§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any proposals for tightening the regulations regarding the shipment of dangerous chemicals into the ports and their onward transport by road and rail in the United Kingdom; whether he is satisfied that the current European Economic Community code of practice governing such transport is adequate; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
The carriage of dangerous chemicals at sea is subject to the international maritime dangerous goods code. The code is continually updated to take accounts of new technological advances while safeguarding safety requirements.
Unloaded cargoes are subject to harbour byelaws. From 1 June the Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987 will apply.
Road transport in bulk from the port area is covered by the Dangerous Substances (Conveyance by Road in Road Tankers and Tank Containers) Regulations 1981. The Health and Safety Executive is currently considering a number of amendments to these regulations. The Road Traffic (Carriage of Dangerous Substances in Packages etc.) Regulations 1986, which became operational from 6 April this year, apply to certain substances in packages down to a capacity of 200 litres, and less in some cases. The Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Substances Regulations 1984, as amended in 1986, apply throughout. These three sets of regulations provide comprehensive controls.
The transport of dangerous goods by rail takes place under British Rails' list of dangerous goods and conditions of acceptance scheme, which works very well.
Responsibility for implementing EC directive No. 84/631 — EEC on the transfrontier shipment of hazardous waste rests with the Secretary of State for the Environment.