The list of ADR countries grows every year (figuratively speaking, because ADR regulations are issued every two years). It is true that on the cover so far (i.e. in 2020) we can read that it is a European agreement, however, its scope extends beyond the continent. It is quite well visible in the main graphic of this post, which presents the map of the countries that signed this agreement.
List of countries
The ADR agreement, version 2019-2021, covers 52 countries. The current list is always published by the European Economic Commission (UNECE). In alphabetical order:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- Republic of North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
There are several typically Asian and African countries on the list above. In fact, Russia itself causes ADR coverage to where Alaska begins. The southernmost country is Nigeria. Interestingly, it is not adjacent to any country that also belongs to ADR. Moreover, it is quite far away from most of the parties to the agreement. Will it set a new trend among African countries? We will see. In any case, Nigeria’s accession to the ADR agreement may indicate that African countries will start to improve safety in road transport of dangerous goods and will do so on the basis of the ADR agreement.
Is the ADR agreement still European?
The full name of the ADR agreement informs us it is a European agreement (L ‘Accord européen relatif au transport international des marchandises Dangereuses par Route). Therefore, taking into account the fact that more and more countries from outside Europe will ratify this agreement, it should be expected that in the coming years the name may be changed by removing the adjective “European”. The current status indicates that only slightly more than 13% of the countries on the above list are from outside of Europe. This means that nearly 90% of the remaining ones are European countries. However, this does not change the fact that the agreement is not fully European anymore.
It is also worth noting that such a large popularization of the ADR agreement in Europe (far beyond, for example, the European Union) is a great help for a huge number of entrepreneurs. Of course, the rules for the transport of dangerous goods are still not 100% harmonized for all these countries. The ADR agreement leaves some space for the internal regulations of each country. An example of such a provision may be the Polish requirement to indicate on the consignment note not only the sender and recipient of dangerous goods, but also their owner (Article 13 of the Act on the Transport of Dangerous Goods):
The participant in the transport of dangerous goods is obliged to include in the required documents referred to in the Act and in ADR, RID or ADN, respectively, the name and address of the entity whose property, at the time of handing over to the person carrying out the transport of goods, is the dangerous goods.