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Amendments to transporting dangerous goods laws

What you need to know

Introduction of national Model Amendment Regulations - Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road or Rail - Package No. 2

The national Model Amendment Regulations - Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road or Rail - Package No. 2 (Package No. 2) prepared by the National Transport Commission (NTC) took effect in South Australia on 19 February 2015 with the gazettal of amendments to the Dangerous Substances (Dangerous Goods Transport) Regulations 2008 (the DG Transport Regulations). Package No. 2 included a new version of the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail, edition 7.3 (ADG7.3), which replaces the seventh edition (ADG7). The transition period for ADG7.3 expires on 30 June 2015.

The following information summarises key changes brought about by the introduction of Package No 2.

Amendments to the Dangerous Substances (Dangerous Goods Transport) Regulations 2008

Marking of goods that are only dangerous goods by sea and air transport: regulations 75, 76, 79, 80 and 81

Dangerous goods packages arriving from overseas, marked and labelled in accordance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (the IMDG Code) (sea transport) or International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions  (air transport), where the content is not classified as dangerous goods for land transport in Australia (eg Calcium Oxide - UN 1910) are now compliant with the Dangerous Substances (Dangerous Goods Transport) Regulations 2008 (the DG Transport Regulations).

The amendment of regulations 75, 76, 79, 80 and 81 has legalised the use of the sea and air transport markings/placards for goods that are not subject to the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG) in Australia for land transport.

Ullage requirements extended to non-dangerous goods in certain circumstances: regulations 114 and 115

The dangerous goods ullage requirements apply to goods that are not dangerous goods if they are carried in the tank that is on, or part of the vehicle carrying dangerous goods. For example, dangerous goods ullage requirements should be applied to the diesel compartments of the tank vehicle carrying petrol in other compartments to maintain the stability of the vehicle and minimise movement of the diesel in the compartment. The same rule applies if diesel and petrol are carried in separate tanks on the same vehicle.

Retention of transport documents by prime contractor: regulation 120

A prime contractor must retain any transport document required under ADG 7.3, or a copy of the document for at least three months after the transport of dangerous goods by the prime contractor finishes.

Towing a broken-down dangerous goods vehicle: regulation 140

If a broken-down road vehicle is towed while still carrying dangerous goods that would require the driver to hold a dangerous goods driver licence, then the prime contractor must ensure that the tow truck driver holds a dangerous goods driver licence or is accompanied by a person holding a dangerous goods driver licence.

Amendments to the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Edition 7.3)

Table 3.2 - Australian names phased out

Table 3.2 of ADG 7 allowed the use of alternate uniquely Australian shipping names for certain United Nations (UN) entries named in Chapter 3.2 Dangerous Goods List, but only for land transport within Australia.

Table 3.2 and clause have been amended. In ADG7.3, Table 3.2 has omitted all Australian "[AUST.]" entries that Note F flagged as "should be phased out", and these will not be permitted after 1 July 2015. They are:

  • UN 1999: Asphalt Cut Backs; Bitumen Cut Backs; Cut Backs, Asphalt; Cut Backs, Bitumen.
  • UN 1263 or UN 3066: Driers Paint or Varnish, Liquid; NOS, Enamel; Fillers, Liquid; Lacquer; Polish; Stains; Varnish; Thinners; Thinning Liquid.
  • UN 2252: Ethylene Glycol Dimethylether.
  • UN 1593: Methylene Chloride.

Clause 6.11.3 - New guidelines for underslung segregation devices

Dangerous goods of Packing Groups II and III may be transported with incompatible goods, where the incompatible dangerous goods are packed in a segregation device or in some other method of segregation approved by the Competent Authority.

Segregation devices fitted below the main load area (ie underslung segregation devices) without a Competent Authority approval may be used where they meet the definition of a Type 1 device as set out in section 6.11.3. Specific approval by the Competent Authority is required for any proposed underslung segregation device that does not comply with Type 1 criteria (eg capacity greater than 450 litres, or it is of unusual construction or form of attachment).

ADG 7.3 contains a new section 6.11.7 that gives guidelines on the design and approval for all non-Type 1 underslung segregation devices.

Clause - Ventilation of flammable and toxic gases and oxygen

Under ADG 7.3, as previously for ADG 7, section contains the requirement to ventilate transport units and compartments to prevent the build-up of vapours that are likely to increase risk whenever transporting a placard load of any flammable or toxic gases, or oxygen, or gases with a flammability as a subsidiary risk.

Roof vents in closed vehicles transporting flammable gases are not sufficient for good ventilation. Some flammable gases tend to sit in the lower parts of transport units.

Requirements for additional venting that allows air circulation through the bottom of a vehicle has been added to section in ADG 7.3.

Clause - Transfer of bitumen from moving vehicle

A general requirement covered by section 10.2.3 of ADG 7 prohibited the transfer of dangerous goods (liquids and gases) into or out of a moving vehicle. An exemption from clause 10.2.3 was granted by the Competent Authorities Panel permitting the transfer of bitumen to road-making equipment where the vehicles are coupled together and moving.

This exemption has been incorporated into a new clause in ADG 7.3 to allow this practice without an exemption.

Clause - Ullage requirements for vacuum tankers do not apply

It has been recognised that it is not practical to enforce ADG 7 ullage requirements for vacuum tankers.

Clause has been amended to exempt waste dangerous goods transport in vacuum tank vehicles from compliance with ullage requirements.

Clause - Maximum permitted filling ratio for tank vehicles with gases in a liquefied form

The filling ratio is the ratio of the mass of gas to the mass of water at 15C that would fill completely a pressure receptacle fitted ready for use.

In order to prevent overfilling and overpressures in tanks for non-refrigerated liquefied gases, the maximum filling ratio required by section 10.3.2 of ADG 7 must not be exceeded. Until now a national exemption granted by the Competent Authorities Panel allowing a filling ratio for propane of 0.45 for tank vehicles with a capacity greater than 5000 litres applied.

Clause has now been amended to replace this exemption.

Clause and - Transport documents need to be in the emergency information holder

Section 11.1.4 specifies that transport documents need to be carried in a specially fitted emergency information holder. This requirement needed further clarity.

Two new clauses and were included in ADG 7.3.

Clause and - Maintenance of fire extinguisher

Clause of ADG 7 required fire extinguishers to comply with the general requirements for portable fire extinguishers under AS/NZS 1841.1 and with requirements for classification, rating and performance testing under AS/NZS 1850.

A new provision in ADG7.3 adds a reference to AS 1851 at clause

References to AS/NZS 1841.6 and 1841.7 were not relevant and have been removed.

Clause has been amended to clarify location requirements for fire extinguishers.

A new clause has been added to clarify positioning of fire extinguishers in the cabin and Table 12.1 has been amended accordingly.
Clause - Parking exemption for dangerous goods vehicles in places without public access

A new clause has been added in ADG 7.3 to exempt dangerous goods vehicles in areas not subject to public access from requirements of clause

Clauses and - Vehicles carrying a placard load of acid batteries may park in public places

Amendments were made to allow vehicles with placard loads containing acid batteries (UN 2794) to park in public places and residential areas provided requirements of and are met.