What Is The Definition Of ADR?

adr definitions

ADR is French for “European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road” which is a treaty dating back to 1957 from the United Nations regarding the governance of international transport of Dangerous Goods. The original French name for the 1957 Treaty was:

Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route”

The most important parts of the regulations are the Annexes – A & B. Annex A with adr definitions covers the packaging and labelling of dangerous goods, and Annex B covers the vehicle, and it’s construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle. Subsequently to the initial 1957 Agreement, both Annexes are updated regularly and amended since the introduction of the regulations and we can guide you on ADR signs and meanings . You can find the full Annexes toward the bottom of the page.

Why are there regulations?

Transport of dangerous goods needs to be regulated in order to prevent, as far as possible, accidents to persons or property and damage to the environment, the means of transport employed or to other goods.

However, with different regulations and adr definitions in every country and for different modes of transport, international trade in chemicals and dangerous products would be seriously impeded, if not made impossible and unsafe. Moreover, dangerous goods are also subject to other kinds of regulations, such as work safety regulations, consumer protection regulations, storage regulations and environmental protection regulations.

In order to ensure consistency between all these regulatory systems, the United Nations has developed mechanisms for the harmonisation of hazard classification criteria and hazard communication tools (GHS – Globally Harmonized System) as well as for transport conditions for all modes for transport (TDG – Transportation of Dangerous Goods).

In addition, the UNECE administers regional agreements that ensure the effective implementation of these mechanisms as far as transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways are concerned.

ADR vehicle equipment

Typically you can buy two kinds of ADR kit; for example, a full ADR & PPE kit covers the driver’s personal protection in the event of being in direct risk from hazardous substances. So gloves, boots, eyewash and chemical suit are included as well as the necessary ADR Equipment for certain classes of dangerous goods.

Buy Our Full Driver & PPE ADR Kit Here: DK0025 ADR Kit

The full Hazchem ADR kit on board gives you the confidence that if stopped by VOSA or police you can demonstrate quickly your compliance with the latest ADR regulations thus saving time and any penalties etc.

In the event of an incident, you have the resource to hand as an ADR-trained driver to deal efficiently and professionally with the situation while protecting yourself from harm or injury.

adr definitions

The ADR agreement is short and simple

The key article is the second, which say that apart from some excessively dangerous goods, other dangerous goods may be carried internationally in road vehicles subject to compliance with the following:

  • The conditions laid down in Annex A for the goods in question, in particular as regards their packaging and labelling; and the conditions laid down in Annex B*, in particular as regards the construction, equipment and operation of the vehicle carrying the goods in question.
  • Annexes A and B have been regularly amended and updated since the entry into force of ADR. Consequently, to the amendments for entry into force on 1 January 2011, a revised consolidated version has been published as document ECE/TRANS/215, Vol. I and II (“ADR 2011”).
  • The structure is consistent with that of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (of the International Maritime Organization), the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (of the International Civil Aviation Organization) and the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail).


Browse our comprehensive range of ADR Signage, Equipment and ADR Kits. We can even create bespoke kits and signage!

The official name for ADR law

The official name for ADR Law is the “European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road”

The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) was done at Geneva on 30 September 1957 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, and it entered into force on 29 January 1968. The Agreement itself was amended by the Protocol amending article 14 (3) done at New York on 21 August 1975, which entered into force on 19 April 1985.

ADR signs and meanings

Annex A and Annex B

Annex A: General provisions and provisions concerning dangerous articles and substances

  • Part 1 General provisions
  • Part 2 Classification
  • Part 3 Dangerous goods list, special provisions and exemptions related to limited and excepted quantities
  • Part 4 Packing and tank provisions
  • Part 5 Consignment procedures
  • Part 6 Requirements for the construction and testing of packagings, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), large packagings and tanks
  • Part 7 Provisions concerning the conditions of carriage, loading, unloading and handling

Annex B: Provisions concerning transport equipment and transport operations

  • Part 8 Requirements for vehicle crews, equipment, operation and documentation
  • Part 9 Requirements concerning the construction and approval of vehicles

Applicability of ADR 2019 and limits of validity of previous editions published by the United Nations.

How can we help?

You need to comply with the law in order to transport hazardous goods, but you may not know precisely how to choose your ADR limited quantities signs, equipment, kits and vehicle markings. With our guidance on ADR signs and meanings, the first question you need to ask is what class dangerous goods will I be carrying? The answer is relatively simple; If it is only ever one class of product then we have class specific kits. If it is a mixture of classes then you will need the Full ADR Kit which includes PPE to cover all necessary classes.

The second question is does the vehicle already have any ADR equipment fitted to it? Dangerous Goods Signs On Trucks? Wheel Chocks? Fire Extinguishers? If not, we stock a full range of these products.

Vehicle marking can also be a challenge and a choice. Do I need markings on the side of the vehicle? Do I need to show the UN code of the dangerous goods I am transporting? Does my existing signage meet the 15-minute fire engulfment legislation? This can be assessed on a case-by-case basis and we can help. Be assured any question you have our dedicated ADR staff will be able to guide you through this maze.

Contact us by phone, email or live chat today to discuss any details of ADR signs and meanings.

ADR Signs




adr definitions


Don’t be one of the many confused people when it comes to ADR. If you know what class of dangerous goods will you be carrying, we can tell you what ADR you need. or use our helpful guides.

ADR Signs



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