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FTA welcomes guidance on shipping dangerous goods

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the publication by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency of new guidance aimed at shippers and logistics providers in the retail distribution sector dealing with dangerous goods in 'limited quantities' in their supply chains. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), which is the UK's Competent Authority for carriage of dangerous goods by sea, has published a Marine Guidance Note (MGN) number 342 on 'Guidance on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Limited Quantities intended for Retail, Shipped on UK Domestic Ferries'.

Crucially this MGN allows for the ADR Limited Quantity package marking to be used as an option instead of IMDG Code Limited Quantity package marking for sea crossings involving UK domestic ferries, and therefore eases the compliance burden in retail supply chains. FTA played a key part in negotiating this Guidance with the MCA, which supplements that already available for road transport on the Department for Transport's website.

Commenting on the publication of this guidance, Chris MacRae, FTA's Global Supply Chain Logistics Policy Manager said, 'This guidance recognises that modern retail logistics operations depend upon the ability to break down outer packages of dangerous goods in order to make up orders for shops of individual packs of products to be supplied to the point of sale outlet.

'When we talk of dangerous goods here, it is important to remember that the United Nations definition of such includes paints, varnishes and white spirit, perfumery and toiletry products – in other words the sorts of things we all buy in high street or at out of town DIY or chemists outlets.

'While much of this distribution is currently by road, with rail increasingly being explored, if the goods are to get across the sea to Northern Ireland or to remote rural communities of the Scottish Highland and Islands, then a sea journey will be required. This guidance helps facilitate such multi-modal transport while still preserving requirements appropriate to the more vulnerable conditions of sea transport.'

The following Marine Guidance Note (MGN) is in the middle of being published and is available on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) website:

MGN342 Guidance on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Limited Quantities intended for Retail, Shipped on UK Domestic Ferries – http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mgn_342_website_version-2.pdf

This MGN has been finalised. It should still be regarded as draft but an official version will be published imminently. It is available as PDF format. This Guidance outlines the required standard of compliance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code when transporting retail dangerous goods in limited quantities on domestic ferries and should be read in conjunction with amendment 32-04 of the IMDG Code. This Guidance is not applicable to retail goods where the destination of the goods is outside of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

FTA played a key part in negotiating this Guidance with the MCA, which supplements that already written for road transport by FTA for the Department for Transport at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/freight/dgt/cdgr/docs/notes/dftdgguidancenote7

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