A guide to shipping dangerous goods

If you're shipping anything classified as dangerous goods, it's vital you adhere to the regulations. That way you greatly reduce the risk of your shipment getting damaged and harming others or the environment. Learn more about the type of packaging, documentation and labelling you need for the safe transport of dangerous goods.

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Do I need to be trained to ship dangerous goods?

Yes. If you’re shipping dangerous goods you need to be trained and understand the necessary regulations. Another option is to hire a person or company to prepare the shipment for you.

What are the regulations?

The regulations specify the type of packaging, documentation and labelling required for the safe transport of dangerous goods. Rules on shipping dangerous goods can vary per transport mode, so be sure to check with your carrier how your goods will be transported.

How do I prepare a dangerous goods item for shipping?

You, as the shipper, have the responsibility to ensure the dangerous goods are correctly classified, declared, packed and labelled with the right documentation for the countries of origin, transit and destination. To find out the classification of your goods, check with the manufacturer or supplier.

Let’s take bleach as an example. This is a product that’s readily available for day-to-day use, but can fall under the classification of dangerous goods when being transported. That’s why these types of goods may be marked with consumer product warning signs.

Step 1: Use the right box

The box you use for packing the bleach needs to have specification markings, which confirm it was tested and can be used to transport dangerous goods. Bear in mind the markings differ for each dangerous goods classification.

Step 2: Pack the product securely

Place a plastic bag in the box and put the bleach inside. Fill the empty space with packing material like vermiculite. Then close the plastic bag with a cable tie.

Step 3: Stick the correct labels to the package

Since bleach is a corrosive substance, it’s important to stick a corrosive substance label on the box.

Step 4: Double check the packing and documentation

After you’ve stuck the labels to the box, make sure it’s properly sealed. And when the driver comes to pick up your package, make sure you hand over the shipment’s dangerous goods documentation.

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