Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Carriage of dangerous goods

This guidance is relevant if you use commercial vehicles to transport dangerous substances, such as solvents, pesticides or fuel, by road. This could also include some household products such as paints or aerosols.

You will need to manage the risk of spillage during transport, which could lead to fire, explosions or environmental damage.

What you must do

If you transport dangerous goods, you must comply with certain legal requirements regulated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

There are different classes of dangerous goods including:

  • corrosive substances
  • explosive substances and articles
  • flammable liquids
  • flammable solids
  • gases
  • oxidizing substances
  • radioactive substances
  • toxic substances.

You have a responsibility to identify the hazards of the goods you intend to transport, and meet requirements for packaging, labelling and documentation.

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA): Guidance on dangerous goods packaging

There are some exemptions from the requirements for limited quantities or limited loads, for example some retail goods such as those delivered to DIY stores.

For more information about what you have to do to transport dangerous goods, you should contact the HSE or the DfT.

HSE information on carriage of dangerous goods

Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland

GOV.UK: Carriage of dangerous goods

Ensure that your drivers keep their vehicles as secure as possible. You can still be prosecuted even if vandals cause pollution from your vehicles.

If you are transporting waste from domestic, commercial or industrial premises see our guidance for waste businesses.

If you are transporting hazardous/special wastes check what legal requirements apply to you.

Hazardous/special wastes

Good practice

Ensure your drivers are fully trained to understand the hazards of the goods they are transporting and what to do in an emergency.

If you have a pollution incident call the Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Ensure all your goods are transported in a suitable container.Inspect and maintain your containers routinely.

Check container valves or doors to prevent leaks or releases of odour, dust or vapour.

Ensure your containers are labelled correctly and that manufacturers labels are clear and intact.

Make sure that drivers responsible for carrying goods supervise the loading of their vehicles. Before any loading is carried out, the driver should check containers to ensure they are not leaking and that caps and lids are secure.

Secure containers so they can't move around during transportation to prevent damage or spills.

Make sure that your vehicles do not have parts which stick out into the load-carrying area as these could damage containers or packages. The load-carrying area should have impervious surfaces free from pockets or seams. This will make it easier to clean.

Prevent material escaping from open-topped vehicles by netting the load.

When carrying dangerous or polluting materials, avoid taking a route through environmentally sensitive areas where possible.

Nature conservation

Carry pollution control equipment suitable for the type of substance you are transporting. Include absorbent materials and sealing or containment materials, such as sealing putties and drain sealing mats. Also carry a shovel, as earth can be used as an absorbent or to make a barrier to contain a spillage. Absorbent materials used to contain spills may require separate recycling or disposal as hazardous/special waste. Check before you recycle or dispose of them.

You should not store oil for any length of time in tankers. Tankers are not designed for oil storage.

Further information on transporting dangerous goods

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has a number of groups that provide specialist guidance, for example car transporters, milk carriers and livestock transporters.

RHA: Specialist groups

The UK environmental regulators and the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) have produced guidance on controlling pollution from spills on the highway and to minimise the environmental impact.

PPG 22 Incident response – dealing with spills (Adobe PDF - 548KB)

FRS: Environmental Protection Manual

The Chemical Industries Association runs the ChemSafe scheme, which provides assistance in the event of a transport incident involving chemicals.

ChemSafe scheme

Additional resources

Whats new on NetRegs

  • December NetRegs Updates

    Did you miss December's NetRegs Update? You can view them here <Scotland Update> <Northern Ireland Update> or visit the updates archive pages on this website.

  • LIFE SMART Waste project news

    The latest LIFE SMART Waste e-newsletter has been published to highlight the project’s progress towards demonstrating innovative ways of understanding, tackling and reducing waste-related crime in Europe. <Read more>

  • SEPA unveils new waste to resources framework

    A new framework for tackling waste has been unveiled by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), focussing on how SEPA will support a circular economy in Scotland.
    One Planet Prosperity – A Waste to Resources Framework

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.

    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

  • Please let us know your thoughts on our new website

    What do you think about our new and improved website. We want your feedback on what you like, what you don’t like and ways we can continue to improve the website. Follow the link to complete the very short survey: NetRegs website – User feedback

  • NEW guidance on Environmental Management Systems

    We have recently updated and improved our guidance on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). You can find the guidance via the Environmental Topics tab or alternatively select the following link Environmental Management Systems (EMS).

  • Consultation on proposed changes to the packaging recycling business targets

    See NI Future legislation or Scotland Future legislation for details of the Consultation

  • NetRegs SMEnvironment survey 2016

    NetRegs has carried out a survey of environmental awareness among SMEs. There are separate reports for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • NIEA Guidance - Greenfield Excavated Matrials in Construction

    NIEA and the CEF have developed a Regulatory Position to promote Sustainable re-use of natural excavated material from Greenfield sites.

    NIEA: Guidance on the Regulation of Greenfield Excavated Materials in Construction and Development

  • New GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

    The replacements for the PPGs are being developed. Now available GPP 2 Above Ground Oil Storage

  • SEPA Consultation on an Intergated Authorisation Framework

    SEPA is asking for your views on the proposals for integrated authorisations.

    Consultation documents

  • GPP 24 Stables, Kennels and Catteries

    NEW GPP 24 now available: Stables, Kennels and Catteries

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms