Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas Regulations 2016 (DGHAR)
The Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas Regulations 2016 (DGHAR) came into force on 1 October 2016. They contain a set of safety provisions aimed at safeguarding ports against major accidents involving dangerous goods when they transit through ports, harbours and harbour areas. The purpose of the regulations is to put in place certain specific measures to reduce the risk of a serious incident occurring.
Guidance on the regulations
DGHAR is supported by an Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACOP) L155
The main provisions are:
- anyone bringing dangerous goods into a harbour must pre-notify the arrival of the goods to the harbour master and/or berth operator
- the harbour master is given powers to regulate the movement of dangerous goods within the harbour area when they create risks to health and safety
- the master of a vessel carrying defined quantities of specified dangerous goods must display appropriate flags and lights
- harbour authorities must produce emergency plans to deal with potential consequences of an emergency involving dangerous goods in the harbour area, and any ‘untoward incidents’ (incidents involving or threatening the containment of dangerous goods) must be reported to the harbour master
- berth operators must provide certain information on emergency arrangements to masters of vessels
- harbour authorities must provide a designated parking area for road vehicles carrying dangerous goods
- harbour areas where explosives are to be brought in or handled must be licensed by HSE or, in certain cases, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). This also applies to any loading or unloading of explosives on the coast of Great Britain or in territorial waters
- associated safety and security requirements for explosives in harbour areas
- statutory harbour authorities are given powers to make byelaws on dangerous goods in their harbour area
DGHAR and the Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987
From 1 October 2016 DGHAR has replaced the Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987 (DSHAR). The change follows a review and public consultation undertaken by HSE between 2013 and 2015. More details are available in the consultation summary report.
DSHAR 1987 has been revoked and the relevant ACOP (COP 18) and guidance document HS(R)27 have been withdrawn.
What has changed?
Redundant, superseded and duplicated provisions of DSHAR have been removed and the remaining sections have been updated and simplified in a new, shorter set of regulations.
The main changes are:
- DGHAR contains a simpler definition of ‘dangerous goods’ based on the International Maritime Organisation’s International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). The exemptions to DSHAR have also been simplified and aligned with dangerous goods legislation.
- military exemptions have been simplified to align with other recent explosives legislation
- harbour masters are now given greater flexibility to accept a shorter notice period for dangerous goods arriving in the harbour area when it is safe to do so
- there is now a requirement for ships carrying explosives to notify the harbour master before passing through a harbour where they are not loading or unloading. This replaces the requirement in DSHAR for the harbour to be licensed for handling explosives.
Topics no longer covered under DGHAR
A number of sections of DSHAR were revoked as they were redundant or superseded by other legislation:
Navigation and marking of vessels (Part III of DSHAR)
The Port Marine Safety Code establishes a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety and aims to enhance safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and the environment.
Many ports and harbours have local legislation governing safe navigation and other matters. Information on this can be obtained from the port in question.
Handling of Dangerous Substances (Part IV of DSHAR)
Handling of dangerous substances on the shore side of a harbour area is subject to duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 as well as various regulations made under it. These include:
Transfer of Liquid Dangerous Substances in Bulk (Part V of DSHAR)
Ship-to-ship transfer is governed by the Merchant Shipping (Ship-to-Ship Transfer) Regulations 2010 (please note this legislation has since been amended several times, these amendments are available). Guidance on these regulations is available in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1829 (M).
Guidance on ship-to-shore transfer of dangerous substances, including a safety checklist, is available in The International Safety Guide for Oil and Tanker Terminals (ISGOTT), 5th Edition.
Packaging and labelling of Dangerous Substances (Part VI of DSHAR)
Packaging and labelling of dangerous substances in harbour areas is covered under various pieces of legislation including the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (please note the regulations have since been amended, these amendments are available) and the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997. More information is available in HSE’s Carriage of Dangerous Goods Manual.
Storage of dangerous substances (Part VIII of DSHAR)
Storage of dangerous substances in a harbour area is subject to duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 as well as various regulations made under it. These may include: