The issue has gone back and forth across the table and now UN chiefs have decided that ping pong balls should no longer be classified as dangerous goods.
The balls, which are made of celluloid or similar flammable plastics, were on the list of goods included in ADR regulations for the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road because of the deadly fumes produced if they catch light. But amendments that come into force on 1 January will see them removed as a hazardous item.
The new rule SP 383 says table tennis balls are not subject to ADR if they do not exceed 3g net and have a total net mass of 500g per package. Luckily the International Table Tennis Federation requires all balls used in official matches to be 2.7g.
Nigel Pope, FTA’s new Head of Dangerous Goods Information, said: “To hauliers moving petroleum or explosives it is pretty clear to them that they fall within the ADR requirements, but this change demonstrates that there are many seemingly innocuous cargoes which could be subject to the rules. FTA’s Member Advice Centre helps its members to make sure they operate according to the dangerous goods rules as well as the range of other safety regulations which apply to all operators of commercial vehicles.”
FTA’s Member Advice Centre answers over 20,000 calls from its members each year helping them to make sense of the variety of rules and safety regulations under which the road freight sector operates, ranging from driving time limits and vehicle lighting requirements, to the movement of livestock and operating internationally.