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Limited and Excepted Quantities

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Levels of Carriage
There are 4 different Levels of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods.

The First Level is Called Limited Quantities. This defines that if the Goods are packed in small enough measures, then the risks relating to that carriage are reduced, because if one small package, say 2.5 Litres, leaks the risk is smaller than the leak of 50 Litre Drum.

The Second Level is called 'Exemptions per Transport Unit'. This defines that if you have larger packagings above the size of Limited Quantities, but you only have small amounts, say up to 333Kg of Packing Group II or 1000Kg of Packing Group III, then again the risk is reduced because the amount you are carrying on the vehicle is smaller.

EQ Symbol The Third Level is called 'Excepted Quantities'. This level of carriage is from Air Cargo Regulations, and again is based on quantity carried, and more importantly the standard of the packaging.

(first) label number of the goods
name of the consignor or consignee if not shown elsewhere on the package

The Fourth level is the Carriage of Dangerous Goods where all the Requirements of the ADR Regulations Apply.

There is a Fifth Level, where if the load consists of Infectious Substances of Category A, or 3 Tonne in bulk, or 3,000 litres in tanks of other certain Dangerous Goods then certain additional Security Measures regarding the load must be put in Place.

Limited Quantities
The First level of the Transport of Dangerous per vehicle is what is known as 'Limited Quantities', or sometimes 'LQ'. This is where dangerous goods are packed in small enough Quantities, i.e. in small receptacles, thus the (spillage) danger is reduced. Nearly all dangerous Goods have defined a LIMITED QUANTITY allowance, defined per UN Number.

Some goods have no limited Quantity Allowance, UN 1057, Lighters and Lighter Refills, or UN 0336 Fireworks.

As long as the goods are carried in quantities under the defined LQ receptacle size, and have an outer packaging to them, and packed in no more than 30 Kg per outer Packaging or 20kg on a shrink wrapped tray, then the vehicle by road is exempt of ADR Regulation requirements.

There is no limit to the amount of Packages one can carry, so in effect if the receptacle size is under LQ amounts, then a full load of the material can be carried without application of ADR Regulations.

By SEA under IMDG Regulations, there are 'Limited Quantity' allowances, but may differ from the road Regulations. For Dangerous Goods at Sea, IMDG Regulations apply and all Dangerous Goods require a Dangerous Goods note. The DGN must be marked 'Limited Quantities' if it applies.

Under the ADR 2011 Regulations, packages of Dangerous Goods packed in 'Limited Quantities' must be marked accordingly, where the 'Y' indicates Airfreight.

Marking of the Vehicle
Since 2011, vehicles over 12,000kg Unladen Mass, carrying more than 8000Kg of Limited Quantity Goods must now show the Limited Quantity Markings except where orange plates are already displayed, ie: fourth level load - see above.

Consignors must inform the carrier of Limited Quantity Goods to be consigned in a Traceable Form.

For further guidance regarding Marking of the Vehicle, please download the Dft's guidance notes at the link below.

Limited Quanities Transport Unit Markings - Dept for TransportPDF logo

Exemptions related to Quantities carried per Transport Unit
This is the Second Level of Dangerous Goods and can be found in Chapter

In this level, the maximum amount carried on the vehicle is taken into consideration. Defined in the Transport Categories, Goods of certain Classes can be carried with only partial application of the regulations.

The Amounts per Transport Unit
Transport Category 0
Transport Category 1
Transport category 1A
Transport Category 2
Transport Category 2A
Transport Category 3
Transport Category 4
No Exemption
50Kg Explosives UK Limit
500Kg Explosives UK Limit

Transport under have the following exemptions to the regulations;-

In the UK, there is no requirement to carry a transport document when transporting a load under in classes 2 to 6, 8 and 9 and certain quantities of some goods in class 1.(CDG Approved Derogation 2), although it could be viewed as 'best practice' to do so regardless of this derogation.

High Consequence Dangerous Goods - Chapter 1.10 of ADR
After 9/11 and the incident at Glasgow Airport some dangerous goods especially certai goods in bulk over 3000 Kg, in tanks above 3,000 litres and Toxics of packing group 1 must travel under certain security measures. This includes some Fertilisers, Explosives, and most packing Group I Products.

Companies transporting these goods must have a Transport Security Plan in place to preserve the integrity of the load from theft or terrorist interference. Persons responsible for Load Security have to be defined within the company, and Risk Assessments done.

The Driver to have photographic Identity, and be positively identified by their employers. Also all staff must have Security Awareness training. VOSA will visit all companies, to assure security measures are in place, to Prevent terrorist Attack, and Counter Terrorist Security Advisers have been deployed to assist in measures to be taken.

Vehicle and Load Security devices and Measures to be in place and used. A separate Training Programme is available for Drivers and Operators. A Download is Available from the DfT with all the recommendations.

Further Reading
For further information regarding this subject, please visit the relevant links below.

Main exemptions - HSE
ADR and the Carriage Regulations - HSE

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