Certification of cold


The problems of transport of perishable products

International standards of ATP, obliging carriers of perishable food to confirm with dоcuments the classification of insulation body, has entered into force in Russia since 2012. Although the debats between the government and business on this topic erupt with renewed vigor. The certification cost is significant but the quantity of testing station isn’t enough, as the participants of the market think.

Agreement on the International Carriage of Perishable Foodstuff and on the Special Equipment to be used for Such Carriage (ATP, English – ATP or ATP Europe), entered into force on 21 November 1976. Today the ATP participants are 47 countries, including Russia and the CIS countries.

In 2011 Russia took the ATP measures as principle for internal transport – urban, suburban, intercity. In 2014 the Ministry of Transport determined that entities and individual entrepreneurs engaged in the transportation of perishable goods in domestic traffic should get the ATP certificate in accordance with the ATP standards. The deadline for getting this certificate was determined to the 1st of January 2016.

The Ministry of Transport supposes that this measure will allow to make an order in this sector, improve the conditions of preservation of quality of perishable foodstuffs during their transportation. The market isn’t ready to face this strict control, as experts believe. «The problem isn’t in the system of control which isn’t elaborated enough, — says Vladislav Pechenin, the Director of a Management Company «Mosdesignmash». — Who is responsible to control the ATP standards? How to examine? And the most important who determines the mode of temperature of the transportation. And the main is who is in charge of the modes of the temperature transportation.

The expended format

Abroad the transportation from one country to another or on the distance of 4003600 km gets under the ATP norms, and in Russia, these standards work also for internal distribution.

The use of similar standards for urban transport, in fact for all the transport system, is considered to be very disputable.

Now this topic will touch light commercial transport as well. Even the light vans transporting perishable foodstuffs to the street kiosks should be certified in the appropriate way: to have a heat conduction of the truck test protocol, a correct refrigeration unit and a termoregistrar with a recorder. By the way the cost of such a registrar can be 1500 euro, which can be compared with the cost of the truck where this unit is installed.

There is no clear view with algorithms of work of the registrar for example when we speak about small volumes of cargo space. «If we need to introduce the standards for intercity transport, then we need not to take urban distribution for example on the distance up to 600 km – Mr Pechenin thinks.

There are two switches in the insulated truck, one of them is by the door. In case when the doors are often open, there will be registered the temperature difference, and this means that we break the conditions of the carriage, which are in the ATP standards. These are the problems that our officials have not tried to solve yet»

There are not enough testers

In 2014 the Ministry of Transport approved the procedure for authorizations of testing stations to perform the work for control the following to the ATP standards. This should be the start for development of a wide chain, taking in consideration the territory of the country. However in March 2016 there is only one entity Тermogarant Ltd in the list of authorized testing stations. According to the information of the Ministry of Transport, this company has 6 subsidiaries in the country.

«Considering numerous car park including insulated bodies, refrigerators, and trucks with heating we can understand that 7 testing stations are not enough for the whole country», — says Valentin Korobelnikov, After Sales Director of AvtoSpetsCentre.

Vladislav Pechenin in his turn is worried about the lack of expert infrastructure. «Testing of the truck in the heat chamber takes 2 days. Now the law requires all insulated bodies, produced in 2015, to have a test protocol. It means that clients should send their vehicles to test. Two big retailers bought more than 400 pieces of refrigeration units in 2015. One testing station can’t test them all even for 1 year.

Recipe for extension

Primary the certificate is given for 6 years and the vehicles being in exploitation get 1 certificate for 3 years. By this way there is a question how to extend this ATP certificate.

They can use different methods to check thermal features of the truck being in exploitation of a refrigerator, a vehicle with heating, including testing assembled with a refrigeration unit. The standards allow that.

However in practice testing laboratories work only on prototype testing technology which significantly increases the costs of a customer. «As the client should deinstall the refrigeration unit and not to forget to set the appropriate caps, the budget of such a test must be about 80000 rubles», — clarifies Mr Pechenin. Even then the result of this certification is also disputable. «If we start testing body heat conductivity in exploitation, for example, in winter, we can't get a true result, as in this case heating of the walls and the heater requires more power and time as in winter the temperature of truck panels is 32°C below 0' and even colder, but the truck is tested by heating. The truck in exploitation and its prototype are 2 different things, and a lot of factors influence the condition of the truck at the moment of testing», — adds the expert.

If we see the certification in this way, the system won’t work, many specialists think.

Probably many carriers who have used but working transport can pass the certification, but the trucks will get a low classification of isolation because of low productivity of the technic, according to the standards, written in APT», — Valentin Korobelnikov says. — It can be an unacceptable variant for most of owners of refrigerators, as the document of APT certification will be given to the carrier and he will be able officially to go on his activity. That’s why they don’t wait for the updating of the park of refrigerators. But this innovation will certainly influence the transport cost. And future will show if there will be any impact on the prices in the shops and in the market.

In general both government and business representatives agree that the changes in the rules of carriage of goods by road in some standards APT are right, necessary and in time. But it’s not the end of these discussions and they should be continued. First, the period of getting this certification for the trucks produced before the end of 2014 will be prolonged up to 1.01.2019. Second, the requirement about mandatory presence of isothermal rooms will be selected from others by the experts who are in charge of prolongation of APT.


Valentin Korobelnikov,

After Sales Service
Director «AutoSpetsCentre»

— At the moment new transport means and old ones which have been in exploitation should be checked for corresponding to APT standards. Due to difficult economic situation in European countries last months transport is paid more attention to be checked for accordance to APT standards, especially for transport going from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. It’s difficult to say if there is here any political implication.

Vitaly Prudnikov,

Sales Management
Engineer «Tonar» Ltd

— Insulated trucks produced by our factory have a certificate for 6 years. Issued by the competent authority this certificate confirms the classification of truck isolation. When the certificate is invalid they have to pass the APT certification process again.

If the heat conductivity process isn’t changed the classification of the truck is the same, if the coefficient is increased, then the class of the truck is reduced. Paying attention to the trucks being in exploitation in Russia and in what conditions, I may suppose that many businesspersons will have no work, as the trucks of these semitrailers don’t meet the requirements and standards of transporting food.

Vladislav Pechenin,

Managing Director
«Мosdesignmash» company.

— The statement of ATP is for international transport, it is valid when organizations at least from 2 different countries take part. But our Ministry of Transport makes an order in which it is expanded also for urban, suburban and intercity transport. That legislative act which concerns the transportation from one point to another and temperature control at the moment of loading or unloading, so it means the topic of transporting. The unloading of ice-cream can be each 100 meters, and this law concerns all vehicles of type “Gazelle”.

Each food truck must have a certificate FRA or FRC. Besides a refrigeration unit and approved by the testing station features of a truck there must be temperature registrars-self recorders. And not everything. And what else can be used here our country doesn’t know. When I gathered information last November how many such registrars can be installed during a month, it got the answer-only 130 pcs. For reference: now in Russia there are at least 10 thousand refrigerators in exploitation.

And one more problem is not solved. According to the information given by the Ministry of Transport, a vehicle passed to another owner, loses the right of use the given certificate. We have almost 90% vehicles leased, it means that after the leasing finished, it takes 233 years, the owner must approve the classification of his vehicle. It takes time and money. It prolongs the validity of the certificate.

This law is right, timely and necessary. But the other thing is how to introduce it. First we make an order then we think how it will work. Any law should work and bring benefit to people, but not to be a mean for gathering money in some authorities.