Alliance with the UN

The UN Subcommittee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

The UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods develops "model regulations" that each country and regulators for each mode of transport uses to develop consistency in the global transport of dangerous goods. The Sub-Committee is made up of delegations of "Experts" from 30 different countries such as, the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, France, etc., who vote on the issues before the group. There are a number of other groups who serve as Advisors and Observers to the Experts. These include 15 International organizations such as WHO, Universal Postal Union, and ICAO; 21 other countries, like Switzerland, Ireland and Greece; and, 44 other organizations such as ABSA, EBSA, IATA, IFALPA (International Pilots), DGAC, Compressed Gas Association, World Nuclear Transport Institute, International Union of Railways, ISO, WTCC, etc. .

The Sub-Committee meets 2 times per year for a week, and then updates the model regulations every other year. So there are essentially 4 meetings per biennium that lead to the formation and/or revision of the model regulations.

Mary Cipriano currently serves as ABSA's representative on the UN Sub-Committee. ABSA has a Working Group on Transport issues that Mary consults with when UN or other transport issues arise. If you are interested in participating in that group or have other questions on ABSA's involvement, please contact Mary at: [email protected]

The 15th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations can be found at:

Infectious substances are included in Division 6.2 under Class 6, Toxic and Infectious Substances. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) "that can alter animals, plants or microbiological substances in a way not normally the result of natural reproduction" fall into Class 9, Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances and Articles.

UN numbers are assigned to each dangerous material and is generally required that the number is used on all packages. The significant ones from the biohazard standpoint are:

In addition, the Model Regulations include specific packing instructions for dangerous goods. These are:

*No, this isn't a typographical error. UN packing instruction for infectious substances is 620 and IATA's is 602!

Transportation Issues References:

UN Subcommittee Site which gives the summary of the meetings and the papers that will be in consideration at the next session:

Canada, Transport Canada - Transport of Dangerous Goods:

EU, European Commission, Transport (need to look in specific sectors) :

IATA, International Air Transport Association

ICAO, International Civil Aeronautics Organization

US DOT- PHSMA The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHM):

UK HSE - Carriage of Dangerous Goods

Calendar Members Only