CHemical Hazards Legislation - UK

Supply

Import/Export

The import and export of chemicals from the UK is subject to a number of regulations, including the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation (EU) 649/2012. This regulation implements the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and controls the import and export of certain dangerous chemicals. In addition, Article 17 imposes more general duties on exporters to provide information to their non-EU customers, including EU compliant labels and safety data sheets to the, unless these would clash with the requirements of the importing country.

Additional requirements apply to chemicals that may be used in the manufacture of drugs and chemical weapons. Further information on the import and export of drug precursors can be found on the Home Office website, whilst information on the chemical weapons convention can be found here.

Suspicious enquiries for chemicals that might be used as precursors for drugs and/or chemical weapons should be reported, as soon as possible to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321. See National Counter Terrorism Security Office website and leaflet.

Use

  • COSHH: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2677). See also COSHH ACoP L5 (6th edition 2013) and COSHH Essentials a free access website (www.coshh-essentials.org.uk) which can be used to make a risk assessment of the health hazards of chemical processes.

  • DSEAR: The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2776) implements the Explosives Atmosphere Directive (ATEX 137) 1999/92/EC and the safety aspects of the Chemicals Agents Directive (CAD). (Note: CAD also deals with health aspects which are implemented by COSHH). DSEAR implements measures to reduce the risks from fires, explosions and other energy releasing events (e.g. exothermic chemical reactions) arising from the use of dangerous substances. See DSEAR ACOP L138 (2nd Edition 2013).

  • CLAW: Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/543) and 2002 (S.I. 2002/2676). CLAW AcoP (3rd edition) 2002 (L132)

  • CAW: Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (SI 2002/2675)

Transport

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (SI 2009 No 1348 - known as CDG2009) basically make the current editions of ADR and RID applicable to international carriage and domestic carriage within Great Britain (GB). Note: unlike previously, CDG2009 will not need to be remade every two years when ADR and RID are amended. CDG2009 is accompanied by an approved document (hence its provisions are legally enforceable) known as the “Approved Derogations and Transitional Provisions” (ADTP), and a Guidance Note, both of which are available on the Department for Transport (DfT) website. These DfT Documents will be changed as and when required (e.g. when a new edition of ADR/RID applies). Northern Ireland (NI) normally has legislation mirroring the GB position, though it may take some time to appear after the GB version. However in practice compliance with the GB rules within NI is normally accepted as compliance with the NI provisions.

The carriage of dangerous goods by sea both domestically and internationally is regulated under the requirements of the IMDG Code, and enforced by the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 2367). The latest version of the IMDG Code is implemented via a Merchant Shipping Notice (MSN) and guidance may be given in Marine Guidance Notes (MGNs) and Marine Information Notes (MINs). There are basically no derogations for UK only operations.

The carriage of dangerous goods by air, both domestically and internationally, is legally subject to the ICAO Technical Instructions, enforced by the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002 (2002 No 2786) as amended from time to time to reference the most current edition. However, the IATA, so called, Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGRs) are used in practice. These contain all the ICAO TI requirements, plus some additional terms and conditions for specific countries and airlines.

Note: Statutory Instruments (SI) can be accessed at: www.legislation.gov.uk. Northern Ireland may have its own versions of the following or may not yet have passed the applicable Statutory Rule (SR). In some case the SIs quoted may even be specific to England, with Wales, Scotland and NI having their own equivalents.


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