Inspection and testing
Portable tanks meeting the definition of container in the International Convention for Safe Containers
(CSC), 1972, as amended, shall not be used unless they are successfully qualified by subjecting a
representative prototype of each design to the Dynamic, Longitudinal Impact Test prescribed in the
Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part IV, Section 41.
The shell and items of equipment of each portable tank shall be inspected and tested before being put
into service for the first time (initial inspection and test) and thereafter at not more than five-year
intervals (5 year periodic inspection and test) with an intermediate periodic inspection and test (2.5
year periodic inspection and test) midway between the 5 year periodic inspections and tests. The 2.5
year inspection and test may be performed within 3 months of the specified date. An exceptional
inspection and test shall be performed regardless of the date of the last periodic inspection and test
when necessary according to 184.108.40.206.7.
The initial inspection and test of a portable tank shall include a check of the design characteristics, an
internal and external examination of the portable tank and its fittings with due regard to the substances
to be carried, and a pressure test. Before the portable tank is placed into service, a leakproofness test
and a check of the satisfactory operation of all service equipment shall also be performed. When the
shell and its fittings have been pressure-tested separately, they shall be subjected together after
assembly to a leakproofness test.
The 5-year periodic inspection and test shall include an internal and external examination and, as a
general rule, a hydraulic pressure test. For tanks only used for the carriage of solid substances, other
than toxic or corrosive substances that do not liquefy during carriage, the hydraulic pressure test may
be replaced by a suitable pressure test at 1.5 times the MAWP, subject to competent authority
approval. Sheathing, thermal insulation and the like shall be removed only to the extent required for
reliable appraisal of the condition of the portable tank. When the shell and equipment have been
pressure-tested separately, they shall be subjected together after assembly to a leakproofness test.
The intermediate 2.5 year periodic inspection and test shall at least include an internal and external
examination of the portable tank and its fittings with due regard to the substances intended to be
carried, a leakproofness test and a check of the satisfactory operation of all service equipment.
Sheathing, thermal insulation and the like shall be removed only to the extent required for reliable
appraisal of the condition of the portable tank. For portable tanks intended for the carriage of a single
substance, the 2.5 year internal examination may be waived or substituted by other test methods or
inspection procedures specified by the competent authority or its authorized body.
2 Distinguishing sign of the State of registration used on motor vehicles and trailers in international road traffic,
e.g. in accordance with the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic of 1949 or the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of
2.5 year periodic inspection and test as required by 220.127.116.11.2. However, a portable tank filled prior to
the date of expiry of the last periodic inspection and test may be carried for a period not to exceed
three months beyond the date of expiry of the last periodic test or inspection. In addition, a portable
tank may be carried after the date of expiry of the last periodic test and inspection:
(a) After emptying but before cleaning, for purposes of performing the next required test or
inspection prior to refilling; and
(b) Unless otherwise approved by the competent authority, for a period not to exceed six months
beyond the date of expiry of the last periodic test or inspection, in order to allow the return of
dangerous goods for proper disposal or recycling. Reference to this exemption shall be
mentioned in the transport document.
The exceptional inspection and test is necessary when the portable tank shows evidence of damaged
or corroded areas, or leakage, or other conditions that indicate a deficiency that could affect the
integrity of the portable tank. The extent of the exceptional inspection and test shall depend on the
amount of damage or deterioration of the portable tank. It shall include at least the 2.5 year inspection
and test according to 18.104.22.168.5.
The internal and external examinations shall ensure that:
(a) The shell is inspected for pitting, corrosion, or abrasions, dents, distortions, defects in welds or
any other conditions, including leakage, that might render the portable tank unsafe for carriage.
