Dangerous Goods, also called Hazardous Materials or HAZMAT, are solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. Therefore, they are often subject to strict regulation. Dangerous goods include radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, oxidizing, asphyxiating, bio-hazardous, toxic, pathogenic, or allergenic materials. Also included are physical conditions such as compressed gases and liquids or hot materials, including all goods containing such materials or chemicals, or may have other characteristics that render them hazardous in specific circumstances.
The Shipper will determine whether the type of commodity is shipping via air or, due to regulations, may only ship via ocean. In addition, the Shipper must ensure that the articles or substances are not prohibited for transport and are correctly identified, classified, packed, marked, and documented. Once the cargo has arrived at a foreign port or airport, it will need to travel to the final destination via truck or rail. Therefore, the transport plan needs to be well thought out before shipment.
Air Shipment - IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
The United Nations Economic and Social Council issues the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, which form the basis for most regional and national regulatory schemes. For instance, the International Civil Aviation Organization has developed regulations for air transport of hazardous materials based on the UN Model but modified to accommodate unique aspects of air transport. Individual airline and governmental requirements are incorporated with this by the International Air Transport Association to produce the widely used IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
For further information and Air shipment regulations, please visit the IATA
Sea Shipment - IMDG Code, Dangerous Goods Regulations
Similarly to air shipment, the International Maritime Organization has developed the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (part of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) for transportation on the high seas and the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail.
For further information and Sea shipment regulations, please visit the IMDG website(s):
Packing groups determine the degree of protective packaging required for Dangerous Goods during transportation.
Group I : Great danger, and most protective packaging required. Some combinations of different classes of dangerous goods
on the same vehicle or in the same container are forbidden if one of the goods is Group I.
Group II : medium danger
Group III : Least danger among regulated goods and least protective packaging within the transportation requirement.