The United Nations Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods provide a basis for development of harmonized regulations for all modes of transport, in order to facilitate trade and the safe, efficient transport of hazardous materials. The UN Model Regulations were first published in 1957 establishing minimum requirements applicable to the transport of hazardous materials by all modes of transport. Since then the UN Model Regulations have gained global acceptance through adoption as the basis for most international, regional, national and modal transportation regulations.
The UN Model Regulations enhance safety, improve enforcement capability, ease training requirements and enhance global trade and economic development. Safety is enhanced primarily because harmonized requirements simplify the complexity of the regulations, simplify training efforts, and decrease the likelihood of non-compliance. The Model Regulations provide economic benefits by eliminating the costs of complying with a multitude of differing national, regional and modal regulations. The UN Model Regulations facilitate compatibility between modal requirements so that a consignment may be transported by more than one mode without intermediate reclassification, marking, labeling or repackaging.