The United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCOE TDG) is holding their 58th Session remotely 28 June – 2 July 2021. There are 31 formal and 48 informal papers submitted for discussion as of Day 5. This session is the first of four sessions to be held during the 2021-2022 biennium.


Unlike the 57th Session from December 2020, all daily sessions are to be held formally (interpreted). Therefore, papers are to be reviewed as listed on the agenda (INF.2) and final decisions will be taken when appropriate. Given the virtual nature of the meeting, there are only four (4) hours each day dedicated to discussion of the papers. This means that discussions on some papers may be limited, and final decisions may be deferred to a later meeting in the biennium.


This summary is provided to assist you in following the discussions of the papers. Note that the Official report of the session will be made available by the UN Secretariat 3-4 weeks after the session concludes.


Summary of Documents


Day 5 – Discussion of Papers


2021/8INF.3INF.41INF.46INF.47 – Working group on FRP service equipment for portable tanks, Terms of Reference – Following up from the Day 4 discussion, the Russian Federation presented INF.47 that included the Terms of Reference for an Informal Working Group on FRP service equipment for portable tanks. These terms will serve as a guide for discussions on the topic during the biennium. France supported the paper as presented. Based on the comments from the Subcommittee, the FRP WG was established and will use the Terms of Reference as they work intersessionally.


INF.45INF.48 – Proposed transition period for the use of new entries for electronic detonators – In INF.45, IME explained that a transition period is needed as industry moves from the entries DETONATORS, ELECTRIC (UN0030, UN0255 and UN0456) to DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC (UN0511, UN0512 and UN0513). To address the issue, IME submitted INF.48 and suggested a new special provision giving a transitional date of 30 June 2026. Belgium questioned why the date of 2026 was chosen instead of 2025 or 2027. Sweden supported the proposal but agreed with Belgium. Spain supported the proposal and requested States adopt the provisions as soon as possible to reduce confusion. AEISG and the US supported the proposal as well. France agreed with Spain and suggested either 2025 or 2027 so that it would be consistent with the expiration of regulatory texts. IME explained the date was based on transitions in place in Australia, but they agreed that 2025 would be acceptable. France and Spain noted that these entries have already been adopted into ADR/RID. Therefore, as of 2023, a multilateral agreement will be needed to allow for the older UN numbers. They requested this point be noted in the report. Based on the discussion, the Subcommittee agreed to the proposal in INF.48 with a revised date of 30 June 2025.


INF.29 – Proposal to add explanatory wording to the Guiding Principles and to add a line to table 4.2 of packing assignments following the assignment of a new UN number to cobalt dihydroxide powder for continued transport in IBC’s – RPMASA and ICPP proposed to add text to the Guiding Principles regarding the discussion and decision on the adoption of UN3550. Austria supported Option 1. Belgium indicated they would provide additional comments to RPMASA directly. The Netherlands supported the effort as well. Sweden and Canada preferred Option 2. The US was not convinced additional text was necessary. RPMASA indicated they would review comments received and return with a revised proposal. They encouraged interested delegations to contact RPMASA directly. No proposals were adopted. 


INF.34 – Proposal for simple definition for the word “toxic” – Noting negative connotations to the term in society particularly in the undeveloped world, RPMASA suggested the Subcommittee adopt a simple definition of the term “toxic”. Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, AEISG, Austria, Switzerland, and the UK did not support the proposal. Germany commented that adding such a definition could create additional confusion. The Netherlands added any change in a definition would need to go through GHS and the OECD. RPMASA reminded the Subcommittee that the paper will also be discussed by GHS. Based on the comments, RPMASA withdrew the proposal and indicated they would consider a new proposal at a future session based on further discussions at GHS. No proposals were adopted.


INF.28 – Status of dangerous goods regulations and mandatory training in South Africa – RPMASA provided an update of the current status of regulatory updates and mandatory training in South Africa. COSTHA thanked RPMASA for the paper as this type of information sharing is invaluable to industry. No proposals were considered.


INF.27 – Progress report on South Africa’s AN Task Group response to the August 2020 Beirut Port catastrophic explosion of ammonium nitrate – RPMASA shared their efforts and lessons learned with their Ammonium Nitrate Task Force. In particular, they have found that all parties involved must be involved and understand what others in the supply chain are doing. They are also finding that the effort is expanding to other dangerous goods. They will continue to update the Subcommittee on future discussions. South Africa reiterated the comments of RPMASA. They pointed out that the challenges include a lack of knowledge or experience in many undeveloped areas. France also shared a link (in French) to a report that the French Government issued as a response to the Beirut Port incident. No proposals were considered.


INF.43 – UN/OECD seminar in follow-up to the 2020 Beirut port explosion: Lessons learned, experiences and good practices of ammonium nitrate storage and handling, and related accident prevention, preparedness and response: Invitation to contribute – The Secretariat shared efforts at the UN/OECD on the development of a seminar on lessons learned and best practices of ammonium nitrate storage and handling. The Seminar is scheduled for 4 December 2021. They invited interested delegations to provide comments to the Secretariat as soon as possible. IME, Fertilizers Europe, AEISG, RPMASA, and the Netherlands offered support to the Secretariat in developing the Seminar. The Secretariat indicated they would be issuing a survey in the near future on the topic. No proposals were considered. 


2021/6 – Corrections to GHS Chapter 2.17 – The Chairman of the Explosives Working Group drew attention to comments made on the review of GHS Chapter 2.17 by the EWG. The comments were found in Paragraph 17 of INF.23. They supported the language as drafted. This support will be provided to the GHS Subcommittee. No proposals were considered.


End of 58th Session Discussion of Papers