Security of Dangerous Goods

Following a number of terrorist incidents, predominantly the September 2001 terror attacks in the United States, it was realised that measures were needed to increase the security of dangerous goods 


General security provisions are required for all modes of transported dangerous goods. ADR ( THe European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road)  specifies that qualifying dangerous goods shall only be offered to carriers or organisations that have been appropriately identified. Temporary storage sites shall be properly secured, drivers and crew shall carry a means of photographic identification and security awareness training shall be provided. 


There are additional requirements for high consequence dangerous goods (HCDG), defined in transport regulation as follow:


“… as those with the potential for misuse in a terrorist incident and which may, as a result, produce serious consequences such as mass casualties or mass destruction (whether to infrastructure, the environment or the economy) or, particularly for Class 7, mass socio-economic disruption”. 


Not surprisingly HCDG include the following:


  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Flammable gases (only classification code including the letter F)
  • Class 2: Toxic gases (classification codes T, TF, TC, TO, TFC, and TOC)
  • Class 3: Flammable liquids, packing groups I and II
  • Class 3: Desensitised explosives
  • Class 4.1: Desensitised explosives
  • Class 4.2: Packing Group I substances
  • Class 4.3: Packing Group I substances
  • Class 5.1: Oxidising liquids of packing group I; perchlorates, ammonium nitrate, ammonium nitrate fertilisers and ammonium nitrate emulsions, suspensions or gels
  • Class 6.1: Toxic substances packing group I
  • Class 6.2: Infectious substances of Category A (UN 2814, 2900, expect animal material)
  • Class 7: Radioactives
  • Class 8: Corrosive substances of packing group I

A transport security plan is required for HCDG and must include a number of defined elements, including the following:


  • Allocation of responsibilities to “competent and qualified persons”;
  • review and record of transport operations; 
  • an assessment of risk for all operations including the journey itself, any necessary stops and temporary storage and transfer of dangerous goods. 

The security measures must be documented to include security policies, new employee checks and operational practices, such as route planning. Procedures must be in place to manage security breaches and record security incidents. 


The security plan should be periodically reviewed, tested and updated with changes to business or national threat levels. It should only be shared with those that need to know; carriers, consignors and consignees must co-operate with competent authorities to share threat information, apply security measures and respond to security incidents.


Under ADR, Vehicles carrying HCDG must be protected from theft and tracking devices should be in place to monitor the movement of the load.


The purpose of the dangerous goods security regime is to reduce the vulnerability of dangerous goods being seized during transport on the road and/or rail network, or while at any temporary storage facilities, by terrorists and criminals for subsequent misuse e.g. in an attack on a crowded place or the transport system. 


The scope of the regime covers the goods loading area at the point of origin (e.g. the manufacturing site or airport/seaport), carriage, and intermediate temporary storage through to their delivery at the destination address. 


Page published 11 July 2018