Regulation – transport, storage and distribution sector

Providing courier and haulage services

There are specific rules that govern the transport by road of certain products.

Dangerous goods

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2004 (the Carriage Regulations) apply to the carriage of dangerous goods (such as petrol).

Drivers carrying most dangerous goods above certain quantity thresholds must possess a special training certificate, issued by the Department for Transport (DfT). Anyone involved in the carriage of dangerous goods by road – such as loaders, unloaders and drivers – who do not need specialised training, must receive appropriate general training. Businesses involved in the transport of dangerous goods must appoint a trained dangerous goods safety adviser.

To find our more about the Carriage Regulations:

PIRA International is the appointed advisor to the DfT on matters relating to the packaging of dangerous goods for transport. Find out more on the dangerous goods section of the PIRA website.

Drivers carrying hazardous goods must generally be provided with instructions in writing that set out the nature of the cargo, how to respond in the event of an incident and information for the emergency services. These instructions are known as Transport Emergency Cards – Tremcards.

Your business has a responsibility to its workers to protect them from harmful effects caused by hazardous substances. It is vital to carry out a risk assessment and manage your transportation processes effectively. For more information see our guide on how to manage harmful substances safely.

Food products

The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 cover the transport of food. Find out about the Food Safety Regulations on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

There are specific rules that apply to food that is imported commercially – read about the rules for commercially imported food on the FSA website.

Controlled waste

The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating certain types of waste – referred to as controlled waste. The same function is carried out by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in Scotland and the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) in Northern Ireland.

Contact the relevant agency through:

The Environment Agency has produced guidance notes covering waste and how it should be disposed of safely: Access the list of Special Waste Explanatory Notes (SWENS) on the Environment Agency website.

The Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations 1991 (and amendments) and the Controlled Waste (Registration of Carriers and Seizure of Vehicles) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 cover the transport of controlled waste. Carriers must register with the local office of the Environment Agency in England and Wales, or with Sepa in Scotland and the EHS in Northern Ireland. Find out more about registering as a waste carrier from:


The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 and amendment govern the welfare of animals while they are being transported. Transporters carrying vertebrates to, from or within Great Britain must be authorised by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Find out about the rules on livestock transport on the Defra website. You can also download guidance on the Welfare of Animals Order from the Defra website (PDF). Similar legislation applies in Northern Ireland. Find out about the legislation on livestock transport in Northern Ireland from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) website.

Obtain a summary of the mandatory requirements relating to the transport of different materials from the Environment Agency Netregs website.

Road Freight

The Department for Transport (DfT) provides comprehensive information about government projects and policies that affect the transport industry. Keep up to date with current issue on the road freight section of the DfT website.

Carrying illegal immigrants

The Carriers’ Liability (Clandestine Entrants and Sale of Transporters) Regulations 2000 impose penalties on drivers who do not secure and search their vehicles so that stowaways can hide in them.

Offering postal services

The Postal Services Act 2000 introduced a new licensing system for delivering letters within the UK. Businesses wishing to offer this service must obtain a licence from Postcomm. Download guidance on offering postal services from the Postcomm website (PDF).

Sale and administration of general insurance products

If your business helps its customers buy insurance products or claim on them – even if that’s not your main business or you do it in a small way – then it’s likely you will need to comply with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. From 14 January 2005, it will be a criminal offence to help your customers buy or claim on insurance products without the appropriate permission form the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or arranging the become exempt. Learn more about general insurance regulation on the FSA website. You can also call the relevant FSA Contact Centre on Tel 0845 605 5525.

Using radio transmitting equipment

Businesses such as courier services that use a radio circuit to keep in touch with drivers and riders must have a Private Mobile Radio class licence under the provisions of the Telecommunications Act 1984. Licences are granted by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Office of Communications (Ofcom) is responsible for enforcement. The licence must cover both the base and mobile units. Find out about radio licensing on the DTI website

This document is based on Crown Copyright © 2004-2011
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