Transportation of Hazardous Substances

Emergency Response

Notwithstanding the controls and precautions taken, one cannot rule out the possibility of spillages and accidental releases of hazardous substances during transportation. With well drawn up emergency plans and proper training, such releases can be effectively contained and the damage to the environment and dangers to the health and safety of public minimised.

As a condition for granting licences and transport approvals, companies are required to put up emergency response plans.

The plan must be comprehensive and should contain the following key elements:

  • Notification procedures (persons and authorities to contact and how to contact);
  • Emergency procedures to contain and decontaminate spills (immediate actions to be taken by driver/ground staff and actions to be taken by the company upon being informed);
  • Emergency equipment to be carried on the vehicle and at base such as personal protection equipment, absorbents, neutralising solutions and salvage drums;
  • Material safety data sheets of the hazardous substances transported.

The transportation emergency response plan (TERP) must be submitted to CCMD before a Transport Approval may be issued.  The  consignor is responsible to prepare the TERP and facilitate the emergency response in event of chemical spillage during the road transportation.

Under the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Management (Hazardous Substances) Regulations, in the event of a chemical fire / release, the licence holders/transport approval holders are required to:

  • Block off the area contaminated by the hazardous substance;
  • Notify SCDF and NEA;
  • Take immediate action to have the area decontaminated and return the situation to normal.

Transportation Emergency Response Plan (TERP) for transport of hazardous substances

The key elements of the TERP are briefly as follows:


  1. Introduce the purpose and frequency of the transportation, and the hazardous substances being transported.
  2. Indicate the proposed transportation route on a suitably scaled map.
  3. Include the inventory of hazardous substances transported as follows:
Name of SubstanceUN Hazard ClassUnit Capacity of Container/Packaging Unit Capacity of Container/Packaging

Hazard assessment

  1. Describe the hazards of the substances being transported (e.g. flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive)
  2. Describe the possible spill/release scenarios involving the hazardous substances being transported including a quantitative estimation of the hazard zones. The worst-case scenario is to be highlighted.
  3. List the fire protection and pollution prevention/mitigation equipment carried in the vehicle.
  4. Indicate the type/s of training received by the driver and/or your emergency response team.
  5. Describe the specific actions that will be taken by the driver and/or your emergency response team (ERT) in the event of a spill/release.

The consignor may consider using the TERP template for road transportation of hazardous substances.

For the more details, refer to the SCDF Emergency Response Plan format available from the SCDF Hazmat branch.