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ADR Explained

The European agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road was created in Geneva on the 30th of September 1957 and came into force on the 29th of January 1958. ADR comes from the official French name for the agreement which is “Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route


The ADR Agreement itself is short and simple

The key article is the second, which says that apart from some excessively dangerous goods, other dangerous goods may be carried internationally in road vehicles subject to compliance with:

– the conditions laid down in Annex A for the goods in question, in particular as regards their packaging and labelling; and

– the conditions laid down in Annex B, in particular as regards the construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle carrying the goods in question.


The ADR rules are complex and extensive

While the ADR agreement is simple the two books referred to previously as Annex A & B are extremely detailed books both with over 650 pages of detailed instructions relating to the carriage of dangerous goods. The books cover every detail from the substances in each of the 9 classes of dangerous goods to the labeling of packages and vehicles.


ADR Training

From January 1st 2007 it became mandatory for all drivers of any vehicle carrying dangerous goods to be trained by a department of transport approved training provider. The initial ADR course lasts 4 days in total including examinations however if you add the tanker module this will be extended to 5 days in total.

Initial ADR Training

Upon successful completion of the course and the examinations the attendee will receive and ADR vocational training certificate (VTC), also known as an ADR licence, which is valid for 5 years and details all the adr exam modules the attendee has successfully completed. The ADR licence is recognised throughout Europe and gives the holder the authorisation to transport any dangerous substance which falls within a category listed on their licence.

Refresher ADR Training

Within 12 months of the expiry date listed on the ADR licence the holder may complete a shorter ADR refresher course in order to renew their licence for another 5 year period. This course may be taken anytime in the final year of validity and up to 5 weeks before the expiry date. Successful completion of the course and the exams will extend the ADR licence for an additional 5 years from the official expiry date.