Transportation of Hazardous materials - Licenses, Permits and Confused Definitions

Transportation of Hazardous materials - Licenses, Permits and Confused Definitions

"Globes" Israel's Business Newspaper
Tzvi Levinson and Gil Dror, Adv. December 2004

Israel does not have a unified definition for the term “Hazardous Substances”, a thing which complicates handling this issue.

We sometimes hear about a road being closed due to an accident of vehicles transporting dangerous substances. In 1997 the law of transportation services was legislated and in 2001 rules were regulated for conveying the transportation of hazardouss substances on  roads.

There are  areas of uncertainty for example disharmonious legislation for defining dangerous substances in the Law of Transportation Services and the definition according to the Hazardous Substances Law from 1993.

When a vehicle turns over and spills the material it carries, is it considered as a hazardous material? According to the Law of  Hazardouss Substances a material is dangerous when it is listed in an anex to the Law. The Law of Transportation Services has a broader definition and includes any material which can be dangerous to our health.

Merging these different definitions can simplify handling certain incidents and preventing mistakes.

 The issue of separation of the materials on the vehicle is also not unanimously defined. It is important to separate the materials to prevent any possible reaction between them.There are instructions for transporting dangerous materials in containers or tankers according to safety regulations. There are also international regulations concerning transportation not by containers or tankers which have to be considered as well.

The Israeli legislator has applied international conventions, directives for aviation organizations, for marine transportation and many other instructions.

The conveying and transportation companies have to follow the constant and changing standards of every one of the international instructions.  

In such  situations  they don’t always know what their duties are, therefore they don’t always follow the law as required. Not knowingly they infringe the law.