INTERNATIONAL: An updated version of the Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail came into force on January 1, replacing the 2015 rules which may however continue to be applied until June 30 2017.

RID applies to international rail transport between 44 countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa, and also to domestic transport within European Union member states. It is harmonised with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which serve as the basis for multi-modal rules and have been updated to take account of technical progress.

The Entity in Charge of Maintenance is now included as a participant in the transport of dangerous goods by rail, with a formal duty to ensure the correct maintenance of wagons. In line with other modes of transport, there are also changes to the rules about polymerising substances and the construction and testing requirements for flexible bulk containers. A new label for lithium batteries indicates their particular hazards.