Dangerous Goods Act

When a UK based exporter of learning resources and educational products for a science exam was caught between the airline and the chemical supplier, it had only days to resolve the issue before the exam date set.


What is classified as dangerous goods'

Dangerous goods surround us everyday and everywhere however, the regulations place the responsibility for correct classification of dangerous goods on the shipper. This means you must ensure your shipments are fully compliant. Did you know that food flavouring, perfumes, chemicals and electronic equipment can be classed as dangerous goods'


How can you export them'

The usual advice “refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet from the manufacturer” but this might not help you determine if the product can indeed be forwarded as regular cargo, because it may not be obvious. For example did you know many household items like aerosols, batteries, or anything containing lithium batteries – like phones or laptops are dangerous goods' Rest assured, Spatial Global can help you stay compliant, safe and minimise the financial implications as we have qualified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors within our freight forwarding team.


A quick guide to ‘dangerous goods’ classes

Dangerous goods are separated into different classes which affect how you must package and transport them. If you’re only shipping limited quantities the rules aren’t as strict.

Class Type of material
1 Explosive substances and articles
2.1 Flammable gas (eg butane)
2.2 Non-flammable and non-toxic gases which could cause asphyxiation (eg nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide) or oxidisers (eg oxygen)
2.3 Toxic gases (eg chlorine, phosgene)
3 Flammable liquids (eg lighter fluid, petrol)
4.1 Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives
4.2 Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
4.3 Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
5.1 Oxidising substances
5.2 Organic peroxides
6.1 Toxic substances
6.2 Infectious substances
7 Radioactive material
8 Corrosive substances
9 Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles


To ship dangerous goods, consignors are required to prepare a form certifying that the cargo has been packed, labelled and declared according with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).


If your shipment was rejected days away from delivery where would you start'

Identifying that many products used in classrooms on a daily basis can be classified as dangerous goods under UN transport rules was a shock for our client. Additionally, understanding how the products needed to be packed and declared for carriage was frustrating, because there was no clear answer. The customer didn’t have a solution and was caught between the airline and the chemical supplier to find one!


Exam dates looming – Spatial Global were recommended

The Seychelles National Science Exam was scheduled for a few days time and the sample packs of chemicals were needed for the practical examination. However, because they were classified under UN rules as ‘Dangerous Goods’ and packed incorrectly by the clients supplier – they were rejected by the airline for carriage.  Once the Spatial Global export team were fully briefed, they were able to quickly resolve the issues. The exam materials were repacked, labelled and the goods were shipped over a weekend to ensure that the national exam could take place as scheduled.


If you have export materials you are unsure about – call us for free advice


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