International Shipping of Dangerous Goods: What You Need to Know

17 March, 2020


The idea that your goods may be classed as dangerous can seem a little off-putting when it comes to working out logistics. However, if you stick to the rules and use an experienced shipping partner, delivering your stock to the intended destination shouldn't be a problem.

Naturally, there may be a little more paperwork and precaution involved, but this is to ensure the safety of the individuals handling your products, and compliance with the different regulations which may affect your goods as they travel and enter specific countries.

UN classified dangerous goods:

  • Corrosive substances
  • Radioactive material
  • Infectious substances
  • Toxic substances
  • Organic peroxides
  • Oxidisers
  • Flammable solids
  • Gases
  • Explosives

The nature of the items on this list should serve as a good indicator as to why they may be perceived as dangerous and why correct packaging, labelling, and handling is critical.

Let's take a look at how you can make sure that your dangerous goods have a safe and successful journey.


Documents and certificates

Customs officials will need to know what is contained in your packaging. A Dangerous Goods Declaration must accompany your items, clearly identifying the contents.

Having the correct documentation is imperative if you don't want to risk having your shipment seized or held up for weeks.

Learn more about this by visiting the official government website.


Packages and labelling

Dangerous goods need to be carefully and securely wrapped or contained. In some cases, you may have to use a licenced specialist to appropriately package your stock. Leaks and breakages caused by loosely packed items could have significant consequences.

Clear, noticeable labels must be visible on the containers so that handlers are aware that they are transporting dangerous goods. Hazard symbols, safety advice and the relevant warnings are a must.


Checking the different countries for their laws and restrictions

Your shipping partner must have a thorough understanding of which labels and symbols are applicable for the destination you are shipping to.

Certain items may have to meet a set of criteria or undergo testing before they can enter a region, so be sure to clarify before you ship off.


Dangerous goods can be more expensive to ship

Due to the level of care and expertise required to ship dangerous items across borders, it's very likely that you will incur additional costs. This makes it essential to get you packaging, labelling, documentation icon and journey plan fine-tuned.

There are instances where volume restrictions may affect your packaging and the amount of stock you can ship at any given time, meaning that the cost to the customer may increase on the other side. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration when shipping your dangerous goods.

If your stock requires a more specialised approach, speak to Asendia today. We have years worth of experience in handling a wide variety of international shipments – even dangerous goods. We're happy to offer advice and guidance to help you select the right service for your needs.


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