Information from the European Commission on transportable pressure equipment

Introduction

In January 2018, the European Commission issued a notice on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) and EU rules in the field of industrial products REV 1. This notice covers a number of Directives under the Authority’s remit including the transportable pressure equipment (TPE) directive (Directive 2010/35/EU) and outlines the requirements for placing products on the market when the UK leaves the EU. As a follow-up to this notice, a list of questions and answers on the impact of UK withdrawal on industrial products was published by the European Commission in February 2019.

On 13 March 2020, the European Commission issued a further notice on industrial products REV2 which replaces the January 2018 and February 2019 documents. The notice covers the legal position at the end of the transition period in relation to the identification of economic operators, conformity assessment procedures and notified bodies, and accreditation. It also refers to the relevant separation provisions of the withdrawal agreement with regard to (1) industrial products placed on the EU or the UK market before the end of the transition period; (2) transfer of information from a UK body to an EU notified body and vice-versa; and (3) applicable rules in Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period.

Transportable Pressure Equipment

On 11 July 2019, the European Commission issued a specific notice on the withdrawal of the UK and EU rules on transportable pressure equipment. This notice provided information on TPE placed on the EU-27 market. In particular, the continued free movement of TPE within the EU-27 after the transitional period requires that an EU-27 notified body carries out periodic and intermediate inspections of TPE and exceptional checks. An EU-27 notified body will also be required to carry out reassessment of conformity.

The European Commission issued a further notice on transportable pressure equipment REV1 on 5 June 2020 which replaces the notice issued on 11 July 2019. The latest notice provides additional information on TPE with respect to the rules that will apply in Northern Ireland (referred to as ‘the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland’) at the end of the transition period under the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The initial period of application of the Protocol is 4 years after the end of the transition period.

The notice states that the TPE Directive will apply in Northern Ireland. What this means under the Protocol, is that TPE placed on the market in Northern Ireland will need to comply with the directive. The TPE will need to be marked with “UK(NI)” next to the pi mark to indicate that it can legally be placed on the market in Northern Ireland but not in the EU.

Certificates (of conformity or reassessment of conformity) and reports of inspections (periodic, intermediate or exceptional checks) issued by notified bodies in Northern Ireland will be valid in Northern Ireland only and will not be valid in the EU.

Transport of Dangerous Goods between EU-27 Member States and the UK and vice-versa

For TPE used exclusively for the transport of dangerous goods between EU-27 Member States and the UK and vice-versa, the TPE directive does not apply if the equipment is used exclusively for the transport of dangerous goods between the territory of the Union and that of third countries and is carried out in accordance with Article 4 of the directive on the inland transport of dangerous goods (Directive 2008/68/EC).

Article 1(4) of Directive 2010/35/EU (TPE Directive): This Directive shall not apply to transportable pressure equipment used exclusively for the transport of dangerous goods between Member States and third countries, carried out in accordance with Article 4 of Directive 2008/68/EC.
Article 4 of Directive 2008/68/EC (inland transport of dangerous goods): The transport of dangerous goods between Member States and third countries shall be authorised in so far as it complies with the requirements of the ADR, RID and ADN, unless otherwise indicated in the Annexes.

Thus, TPE which complies with the requirements of the ADR (or RID) can normally continue to be accepted, after the transitional period, for the international carriage of dangerous goods between the UK and the EU-27 and vice versa.

What does this mean for transportable pressure equipment which is not pi (π) marked?

To answer this question, we will consider non pi marked TPE in two categories:

  1. Non pi marked TPE that complies with the requirements of ADR
  2. Non pi marked TPE that is not in compliance with the ADR

Non pi marked TPE that complies with the requirements of the ADR


If the TPE is ADR compliant (and IMDG compliant if the transport operation involves a sea crossing) but is not pi marked, the TPE can be used exclusively for the transport of dangerous goods between Ireland and the UK under the following conditions in Table 1:

Table 1

ADR compliant, non pi marked TPE

Pressure receptacles

Tanks, battery vehicles, multiple element gas containers

Meets the requirements of ADR Chapter 6.2 or ADR transitional measures in ADR 1.6.2Meets the requirements of ADR Chapters 6.7, 6.8 or 6.9, or ADR transitional measures in ADR 1.6.3 and 1.6.4
May be carried for the purposes of periodic inspection by an accredited inspection body (accredited in accordance with ADR Chapter 6.2)May be carried for the purposes of periodic inspection, intermediate inspection and exceptional check by an accredited inspection body
  • If non pi marked pressure receptacles fulfil the conditions of Table 1 and are filled in the UK (Contracting Party of ADR), the pressure receptacles may enter Ireland full, but must be emptied in Ireland at the first destination point. However, the transport operation can include ‘temporary intermediate storage’ as defined in the ADR.
“Carriage” means the change of place of dangerous goods, including stops made necessary by transport conditions and including any period spent by the dangerous goods in vehicles, tanks and containers made necessary by traffic conditions, during and after the change of place.
This definition also covers the intermediate temporary storage of dangerous goods in order to change the mode or means of transport (trans-shipment). This shall apply provided that transport documents showing the place of dispatch and the place of reception are presented on request and provided that packages and tanks are not opened during intermediate storage, except to be checked by the competent authorities.
  • If non pi marked pressure receptacles fulfil the conditions of Table 1 and are filled in Ireland, the consignor is advised to check with the competent authority in the UK (Department for Transport) regarding what is permitted under UK legislation.

Non pi marked TPE that is not in compliance with the requirements of the ADR

Non pi marked TPE that is not in compliance with ADR is restricted to national use only and must comply with our national regulations, the European Communities (Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment) Regulations, 2011, as amended (‘the 2011 Regulations’). 

Note: In the UK, non pi marked TPE that is not ADR compliant is also restricted to national carriage within the UK. See: Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009, as amended and Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010, as amended.

Such TPE can only be transported from Ireland to the UK as non-dangerous goods. In case of pressure receptacles which are covered under Regulation 55 of the 2011 Regulations, if they are to be carried to the UK for the purposes of periodic inspection, this could be achieved, for example, by de-gassing or with the valves removed.

Annex C tanks

Tanks constructed to EN12493 inclusive of Annex C are permitted for national use only under the transitional provisions of Annex 1 of Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods.

Directive 2008/68/EC, Annex 1, 1.2 Additional Transitional Provisions, paragraph 4: Within its territory each Member State may maintain national provisions other than those laid down in this Directive with regard to the reference temperature for the transport of liquefied gases or mixtures of liquefied gases, until provisions relating to appropriate reference temperatures for designated climatic areas are incorporated into European standards and referred to in Annex I, Section I.1, to this Directive.

Annex C tanks do not comply with ADR Chapter 6.8, but are permitted in Ireland for national use only by virtue of Regulation 54 of the 2011 Regulations.

Note: Currently in the UK, Annex C tanks are provided for in the ‘Carriage of Dangerous Goods: Approved Derogations and Transitional Provisions’, April 2012. When the UK leaves the EU, Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods will no longer apply in the UK.