What are dangerous goods?
The Business Dictionary defines dangerous goods as "articles or materials capable of posing a significant risk to persons, health, property or the environment when transported in large quantities". It also notes that dangerous goods is the "international standard term for goods covered by the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods". Dangerous goods are also referred to as hazardous material or dangerous cargo.
Dangerous goods can exist in solid, liquid, and gaseous form. They can be colorless or colored, hot, or cold, odorless or pungent. They can be corrosive chemicals, explosives, batteries, or even daily-use items such as hair spray, perfume, aftershave, liquor, and cigarette lighters.
Classes of dangerous goods
The UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods classifies dangerous goods on the basis of the hazard they pose. Under this system, each substance is assigned a class. There are nine classes in total.
Some are split into divisions.
|Class 1||Explosives||Gunpowder, TNT|
2.1 Flammable gases
2.2 Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
2.3 Toxic gases
|Class 3||Flammable liquids||Kerosene, acetone|
|Class 4||Flammable solids||
4.1 Flammable solids
4.2 Spontaneously combustible substances
4.3 Substances that emit flammable gases when in contact with water
|Class 5||Oxidising substances||
5.1 Oxidising agents
5.2 Organic peroxides
|Ammonium dichromate Ethyl methyl ketone peroxide|
|Class 6||Toxic subtances||
6.1 Toxic substances
6.2 Infectious substances
|Cyanide and arsenic vaccines|
|Class 7||Radioactive material||Uranium oxide|
|Class 8||Corrosive substances||Hydrochloric acid, batteries with acid|
|Class 9||Various dangerous goods||Dry ice, asbestos|
Sometimes a substance meets the criteria of more than one hazard class. The class with the highest hazard level is the primary hazard class, while the class with the lowest hazard level is the secondary hazard class. A substance may have more than one secondary class.
How to ship dangerous goods?
Before offering a dangerous good to an air carrier for shipment, the Hazardous Materials Regulations require the shipper to properly classify, package, mark and label the package to identify the hazard.
When shipping dangerous goods (e.g. lithium batteries or battery-powered devices, aerosols, oxygen cylinders) or flammable liquids (e.g. perfumery products or alcoholic beverages), follow these steps to ensure that your package is properly packed and marked. Some air carriers may have additional carrier-specific requirements so always check with your carrier before tendering your dangerous goods shipment.
Step 1: The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a good starting point to determine if an item you are shipping may be hazardous. Generally you can obtain an SDS from the manufacturer of the products you plan to ship by air and refer to the shipping information section. Pay particular attention to the specific information that pertains to shipments by air.
Step 2: If you determine that an item is hazardous, the FAA recommends that you conduct a needs assessment analysis to determine which employees in your company will perform a hazardous materials function and identify the level of training that is required by the regulations.
Step 3: For most employees, training will include general and safety knowledge for their duties. Under 49 CFR, a hazardous materials employee is required to receive periodic training every three years.
Paso 4: Ask a trained employee to look up the material in the hazardous materials Table or ICAO TI, as necessary, to determine the quantities permitted to be shipped. The labels required, and the packaging permitted under 49 CFR Part 173 or the appropriate ICAO TI packing instruction.
Step 5: Determine the quantities and corresponding packaging requirements for your shipments. Depending on the group assigned to the hazardous material, UN-specification packaging may be required.
Step 6: If UN specification packaging is required, read the package sealing instructions carefully and obtain all materials listed in the instructions such as tape, ties, polythene bags ect. Be sure to follow the information instructions. Also review the additional requirements under 49 CFR Part 173.27(c)(3)(ii) if shipping liquids in individual packages by air.
Packages meeting UN specifications are tested with the materials listed in the closure instructions. Any variation from the manufacturer's instructions could compromise the integrity of the package and may be considered a violation of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR).
Step 7 : f UN specification packaging is required, read the package sealing instructions carefully and obtain all materials listed in the instructions such as tape, ties or polyethylene bags. Be sure to follow the information instructions. Also review the additional requirements under 49 CFR Part 173.27(c)(3)(ii) if shipping liquids in individual packages by air.
Step 8: Mark and label the package.
Step 9: If you are using a combined package, place the material in its inner packaging according to the sealing instructions. Then place the inner packaging in its approved outer packaging and seal the package according to the instructions.
Step 10: Fill in the shipping paper and affix it to the outside of the package in an unobstructed area.
Step 11: Your package is ready to be shipped.
Step 12: Keep the shipper's declaration on file for a period of two years