Transport Matters

Driving can be hazardous at the best of times, but the safe carriage of dangerous goods requires compliance with complex regulations, an absolute commitment to best practice and professional levels of driver training and skill.

BCGA member companies actively promote safety during any transport journey to ensure their goods are delivered safely, the safety of vehicle crews and the safety of the general public. Within BCGA, transport matters are the responsibility of Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) 4. Members can access information on TSC4 via the ‘Members‘ area.

Any goods that pose a risk to people, property and the environment are classified as dangerous goods. For transport, these goods need to be packaged correctly to ensure that they are safe for carriage. Gases are classified as dangerous goods. The transport of dangerous goods is regulated in order to prevent, as far as possible, accidents involving people or property, damage to the environment, to the means of transport employed or to other goods being transported. Each mode of transport, (air, sea, road, rail and inland waterway) has its own regulations but they are now largely harmonized with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods – Model Regulations.

The UN Model Regulations use a classification system in which each dangerous substance or article is assigned to a CLASS, depending on the nature of the danger it presents. Gases are assigned to Class 2, and are further sub-divided into three divisions:

Division 2.1
Flammable gas
Division 2.2
Non-flammable non toxic gas
Division 2.3
Toxic gas



Dangerous goods which are transported by air have to follow the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regulations. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) publish their IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations which includes national and individual airline requirements. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK’s aviation regulator.


Dangerous Goods which are transported by sea have to follow the International Maritime Organization (IMORegulations, which are implemented via the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) regulates transport by sea.

Road & Rail

Dangerous goods which are transported by road or rail within Great Britain have to comply with the requirements of The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations, as amended. These Regulations implement the Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the Regulation concerning the International carriage of Dangerous Goods By Rail (RID). The Secretary of State for Transport, within the Department for Transport (DfT), is the competent authority for Great Britain.

Everyone transporting gas cylinders in the course of their work is required to comply with ADR and has to meet certain basic minimum legal safety requirements. A threshold level is set based on a quantity of transport units,  if below the threshold  you are exempt from some requirements of ADR but if you exceed the threshold level you are required to comply with the full ADR regulations. Refer to BCGA GN 27, Guidance for the carriage of gas cylinders on vehicles.

It is recommended that gas cylinders are transported in open vehicles, open containers or trailers. If it is necessary to transport gas cylinders inside a vehicle then good ventilation is required. In all spaces, the use of roof ventilators along with side vents will increase the quantity of ventilated air in the vehicle. Once the journey is completed gas cylinders should be removed from the vehicle. If there is any possibility of gas accumulating within a vehicle space then appropriate warning signs are to be displayed. Common hazards come from the use of dry ice, i.e. asphyxiant gas, and also the careless handling and use of welding gas cylinders and equipment leading to a build-up of flammable and oxidant gases. Refer to BCGA CP 31 and BCGA GN 27.

An empty, or partially filled, gas container that has contained a dangerous substance is to be treated the same as a full container and is therefore subject to all the relevant transport dangerous goods regulations. Only if adequate measures have been taken to nullify any hazard may the container be treated as non-hazardous.


When dangerous goods are being transported, the driver of the vehicle is required to carry certain documents, these include:

All personnel involved in the carriage of dangerous goods require training and instruction, this includes administration staff, site security staff as well as drivers and vehicle attendants. Additionally, certain drivers of road vehicles carrying dangerous goods may need to hold a vocational training certificate (VTC, or “ADR certificate”). In the UK the VTC is obtained after a driver has attended a training course and successfully completed an examination, approved by the DfT. The examination has to be appropriate to the class or classes of goods which are to be carried on the vehicle. Refer to the DfT Website and  Refer to BCGA GN 35.

Dangerous goods can be attractive to thieves and terrorists.  Everybody involved in the storage and distribution of dangerous goods should take appropriate security measures and precautions to minimise their theft or misuse.  ADR, Chapter 1.10, has specific requirements.  BCGA CP 40 provides guidance. DfT provide guidance on security requirements for moving dangerous goods by road and rail, including a training film on the security of high consequence dangerous goods, titled ‘Lockdown’. The film is available on request from DfT or it can be downloaded from the original makers.

DGSA. Businesses that handle (including the transport related activities of loading and unloading), process or transport dangerous goods need to appoint a dangerous goods safety adviser(s) (DGSA). DGSAs need to have obtained a vocational training certificate (VTC) after undergoing training and successfully completing a written examination approved by the DfT. DGSA VTCs are valid for 5 years. Refer to BCGA GN 35

The role and duties of a DGSA are laid out in ADR, Chapter 1.8. As part of these duties the DGSA is required to produce an Annual Report. EIGA provide a template for an annual report for Class 2 dangerous goods (gases), refer to EIGA 156.   Further  information on the roles and activities of DGSA’s is available through the British Association of Dangerous Goods Professionals (BADGP).


Transport Regulators

Within the UK the following agencies assist in regulating transport, vehicles and drivers:



Additional requirements and standards regarding transportation.

There are specific requirements for vehicles driving through tunnels, further information is available from:

Vehicles used for freight transportation have to meet certain standards. Useful information can be found at:

There is also increasing use of various gases providing the fuel for vehicles. Gas powered vehicles have many advantages including low, or zero, emissions from exhausts and a reduced carbon footprint. More information is available on our Alternative Fuels for Vehicles webpage.



CP16 The movement of static gas storage tanks by road. Revision 5: 2019

541 Codes of Practice CP16

The movement on public roads of storage tanks, as well as other gaseous equipment, designed for use in a static location. This code does not apply to tanks designed to comply with the road transport Regulations.

Go To Download Page

CP27 Transportable vacuum insulated containers of not more than 1000 litres volume. Revision 1: 2004

1688 Codes of Practice CP27

This code of practice applies to transportable, vacuum insulated, tanks of not more than 1,000 litres water capacity, for the following gases: Nitrogen, argon, oxygen, carbon dioxide, helium or nitrous oxide.This code provides guidance for the minimum requirements for: General safety precautions, design and construction, operation, tank management and filling, transportation, in-service examination, modifications/repairs and records.

Go To Download Page

CP29 The design and operation of cylinder and tube trailers (battery vehicles) and multiple-element gas containers for the safe transport of compressed gases by road. Revision 2: 2013

1690 Codes of Practice CP29

Provides practical guidance on the design, construction, examination, testing and certification, and the filling/discharging of cylinder vehicle/trailers used for the domestic conveyance of compressed, but not liquefiable gases.

Go To Download Page

CP31 The safe storage and use of cylinders on mobile workshops and service vehicles. Revision 5: 2020

1709 Codes of Practice CP31

Details the design, construction and operation of vehicles which are used as mobile workshops or provide a specialist capability, where there is a specific requirement to use a gas. It covers the safe carriage of gas cylinders and the safe installation of gas equipment on such vehicles. It provides guidance on safe use and the competence of operators to ensure high levels of safety awareness and operational safety.

Go To Download Page

CP38 In-service requirements for refrigerated gas transportable pressure equipment. Revision 1: 2018

1743 Codes of Practice CP38

Provides guidance on the management of in-service refrigerated gas transportable pressure equipment to ensure that it is serviceable for the safe transportation of gases without unintended release during the complete journey. The equipment covered includes road tankers, tank containers and other tanks used for the operation of special equipment used during transport, such as cooling equipment.

Go To Download Page

GN27 Guidance for the carriage of gas cylinders on vehicles. Revision 2: 2017

1898 Guidance Notes GN27

Provides guidance on safely transporting gas cylinders in order to comply with ADR and provides a method for calculating the threshold quantity for any gas cylinders being carried.

Go To Download Page

GN35 Vehicle selection and transport management. 2017

1935 Guidance Notes GN35

Provides advice on vehicle selection, the recruitment, training and assessment of transport personnel and the relevant elements of a transport management system associated with Class 2 dangerous goods.

Go To Download Page

L1 The carriage of small quantities of gas cylinders. Revision 6: 2021

1871 Leaflets L1

Highlights the legal and basic safety requirements for transporting small quantities of gas cylinders on a vehicle whilst at work and provides sound advice if transporting gas cylinders for personal use.

Go To Download Page

L13 Medical gases. Medical oxygen in a vehicle. Revision 3: 2020

1912 Leaflets L13

This leaflet highlights the key safety information for patients and drivers where medical oxygen cylinders or medical liquid oxygen equipment is used and / or transported for personal use in a vehicle.

Go To Download Page

TIS26 Model risk assessment for the transport of gas cylinders. 2012

1993 Technical Information Sheets TIS26

A Model Risk Assessment intended to support BCGA Code of Practice 31 and which assists users with identifying and managing the safety hazards associated with the transportation of gas cylinder packages containing both compressed, liquefied and dissolved gases. It does not cover cylinder bundles and cryogenic liquid vessels.

Go To Download Page

TIS45 Guidance for the protection of vehicle crew working in all weather conditions. 2019

2025 Technical Information Sheets TIS45

Vehicle crews are required to work outdoors in all weather conditions. This document provides guidance on the weather conditions that may be encountered and advice on the risk assessment and subsequent control measures that may be necessary.

Go To Download Page

BCGA provides a number of publications which are useful when transporting gases or gas equipment. These include: