Dangerous goods are substances or objects whose carriage requires the observation of strictly defined rules for packing, loading and unloading, arranging and transportation. Generally, the failure to observe these rules may lead to a partial or full damaging of either the goods, the packing or the vehicle, as well as to severe consequences for the environment.
The basic legislative document regulating carriages of dangerous goods by rail in international traffic is the Regulations concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID), which is an implementation of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF), ratified by a Decree of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of Bulgaria in 1982.
Once every two years the RID Regulations are re-issued with all amendments and additions adopted in the former period by the Joint Meetings of the RID Safety Committee and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Working Group at the Economic Commission for Europe authorized international organs, working on the improvement, amendment and replenishment of rules for the carriage of dangerous goods. On 01.07.2001, the new re-structured RID entered into force, and with the entry into force of the new Railway Transport Act in the Republic of Bulgaria, the Regulation for the Rules and Conditions for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods on Rail entered into force, as of 01.01.2002.
Within the framework of the Agreement on International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS), Appendix II is the Regulation for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods. After the entry into force of the latest amendments and additions to Annex II of SMGS, it approximates the RID Regulations to a large degree. Information on the above-mentioned documents, including the conditions for purchasing them, can be obtained from the Freight Transport Directorate at BDZ EAD, tel. 00359-2-932 44 37.
In the RID Regulations, the separate substances and objects included in the list of dangerous goods are classified in nine classes, depending on the degree of danger, as well as depending on the properties they possess, or could potentially manifest, in certain conditions. The substances and objects are included in the following classes:
Клас 1. Explosives and objects with explosives.
Клас 2. Gases
Клас 3. Inflammable liquid substances.
Клас 4.1. Hard ignitable substances.
Клас 4.2. Self-inflammable substances.
Клас 4.3. Substances emitting ignitable gases in contact with water.
Клас 5.1. Substances maintaining burning (oxidizing).
Клас 5.2. Organic peroxides.
Клас 6.1 Poisonous substances.
Клас 6.2. Contagious substances
Клас 7. Radioactive substances.
Клас 8. Corrosive substances.
Клас 9. Various dangerous substances and objects.
The transportation of dangerous goods of classes 1 and 7 according to RID is carried out after a preliminary co-ordination (obtaining consent) and with an armed guard accompanying the consignment in a separate wagon. During the transportation of such goods in internal traffic, from import and for export, clients must provide the armed guard and, in transit, after a preliminary co-ordination, the armed guard may be provided by the carrier at the clients expense.
Arms and other goods with a military application or a possible military application are accepted for international carriage after a permission is issued by the Ministry of the Economy for a 15-day term after lodging the application, and a Permission from the National Police Service Directorate. The application is lodged by a person empowered by the forwarder; enclosed with it must be copies of the contract for the sale, an export license, an import license and a transit permit from the country following the Republic of Bulgaria on the route of the carriage, if there is one. Military echelons with foreign armies personnel pass through the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria after a permission is issued by the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The prices for the carriage of dangerous goods by rail are determined according to the general conditions of the tariff applied. It is only for the limitation classes according to the RID Regulations, viz. class 1, class 2 and class 7, that coefficients for the increase of carriage prices are stipulated.
At the present moment, these coefficients, featuring in the tariffs, that are applied for the Bulgarian distance, are the following:
for goods of classes 1 and 7 according to RID:
in all kinds of traffic k = 2 (a 100% increase);
for goods of class 2 according to RID:
in import/export k = 1,10 (a 10% increase);
in transit k = 1,30 (a 30% increase).