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Instructions in writing

As an aid in the event of accident or incident written instructions must be carried in the vehicle during the transport of dangerous goods.

The requirement to carry written instructions applies for both the road and rail transport of dangerous goods. For the regulations on written instructions, see Section 5.4.3 in Part 5 of ADR and RID.


Written instructions contain information about what action to take if an accident or incident occurs, and information on the equipment to be carried.

The measures consist of general measures, and hazard specific measures. The instructions include type of warning label and placard associated with hazardous characteristics and specific measures to be taken for each characteristic.


Regardless of the substances or goods to be transported and no matter how these are to be transported (mixed cargo, tank, bulk, etc.), the same instructions are used.

As regards road transport, the written instructions must be consistent with the four-sided model contained in sub-section in Part 5 of ADR-S. For rail transport there is no similar requirement.

Application of ADR

The UN Working Group on Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road (WP.15) has provided the following guidance regarding the application of the regulations on written instructions in ADR.

The written instructions shall consist of a four-sided model and faithfully follow the content of the text as set out in the model at of ADR. ADR does not specify dimensions, so instructions can be any size, provided that they remain legible. The police Sweden have here announced that they approve A5 as the minimum size.

All information shown in colour in accordance with the model in of ADR (i.e. labels), must also be in colour in the instructions accompanying the shipment.

No information other than that listed in the model in of ADR must be included in the instructions. That is, no logos, phone numbers, contact information, etc.

If a carrier or vehicle operator wants to carry additional information this must be in a separate document.

Latest reviewed: 22 July 2019

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