Roncevert (“Ronce”) Almond, Partner at The Wicks Group (TWG), participated in the 51st Session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, held in Geneva, Switzerland, from July 3-7, 2017. The Sub-Committee is a body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, charged with advancing the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) serves as the secretariat for the Sub-Committee.
The Sub-Committee’s work is part of an effort to ensure consistency between global regulatory systems harmonizing hazard classification criteria and hazard communication tools (GHS) as well as for transport conditions for all modes for transport (TDG). One product of this effort is the development and continuous enhancement of Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. In addition, the UNECE administers regional agreements that ensure the effective implementation of these mechanisms as far as transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways is concerned.
Participating member states include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece , India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico , Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America and Zambia. In addition, representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), with consultative status at ECOSOC, and international organizations – such as the European Union (EU), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), and World Health Organization (WHO) – participate in the Sub-Committee’s proceedings.
In Geneva, Ronce represented the International Fiber Drum Institute (IFDI), a consultative NGO with the United Nations and a member of the Industrial Packaging Association of North America (IPANA). IFDI fosters the interests of persons and firms engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling fiber drums and its members include manufacturers, associates and third-party laboratories. IPANA is the primary association representing the interests of manufacturers of new industrial packaging and their suppliers in North America.
The agenda at the 51st session of the Sub-Committee covered a range of issues impacting the global transportation of dangerous goods: explosives, classification and packaging, electric storage systems, transport of gases, amendments to the Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ronce observed:
“The Sub-Committee of Experts plays an incredibly important role in ensuring the efficiency, safety and security of the global supply chain, as impacted by dangerous goods. These issues are not only of interest to delegates in the halls of the Palais des Nations [the United Nations headquarters in Geneva], but also to the general public which is increasingly in contact with these products, such as through the lithium batteries that are ubiquitous in this electronic age.”
The Wicks Group is a multi-disciplinary legal and consulting firm that provides specialized services to clients with aviation and transportation-related interests worldwide. In addition to serving as counsel to IFDI and IPANA, TWG regularly provides advice on regulatory and legislative issues impacting the transportation of hazardous materials in the United States and represents clients before the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the modal agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
For more information about TWG’s dangerous goods practice and participation in the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, please contact Ronce Almond at firstname.lastname@example.org.