Transport Division
 
space space space

Dangerous Goods and Special Cargoes Section

Manual of Tests and Criteria. General Introduction

The recommendations in the Manual of Tests and Criteria supplement the "Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods" and the Model Regulations annexed thereto. They result from the decisions of the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods at its thirteenth (1984), fourteenth (1986), fifteenth (1988), sixteenth (1990), seventeenth (1992), eighteenth (1994), nineteenth (1996) and twentieth (1998) sessions. This third revised edition takes account of amendments to the previous edition adopted by the Committee at its nineteenth session ( ST/SG/AC.10/23/Add.1, annex 2) and twentieth session (ST/SG/AC.10/1998/14 and ST/SG/AC.10/25/Add.1, Part 3).

The purpose of the Manual of Tests and Criteria is to present the United Nations schemes for the classification of certain types of dangerous goods and to give descriptions of the test methods and procedures considered to be the most useful for providing competent authorities with the necessary information to arrive at a proper classification of substances and articles for transport. The Manual of Tests and Criteria should be used in conjunction with the latest version of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and of the Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods annexed to these Recommendations .

It should be noted that the Manual of Tests and Criteria is not a concise formulation of testing procedures that will unerringly lead to a proper classification of products. It therefore assumes competence on the part of the testing authority and leaves responsibility for classification with them. The competent authority has discretion to dispense with certain tests, to vary the details of tests, and to require additional tests when this is justified to obtain a reliable and realistic assessment of the hazard of a product. In some cases, a small scale screening procedure may be used to decide whether or not it is necessary to perform larger scale classification tests. 

The classification procedures, test methods and criteria are divided into three parts: 

Part I:

those relating to assignment of explosives to Class 1.

Part II:

those relating to assignment of self-reactive substances to Division 4.1 and of organic peroxides to Division 5.2.

Part III:

those relating to assignment of substances or articles to Class 3, Class 4, Division 5.1 or Class 9.


Part III contains some classification procedures, test methods and criteria which are also given in the Model Regulations. There are also a number of appendices which give information common to a number of different types of tests, on the National Contacts for Test Details, on an example method for emergency relief vent sizing of portable tanks for the transport of organic peroxides and self-reactive substances and on screening procedures.

 

Dangerous Goods Home Page


Last updated: 2001 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe