What are dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are any items or substances which, if not handled or packed properly, could pose a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. There are nine classes of dangerous goods, and knowing which one your item falls under will give you a clearer picture of how to pack, label and transport it.

What kind of goods are considered dangerous?

Some goods that are classified as hazardous materials may surprise you, such as aerosols, perfume or anything containing lithium batteries – like mobile phones or laptops.

What are the nine classes of dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are divided into nine classes, plus a few sub-classes. The class your product falls under will affect how you pack, label and transport it.

1. Explosive substances and articles

(Like fireworks, flares, airbag modules or seatbelt pretensioners)

2.1. Flammable gas

(Like camping gas or aerosols such as spray deodorant, spray paint, hairspray and whipped cream in a spray can)

2.2. Non-flammable gas

(Like compressed oxygen, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or compressed carbon dioxide cylinders for carbonating water)

2.3. Toxic gas

(Like bug spray or oxygen difluoride)

3.   Flammable liquids

(Like solvents, paints, nail polish or nail polish remover)

4.1. Flammable solids

(Like matches)

4.2. Substances liable to spontaneous


(Like phosphorus)

4.3. Substances that emit flammable gases

       when in water

(Like calcium carbide)

5.1. Oxidising substances

(Like fertiliser)

5.2. Organic peroxides

(Like hydrogen peroxide for bleaching hair, two-component adhesives (glue) or fibreglass repair kits)

6.1. Toxic substances

(Like pesticides (both solid and liquid forms))

6.2. Infectious substances

(Like blood tests, tissue samples, cell samples or biopsies used in medical trials)

7.   Radioactive material

(Like smoke detectors or medical isotopes)

8.   Corrosive substances

(Like bleach or drain cleaner)

9.   Miscellaneous

(Like magnets, lithium batteries or dry ice)

Are my products classified as dangerous goods?

If you’re not sure if the items you're shipping are dangerous goods or not, ask the manufacturer or supplier for a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). If it shows or mentions a UN number under Chapter 14, then you’re shipping dangerous goods.

How do I ship them safely?

Check out our page on how to ship dangerous goods. Alternatively, your chosen shipping carrier should be able to provide you with all the information you need.

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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