What are dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are any item or substance 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 phones or laptops.

What are the classifications?

There are nine classes of dangerous goods, 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 or flares)

2.1. Flammable gas

       (Like aerosols or camping gas)

2.2. Non-flammable gas

       (Like compressed oxygen)

2.3. Toxic gas

       (Like oxygen difluoride)

3.   Flammable liquids

      (Like solvents or paints)

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 fibreglass repair kits)

6.1. Toxic substances

      (Like pesticides)

6.2. Infectious substances

       (Like blood tests or medical trials)

7.   Radioactive material

     (Like smoke detectors)

8.   Corrosive substances

      (Like bleach or drain cleaner)

9.   Miscellaneous

     (Like lithium batteries, magnets or dry ice)

Are my goods dangerous?

If you’re not sure whether they are or not, ask the manufacturer or supplier for a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). If it shows or mentions a UN number in chapter 14, you’re shipping dangerous goods.

How do I ship them?

Check out our video 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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