Further development of the ADN (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways)

At the end of August, the 35th session of the UNECE ADN Safety Committee took place in Geneva. It was important for the representatives of the IWT Platform to sensitize the Member States of the ADN to various new problems and to advance other well-known discussion topics. Decisions on important topics were not made. Longer lasting discussions took place on the following topics:

  1. Loading / unloading rates

Today, the checklist according to 8.6.3 ADN requires information about the loading / unloading rates. The volume throughput at the “beginning”, “middle” and “end” has to be documented in the list. In a presentation by IWT it was pointed out that in practice certain procedures are established without regulation in the ADN. In the following meetings proposals for a consistent approach will be developed.

  1. Working on board

The inland navigation sector strives for getting more freedom to carry out work on board in comparison to what is actually allowed – of course, without any risk to the life and limb of the crew. In the demarcation between “allowed” and “not allowed” the ATEX guideline should help to find a better distinction than today.

  1. Degassing to a landside acceptance station

For the first time, ADN 2019 contains rules for the delivery of vapors to landside accepting stations. Although a lot of expertise was invested into the elaboration of these new regulations, the implementation is technically not feasible. IWT experts are called upon to pinpoint the weaknesses. An informal working group will discuss further problems around degassing.

  1. Working Group Loading on top

It has already been discussed at past sessions of the ADN Safety Committee that in a market niche there is no legal basis in the regulatory framework for “loading on top”: according to the opinion of some contracting states, loading on top should not be allowed at all. Nevertheless, it is done in practice – and it is really necessary. This contradiction can and should be solved quickly by developing proposals for regulations that allow a risk-free loading on top.

  1. Explosion protection

With the ADN 2019, a new explosion protection concept came into force that brings numerous new regulations with it. The new concept touches and changes the content of many hundreds of pages of the ADN. The work has dragged on for months and years. According to IWT, that some regulations and transitional provisions are not well coordinated, the chairman, Henk Langenberg from the NL delegation, answered very well that a re-evaluation of the concept is required in the near future. But time is not ripe for that today.

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