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Transit depots

A transit depot is defined in the Hazardous Substances (Classes 1 to 5 Controls) Regulations 2001 as:
A permanent place (excluding a means of transport, and excluding any place where the substances are held for sale or supply) used as a transport depot that is designed to hold hazardous substances in containers that remain unopened during the time that they are present at the depot for periods that are more than:

  • 18 hours in the case of a substance that is not subject to the tracking provisions of the Hazardous Substances (Tracking) Regulations 2001
  • two hours, in the case of a substance subject to the tracking provisions of those regulations;

but are, in no case, more than 3 days’.

Requirements for transit depots

The requirements for transit depots are above specified thresholds.  These requirements (and thresholds) are contained in Regulations 83, 101 and 124 of the Hazardous Substances (Classes 1 to 5 Controls) Regulations (for classes 2-4, 5.1 and 5.2, respectively). These include:

  • The requirement to notify a Hazardous Substances Enforcement Officer of the maximum quantity and classification of each of the hazardous substances that the depot is designed to accommodate at least 30 days prior to establishing a transit depot.
  • The requirement for substances over certain quantities to be under the control and supervision of an Approved Handler or secured. 
  • Requirements for segregation, including segregation distances between vehicles and unloaded substances. The distances required are greater than those required under the IMDG Code or the Land Transport Dangerous Goods Rule.

Qualifications for Approved Handlers

These are contained in Regulations 5 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (Personnel Qualifications) Regulations 2001.
However, a person who drives, loads and unloads a vehicle transporting packaged dangerous goods does not have to be an approved handler if they have a dangerous goods endorsement on their drivers licence. This does not apply to transport of explosives or dangerous goods in bulk. (See the Hazardous Substances (Dangerous Goods and Scheduled Toxic Substances) Transfer Notice 2004, as amended, published in the New Zealand Gazette.)

Tracked substances

These are defined in the Hazardous Substances (Tracking) Regulations 2001. These regulations impose:

  • A requirement that the place where tracked substances are stored has an Approved Handler and that when a tracked substance is transferred to another place, there is an approved handler there and it has the required HSNO test certificates.
  • Significant record-keeping requirements (essentially so that the movement of the substance can be back-tracked if there is an incident or emergency).

UN Dangerous Goods classifications which require tracking under the HSNO Act are: 

  • All of Class 1, except 1.4S 
  • Class 3 PG I 
  • Division 4.1 desensitised explosives PG I 
  • Division 4.1 self-reactive substances Type B 
  • Division 4.2 PG I 
  • Division 4.3 PG I 
  • Division 5.1 PG I 
  • Division 5.2 Type B 
  • Division 6.1 PG I, II & III 
  • UN 3077 and UN 3082.

These environmentally hazardous classifications include all dangerous goods that are Marine Pollutants and severe Marine Pollutants in the IMDG. These UN numbers are only assigned to Environmentally Hazardous substances that are not classified in Classes 1 to 8. The UNRTDG recognises that goods classified in Classes 1 to 8 may be environmentally hazardous, but does not require the environmental hazard to be separately identified. The GHS and HSNO, on the other hand, identify all hazardous properties.
HSNO classification categories 9.1A (aquatic toxicity) & 9.2A, 9.3A and 9.4A (terrestrial ecotoxicity) are also tracked substances. They may arrive in New Zealand without being identified by any GHS or UN dangerous goods marking or labelling. Ports and airports will be reliant on shippers to notify them if a substance is subject to the HSNO tracking requirements. Without notification, they will not be able to fulfil their obligations under the HSNO tracking regulations. There are significant penalties for non-compliance.


The Hazardous Substances (Identification) Regulations 2001 apply to any hazardous substance within New Zealand. The requirements of these regulations are satisfied if the transport container or the outer packing complies with marking and labelling requirements of:

  • Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 (Rule 45001/1); or
  • Civil Aviation Act 1990 (Rule Part92); or
  • Maritime Transport Act 1994 (Maritime Rule 24A).

If a sole package (i.e. no outer packaging, such as a 200 litre drum) is not in a transport container, the labelling and marking must comply fully with both the transport requirements and the Identification Regulations requirements.

Standard of packaging

These are contained in the Hazardous Substances (Packaging) Regulations 2001. Substances packed in accordance with the transport codes in UN Specification Packaging will generally meet the requirements of these regulations.
Inner or primary packaging must meet the requirements specified in Part 2 of these regulations. In particular, the packaging for substances specified in Schedule 5 must meet the test requirements of Schedule 4, or be labelled with a warning that the packaging may not withstand a drop of 0.5 m.


While not explicitly requiring additional documentation to that usually provided by dangerous goods declarations, it will be necessary to identify Class 4.1 desensitised explosives PG I, which would not normally be identified on documentation as desensitised explosives.
There is a practical requirement to advise transport operators and transit depots that a substance is a tracked substance. It is possible that this could be included with the description of the goods or in the additional information box on the dangerous goods declaration. Alternatively this information could be provided on other transport documentation, however, it would be desirable for a standardised location to be agreed.

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