Carriage of Dangerous Goods By Road (ADR) Regulations can often be confusing and unclear, so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers to guide you through some of the regular questions we get asked.


ADR is a United Nations treaty which governs the International Transport of Dangerous or Hazardous Goods by Road. ADR stands for the “European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road”, which is derived from the French text “Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route”.

First introduced in 1957, the treaty came into force on the 29th January 1968. The regulations are updated every two years by the United Nations Economic Commision for Europe, with the next version coming into force from 1st January 2021.

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 came into force on the 1st July 2009, and replace the 2007 regulations. These regulations enforce the 2017 ADR Regulations, although there are a number of exceptions.

There are some derogations which cause variance in the UK and these can be found on the HSE Government Website.

Exemptions in ADR can arise in three different ways:

  1. ADR itself
  2. From the Dangerous Goods Directive
  3. Authorisations

Exemptions are set out in part 1.1.3 in the regulations, and there are several main exemptions.

ADR Vehicle requirements refer to the equipment you need on board your vehicle and the signage that must be on the vehicle. This can vary according to the size of the vehicle, the load that the vehicle is carrying. Please check your ADR Books to ensure you have the correct equipment and signage.

Limited quantities generally refer to dangerous goods packaged in small receptacles, such as items going into the retail industry like perfume. The amount you can carry as a limited quantity is dependent on the size of the receptacle and the packaging it uses.

Carrying dangerous goods under limited quantities generally means exemption from standard ADR practices, although the marking of some vehicles is still required.

What you are transporting will define what ADR signage you need. All vehicles carrying dangerous good that are not covered by Limited Quantities or the Exemptions are required to have ADR signage.

ADR 5.1.3 deals with placarding, and dependent on what you are carrying and how it is being carried, you will need Orange plates to the front and back, and for more dangerous goods, placards to the front. back and either side of the container.


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To discuss your requirements for ADR, PPE or workwear call us on 01280 841400 or email our sales department, who will be happy to have a chat!