The wall thickness shall be verified by appropriate measurement if this inspection indicates a
reduction of wall thickness;
(b) The piping, valves, heating/cooling system, and gaskets are inspected for corroded areas,
defects, or any other conditions, including leakage, that might render the portable tank unsafe
for filling, discharge or carriage;
(c) Devices for tightening manhole covers are operative and there is no leakage at manhole covers
(d) Missing or loose bolts or nuts on any flanged connection or blank flange are replaced or
(e) All emergency devices and valves are free from corrosion, distortion and any damage or defect
that could prevent their normal operation. Remote closure devices and self-closing stop-valves
shall be operated to demonstrate proper operation;
(f) Linings, if any, are inspected in accordance with criteria outlined by the lining manufacturer;
(g) Required marks on the portable tank are legible and in accordance with the applicable
(h) The framework, supports and arrangements for lifting the portable tank are in a satisfactory
The inspections and tests in 22.214.171.124.1, 126.96.36.199.3, 188.8.131.52.4, 184.108.40.206.5 and 220.127.116.11.7 shall be
performed or witnessed by an expert approved by the competent authority or its authorized body.
When the pressure test is a part of the inspection and test, the test pressure shall be the one indicated
on the data plate of the portable tank. While under pressure, the portable tank shall be inspected for
any leaks in the shell, piping or equipment.
In all cases when cutting, burning or welding operations on the shell have been effected, that work
shall be to the approval of the competent authority or its authorized body taking into account the
pressure vessel code used for the construction of the shell. A pressure test to the original test pressure
shall be performed after the work is completed.
When evidence of any unsafe condition is discovered, the portable tank shall not be returned to
service until it has been corrected and the test is repeated and passed. .
Every portable tank shall be fitted with a corrosion resistant metal plate permanently attached to the
portable tank in a conspicuous place readily accessible for inspection. When for reasons of portable
tank arrangements the plate cannot be permanently attached to the shell, the shell shall be marked with
at least the information required by the pressure vessel code. As a minimum, at least the following
information shall be marked on the plate by stamping or by any other similar method:
(a) Owner information
(i) Owner’s registration number;
(b) Manufacturing information
(i) Country of manufacture;
(ii) Year of manufacture;
(iii) Manufacturer’s name or mark;
(iv) Manufacturer’s serial number;
(c) Approval information
(i) The United Nations packaging symbol
This symbol shall not be used for any purpose other than certifying that a packaging, a
flexible bulk container, a portable tank or a MEGC complies with the relevant
requirements in Chapter 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7 or 6.11;
(ii) Approval country;
(iii) Authorized body for the design approval;
(iv) Design approval number;
(v) Letters ‘AA’, if the design was approved under alternative arrangements (see 18.104.22.168);
(vi) Pressure vessel code to which the shell is designed;
(i) MAWP (in bar gauge or kPa gauge)3;
(ii) Test pressure (in bar gauge or kPa gauge)3;
(iii) Initial pressure test date (month and year);
(iv) Identification mark of the initial pressure test witness;
(v) External design pressure4 (in bar gauge or kPa gauge)3;
(vi) MAWP for heating/cooling system (in bar gauge or kPa gauge)3 (when applicable);
(i) Design temperature range (in °C)3;
3 The unit used shall be indicated.
4 See 22.214.171.124.10.
(i) Shell material(s) and material standard reference(s);
(ii) Equivalent thickness in reference steel (in mm)3;
(iii) Lining material (when applicable);
(i) Tank water capacity at 20 °C (in litres)3;
This indication is to be followed by the symbol "S" when the shell is divided by surge
plates into sections of not more than 7 500 litres capacity;
(ii) Water capacity of each compartment at 20 °C (in litres)3 (when applicable, for multicompartment
This indication is to be followed by the symbol "S" when the compartment is divided by
surge plates into sections of not more than 7 500 litres capacity;
(h) Periodic inspections and tests
(i) Type of the most recent periodic test (2.5-year, 5-year or exceptional);
(ii) Date of the most recent periodic test (month and year);
(iii) Test pressure (in bar gauge or kPa gauge)3 of the most recent periodic test (if
(iv) Identification mark of the authorized body who performed or witnessed the most recent
3 The unit used shall be indicated.
The following particulars shall be durably marked either on the portable tank itself or on a metal plate
firmly secured to the portable tank:
Name of the operator
Maximum permissible gross mass (MPGM) ___________ kg
Unladen (tare) mass ___________ kg
Portable tank instruction in accordance with 126.96.36.199.6
NOTE: For the identification of the substances being carried, see also Part 5.