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Industry regulation

NCh2190 :2019, regarding ground transport of hazardous goods.

New regulations and differences with the previous NCh2190 :2003

This article will analyze the new version of Chilean Technical Norm 2190, NCh2190, issued in 2019, which regulates the ground transport of hazardous goods. In specific, we will compare the new edition of the norm with the one previously in force, issued in 2003, highlighting the changes introduced by this new version.

1.- Introduction

As the title of the norm attests, NCh2190 regulates the security labels with which the dangers of the hazardous goods being transported must be identified. Within this regulation, the different kinds of labels, signs, and tags are defined, including the way of use and the places on which they must adhere.

NCh2190:2003 had a wider scope of coverage. It applied to the import/export, manipulation and storage in transit of hazardous substances, this was eliminated on the new version. Also, it included certain sections dedicated to agricultural pesticides, which was not included in the new version as now there are other specific regulations.

The norm details, with graphics and other content, the shape and contents of the different signage, such as labels, signs, and tags, which must be placed on the surface of the package, the shipping unit, among others, when they contain hazardous substances.

2.- Goods regulated by the norm

The 2003 version of the Norm dictated that it applied to the goods mentioned on NCh2120/1 to /9, in the classes and classifications established therein, that is:

On this older version, there are no specific references to radioactive substances, except for the necessary mentions included on its regulatory annexes.

The present norm uses the same references of the NCh2120 in addition to new categories, which have their labels, signs, and tags assigned.

A few examples of the new substances that are specially regulated are the following:

3.- Differences between labels, signs, and tags

The new version of NCh2190 differentiates between labels, signs, and tags, which correspond to the mandatory security signage. The distinction between each one is the following:

Pictured: An example of the different labeling formats

How a parcel should be labelled in accordance with Nch2190

The prior version of the norm had the same classification but was less detailed in its regulation of each category.

4.- Broadening of the regulations regarding the design of labels, signs, and tags and their references

Regarding the design of the signage, the new nom reorders and expands the regulations of each kind, imposing a series of special rules for certain substances (such as the ones listed on section II, above). Both regulatory and regular Annexes of the norm were simplified, where before there were more than 20, now there are only three: one regulatory annex, which contains the references for the labels and their characteristics, and three informative annexes, one that  shows the reference colors that can be used on the signage, one that presents examples of the utilization of the signage on transport units, and finally one that shows how to place labels.

In addition to the changes in the design of the labels of each class and their classes, another change is the lifting of the obligation to include descriptive words inside the diamond, such as “infectious substance”, “explosive”, among others, except for labels for radioactive and fissionable substances, on which the text remains mandatory. In some cases, the text is optional.


The abovementioned implies that it is necessary for the companies that transport hazardous substances to review their signage if they are to conform to the new regulations.

The new norm includes a specific section referred to marking (6.2), which expands what was covered. It establishes an obligation to indicate the name of the official transport designation and lists the places on which it must be placed, in addition to the characteristics of the marking. Furthermore, it expands the regulations regarding the UN numbers, changing the substances to which they apply[1], and establishing how they must be included, their sizes, among others.


Identification of hazardous substances on trucks in accordance with Nch2190

The Institute for National Normalization published the 2019 version of the norm on January 28, 2019. However, it still hasn’t been declared as an official norm, and thus it is not mandatory. Nevertheless, Exempt Resolution No. 1939, published on June 10, 2019, communicated the legal force of this version of the norm for auditors of the Weapons Control Act. This only applies to this specific authority.

For now, the older version of the norm continues to be in force and continues to be official, as was declared by Supreme Decree 43 of the Ministry of Transport, published on June 21, 2004. Furthermore, other norms that cite NCh2190, such as Supreme Decree 298, which regulates the ground transport of hazardous materials, and Supreme Decree 43 of the Ministry of Health, which regulates the storage of hazardous substances, haven’t been updated.

Now, considering that there are regulations that cite NCh2190:2019 have been recently issued, it is likely that in the short term it will be declared an official norm and that the existing regulations that cite it will be updated. Considering the aforementioned, we recommend that the individuals and organizations that transport hazardous substances have this new regulation in mind and that they update their signage and internal processes.

[1] On the prior version of the norm, all substances included in Clause 6 must incorporate their respective UN number. The current version specifically lists which goods must incorporate it (Section

Last modified: 11/01/2021

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