UN test results

Under Section of ADR, explosives may be classified for transport in Great Britain on the basis of UN test results.

The UN Series Tests are described in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (MoTC).

This approach is most appropriate where the explosive is either:

  • new
  • packaged in a novel way
  • packaged differently to the way it was when originally tested
  • where test data is not available for an analogous explosive

An article or substance may be accepted or excluded from Class 1, in accordance with the MoTC.

It is essential that the procedures summarised in Figures 10.2 and 10.3 of the MoTC are noted and followed, to ensure the Competent Authority is able to expedite assignment of the correct hazard classification code for the explosive to allow carriage.

Carrying out the tests

Applicants are expected to make their own arrangements to have the necessary tests carried out, and should be able to demonstrate:

  • explosive substances are both stable and safe to transport in the form they are tested (Test Series 3)
  • unpackaged explosive articles, packaged explosive articles and substances are safe to transport (Test Series 4)

by undergoing the relevant tests, as prescribed in the MoTC.

It may help the applicant to give HSE the opportunity to witness these tests, particularly Test Series 6 and Test Series 8, which determine the hazard division to be assigned.

The applicant should provide evidence to show that tests have been satisfactorily carried out. This should include test reports, photographic and video records.  The test evidence should be sufficient to enable HSE to verify that the UN criteria have been met.

Important: When providing evidence of Test Series 6 results:

  • Cameras should be carefully positioned to properly record the trial. Two or more cameras may be necessary to record all events. Allow for possible obscuration by smoke when positioning the cameras
  • A record of the packaging arrangement used should be made at the outset of the trial
  • Marker posts or other aids should be used to indicate distances. This is particularly relevant to bonfire tests where the scattering of debris or size of fireball is important
  • Where relevant, record the condition of the site after the trial, including the condition of witness screens, the scattering of debris and the condition of package remains

Further information on the conduct of tests can be found in the MoTC.

An FAQ page is available giving specific advice on conducting UN Test series 6(c).

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Updated 2020-02-04