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
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:
those relating to
assignment of explosives to Class 1.
those relating to
assignment of self-reactive substances to Division 4.1 and of organic
peroxides to Division 5.2.
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.