There is ever-increasing risk inherent to the transport of chemical and biological transport warranting tighter regulation and other accident prevention measures to safeguard both the civil population and the environment.
Severe control over the movements and whereabouts of chemical and biological agents would be useful to pre-empt possible acts of aggression in which such agents are a factor.
During a meeting held in Brussels in May 2017 to discuss chemical, biological and radiological and nuclear risk mitigation initiatives (EU CBRN CoE), national focal points (NFPs) highlighted the difficulty Sahelian countries have in implementing existing legislation despite it being only partially aligned to United Nations or European Union standards, in some cases.
The EU CBRN Risk Mitigation Centers of Excellence project was launched in 2010 and is an initiative of the European Union. It is implemented jointly by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). It is a response to the need to strengthen the institutional capacity of countries outside the European Union to mitigate CBRN risks.
The main harmonized instruments developed under the aegis of United Nations for the classification of hazard classification criteria and communication tools are:
Globally harmonized systems (GHS)
Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods (TDG)
European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road (ADR 2017)
The legislation on the transport of dangerous goods is complex and multisectorial covering different administrative departments, i.e., security, civil protection, finance, customs, industry, health and the environment, mainly. This means security protocols are increasingly necessary to avoid accidents – especially those ocurring on land – as well as for defining modus operandai for first responders and emergency services alike.
Strengthening regional cooperation is also necessary seeing that the TDG is not confined to sovereign borders alone.
The main aim, therefore, is to develop and strengthening the safety and security capacities for managing risks related to the transport of chemical and biological material in North Africa and Sahel (NAS) region in a way that is lasting and sustainable.
The objectives of SecTrans-NAS directly related to the transport of dangerous goods (TDG) can be summarized as follows:
Expected Sectran_NAS results are:
Establishment of a comprehensive legal framework tailored to each country, including local training for safety advisers, carriers and drivers, focusing on chemical and biological materials.
Setting up a traffic circulation model and a draft model for each partner country capital.
Boosting prevention measures, preparation and response to TDG accidents focusing on haulage companies, first responders and security services based on best available practice and harmonised across the Sahel region.