Whenever and however dangerous goods are transported, there are a number of common regulatory requirements and prohibitions that should be noted. The list is not exhaustive as it is not possible to include all applicable regulatory requirements, which in any case may change from time to time.

(a)  Goods must be classified, packaged and labelled in accordance with the applicable regulations.

(b)  At all stages in the transport chain it must be clear that dangerous goods are involved (but note (c) below) and appropriate arrangements must be made for safe transport. This usually involves completion of documentation, as specified by the applicable regulations, declaring the nature of the goods, which must be given to specified persons in the transport chain. The clear labelling of the package with the required hazard labels (other than on excepted packages) ensures immediate identification - additional outer packaging must not be used to conceal the fact that dangerous goods are contained within.

 (c)  There are regulations that limit the amount of particular dangerous goods that can be carried in a single package (the quantity limit)and others that allow the transport of very small quantities of dangerous goods (excepted quantities) in such a manner that they may be excepted from the marking (hazard labels etc.), loading and, in some cases, documentation requirements.

 (d)  Dangerous goods must not be carried by passengers on aircraft, either in their checked baggage or carry-on baggage, or on their person. They must be in separate packages and carried in the hold.

 (e)  The carriage of certain dangerous goods on aircraft is absolutely forbidden. Some dangerous goods may be carried on cargo aircraft but not on passenger aircraft, and certain carriers also have their own lists of prohibited substances.

 (f)   Documentation for shipments of dangerous goods to, from, or within certain countries by air[1] requires a 24 hour emergency response telephone number, which must be monitored at all times by a person who is knowledgeable about dangerous goods and can provide the necessary technical emergency response information. Many airlines, including some major carriers, impose their own similar requirements.

 (g)  It is a requirement of certain regulations (e.g. for the transport of dangerous goods by air) that the shipper/consignor is adequately trained. This may be demonstrated by attendance at a recognised training course and passing the associated examination.



[1] Currently Canada, France, Jamaica, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and the United States