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Scoth whisky must be handled as a dangerous chemical

August 11th, 1994


Myth: Scotch whisky has been declared a dangerous chemical, meaning it will have to be transported in casks half the size of those used now, with “Flammable Liquid” warnings attached, and handled in gloves only. This will cost the industry a fortune in lost income should it become law.
(Today, p.9, 7.11.94, Daily Telegraph, p. 11, 8.11.94)

Response:  Whisky, like perfume, has long been classified as a flammable liquid. This includes the UK where the transport of whisky is covered by law.
The proposed EU legislation on the transport of dangerous goods embraces all dangerous goods and aligns all Member States’ national mies with existing international practice. It does not in any way go beyond what is currently required for international transport today.
Nevertheless at present the situation in the UK allows transporters to avoid the full thrust of the legislation, so that large casks can effectively be carried over short distances whilst not conforming to the national legal requirements.
A strict application of future EU legislation as it currently stands would mean that large 500 litre casks currently used in the transport of whisky would be outlawed as being unsafe. Nevertheless, after consultation with the UK Department of Transport, and in view of the significant economic interests of the industry, the European Commission is prepared to propose an appropriate derogation (exemption) to allow current UK practice to continue, until a solution is found at international level.
The Commission is keen that the public is aware of the potential risks of this type of inflammable product in sufficient quantity in non-approved packagings.


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