driver has the correct protective equipment

CDG waste must only be disposed of to an appropriately licensed site – this is the duty of both the consignor and carrier.

Movements of Dangerous Goods must be accompanied by documentation that describes the goods and gives details of the various parties. In the UK, this would normally be satisfied by a Consignment Note where the Goods were hazardous waste, but for items that are not waste, are non-hazardous waste or for shipments overseas, they should be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Note.


The VCA Dangerous Goods Office is the UK authority for the certification of packaging and intermediate bulk containers used for the transport of dangerous goods, in accordance with national and international regulations.

The CDG Regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive. However, the police are well versed in CDG requirements and carry out spot checks. The HSE have produced a comprehensive Manual which gives full guidance on the application of the Regulations.