The carriage of dangerous goods is one of the strictest internationally regulated transport sectors. At the United Nations (UN), the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia has been nominated as the national competent authority for the carriage of dangerous goods.
Due to the global industrialization process, there is currently a rapid increase in such cargoes, which contain substances that, if released outside the packaging, potentially pose a threat to human health and the environment ,i.e., these are so-called dangerous goods.
Accidents with dangerous goods are rare but such accidents can have serious consequences. Therefore, the most important task is to guarantee the safety of society and environment during the carriage of dangerous goods. If the relevant legislation is complied with, the carriage of dangerous goods is no more dangerous than the carriage of any other type of goods. For this reason, laws, regulations and instructions that strictly regulate the carriage of such cargoes, as well as the control of their enforcement, are of importance.
Situation in Latvia
According to statistics, the carriage of dangerous goods in Latvia forms a significant part of all freight carriage. Carriage is performed by road, rail, sea and air. Domestic carriage is performed by rail and road.
Data from the Central Statistical Bureau show that the carriage of dangerous goods by rail and sea in vehicles registered in Latvia is about half of the total volume of transported goods. In turn, the volume of carriage of dangerous goods by road makes up 3.5% of the total volume of transported cargoes. Therefore, an important task for Latvia is to reduce the risk associated with the carriage of dangerous goods. A set of measures is taken to reduce the risk in accordance with the system of rules developed by UN experts, which must be observed both in international carriage and in domestic carriage by all modes of transport.