How to prepare the shipper's declaration for dangerous goods

The shipper’s declaration is a key document required for sending dangerous goods. A correctly completed shipper’s declaration contains vital information that helps prevent safety hazards.

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What is the shipper's declaration for dangerous goods?

When sending dangerous goods, the sender must complete a form known as the dangerous goods shipper’s declaration (DGD). It certifies that the shipment has been labeled, packed and declared according to IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). You can download the DG shipper’s declaration from the IATA website. 

The shipper’s declaration helps the carrier understand the sort of handling that is required during transit, so it’s vital to complete it correctly and attach it to your shipment. Otherwise, it might be delayed, or you may be fined. Remember to always check which laws and regulations apply, as well as your carrier’s requirements, before shipping.

What details should I include on the shipper’s declaration?

The following information should be included on the shipper’s declaration:

  • Address and contact details of shipper and receiver (consignee)
  • Emergency contact details (if required)
  • Proper shipping name of the dangerous goods (e.g. Acetone)
  • Quantity
  • UN number (e.g. UN 1090)
  • Class or division (subsidiary hazard)
  • Net weight of dangerous goods and total shipment weight (if required)
  • DG packing group I, II or III (if required)
  • Whether the dangerous goods are radioactive or not
  • Additional handling information (if required)

Make sure the shipper and receiver details are correct

Check that all the names, addresses and contact details are correct and complete on all the documents and match with the information on the parcel. If there’s missing or inaccurate information your shipment might not arrive at its destination (on time).

Provide an emergency number with country prefix included

If an accident should occur with a shipment, the sender or receiver (or a responsible representative) needs to be contacted immediately. 

So it’s important that you provide an emergency contact number (when required), including the international prefix, on the shipper’s declaration. Don’t put general local emergency numbers such as 911 or 112, as the contact person or organisation must be aware of the shipment and its hazards, and must be reachable 24/7.

Fill in the correct UN number

This is a four-digit number that identifies the type of dangerous goods you’re shipping – you can find it on the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) under section 14. The manufacturer of the goods can provide you with an SDS. 

Make sure you also include the UN prefix on the shipper's declaration – for example, if you’re shipping paint, put ‘UN 1263’.

Provide the net and gross weight of your shipment

The net weight refers to the weight of just the dangerous goods, and the gross weight is the weight of the entire shipment (including product and packaging). 

To see if you need to fill in the net or gross weight of your shipment, check IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. If you do, then provide it in on the shipper’s declaration.

State if you're shipping radioactive material

If you’re shipping radioactive material like medical isotopes, cross out ‘Non-radioactive’ on the shipper’s declaration. 

In general, radioactive shipments are subject to more rules and regulations, so it’s best to contact your carrier to check what information you need to provide before shipping.

Attach a copy of the shipper’s declaration in a sturdy pouch

To make sure the shipper’s declaration doesn’t fall off the package, fold it and put it in an adhesive, transparent and sturdy pouch. 

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Shipping requirements and documentation may vary between carriers. This website is designed to provide general information related to shipping. If you’re unsure of the shipping requirements that apply to you, check with your carrier. Make sure to check the rules and regulations of the country you’re shipping from and to prior to shipping. You can find this information on government websites.


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