Driving dangerous goods and special loads abroad

Documentation required in order to carry dangerous goods


When transporting dangerous goods internationally under the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), you must ensure your consignments are always accompanied by a transport document. This sets out detailed information on the load being carried, including full classification of the substance(s) carried and how it is packaged. You must present the required information in a certain order and follow certain rules on language.

In addition to documents required under other regulations, under ADR you must ensure that the following documents are carried on the transport unit:

  • transport document(s) containing prescribed information for each dangerous substance, material or article being carried - eg their UN number, their technical name in brackets in addition to the name under which they are being shipped
  • emergency instructions in writing
  • means of identification, including a photograph for each member of the vehicle crew

In addition, if any part of your journey involves sea transport of the vehicle, see requirements for the carriage of dangerous goods on vehicles at sea.

Emergency instructions in writing

The consignor of a vehicle carrying dangerous goods must provide the driver with details of the hazards associated with their dangerous goods loads and instructions on emergency action to take if an accident occurs. These instructions are in the form of an international Transport Emergency Card, known as a 'Tremcard'.

Other agreements and legislation which may apply to dangerous loads

Some exceptions, or 'derogations' from the provisions of ADR are allowed under certain multilateral agreements. These allow goods to be transported - usually for a fixed period - between or through any of the countries that have signed up to the multilateral agreement. If you are carrying dangerous goods under such an agreement, you must carry a copy of that agreement.

You should also check whether other legislation beyond the ADR applies to the dangerous goods you carry - for example, load restrictions on the carriage of petrol.