Transport & Security

Ensuring chemical security and safe transport is critical for our well-being and safety.
The chemical distribution industry must take its responsibility to limit threats such as accidents and terrorism.

Safe transport of chemicals

Transport of dangerous goods is a global trade issue that needs to be regulated in order to prevent harm to persons, property and the environment. Efforts towards harmonizing rules are therefore desirable. In order to improve consistency, the United Nations has developed the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. However, norms for safe transport of chemicals are developed on different levels and for different modes of transport. Different regulations in different regions, countries and for different modalities can impede international trade and increase risks of accidents.

  UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

These recommendations provide a framework for i.e. safety training, security, classification, packaging, consignment and carriage. The UN Recommendations have several advantages:

  • Providing a base for internationally harmonized regulations for all modes of transport.
  • Stimulating free movement of goods by simplifying transport and reducing time-consuming formalities.
  • Obtaining information by requiring reports of incidents with dangerous goods in transport.

While the UN Recommendations are not legally binding, they have a wide degree of international acceptance. ICTA actively promotes the use and adaptation of the UN Recommendations worldwide, for example the IMDG Code and the IATA Rules. To further improve transport safety, ICTA members also regularly exchange information and experiences with legislation in their regions or countries.


Chemical security

The security of the international supply chain is one of the main global issues confronting the chemical distribution industry. ICTA members are continuously vigilant to counter the risks of illegal diversion of substances by terrorists and others intending harm. The chemical distribution industry pays extra attention to these risks because it operates in an internationally diverse environment and handle chemicals in lower quantities.
Another important security related topic is that of cybersecurity. With cybersecurity threats continuing to evolve in complexity and sophistication, chemical distributors recognize the importance of addressing this growing threat. Protecting the technology that helps run facilities and the valuable information regarding chemical formulas and customer databases from a potential cyber-attack are a key focus for our industry.

  The role of ICTA

ICTA is dedicated to increasing the resilience of chemical supply chains through the introduction of processes and protocols that deny illegal access to chemical substances and prevent their subsequent misuse. Moreover, ICTA works to raise awareness and build capacity. Recently it has given workshops on chemical security to for instance the Iraq Chemical Weapons National Authority, Pakistani industry and the UNODC.
ICTA also plays an active role in several global organisations with the intention of promoting best practice and ensuring effective international co-operation on these issues. The following two institutions are of particular importance.

  Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

The OPCW is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention that is supported by 192 countries. OPCW and its member states work together to achieve a world free of chemical weapons and share the collective goal of preventing chemicals ever again being used for war. The focus of OPCW’s work is changing from the destruction of chemical weapons held by countries to the prevention of their replication by non-state actors such as terrorists.

  G7 Chemical Security Working Group

The G7 is a group of the seven major advanced economies currently representing more than 64% of net global wealth as assessed by the International Monetary Fund. It consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7. The Chemical Security sub Working Group focuses on chemical materials.