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Dangerous Goods Airfreight  
Your Responsibilities As A Shipper


Dangerous Goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to hearth, safety or to property when transported by air and which are classified according to Section 3.” (IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation 42nd Edition Section 1, 1.0 pg. 1)

Background Information

The United Nations Committee of Experts develops recommended procedures for the transport of all dangerous goods (excluding radioactive materials), by all modes of transport.The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) uses these recommendations to develop regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods by air.  These are published in the ICAO Technical Instructions.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) have also developed regulations that contain all of the requirements of the ICAO Technical instructions, but include additional restrictions. The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations have been developed to reflect industry standards and practical considerations. Therefore, compliance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations helps to ensures your compliance with all airlines, not only IATA member airlines. Please note that many airlines and countries publish additional variations, more restrictive conditions, which are specific to the particular country or airline. These variations are published in the IATA DG Regulation but may be imposed at any time.

Application of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation

Basically, the IATA dangerous Goods regulations are applicable to all IATA member and associated airlines, all shippers (YOU) and agents (US) that offer consignments of dangerous goods to these operators. (Ref: IATA DG Reg. Section 1.2.1 pg. 2) 

Shipper Responsibilities (Section 1.3)

When offering a shipment for airfreight, a Shipper must fully comply with the IATA DG Regulations and any additional regulations set by the State (Government) at origin, transit points and destination. A shipper offering goods in violation of the Regulations may be in breach of national law and subject to legal penalties. In Australia the responsible body is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Specific Responsibilities

Before offering any dangerous goods for airfreight, the shipper must comply with the following:
  • "Provide information to employees which will enable them to carry our their responsibilities with regards to the transport of dangerous goods by air.” (
  • "The shipper must ensure that the articles or substances are not prohibited for transport by air" Please refer to table 2.1.A (
  • The articles or substances must be properly indentified, classified, packed, marked, labelled, and documented and otherwise in a condition for transport in accordance with these regulations" (
  • “Before a consignment of dangerous goods is offered for air transport, all relevant persons involved in the preparations must have received training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities (Refer to Section 1.5)”……
  • However, “Where the shipper does not have the trained staff, the ‘relevant persons’ may be interpreted as applying to those employed to act on the shippers behalf and undertake the shippers responsibilities in the preparation of the consignment.”  ( 
  • This is referring to the use of specific Dangerous Goods Specialists that must be trained as specified in section 1.5.
  • “The articles or substances must be properly identified, classified, packed, marked, labelled and documented and otherwise in a condition for transport in accordance with these regulations.” (

Training Requirements

The successful application of regulations concerning the transport of dangerous goods and the achievement of their objectives are greatly dependent on the appreciations by all individuals concerned of the risks involved and on a detailed understanding of the Regulations. This can only be achieved by properly planned and maintained initial and recurrent training programs for all persons concerned in the transport of dangerous goods.” (

The particular training requirements are set our in the remainder of section 1.5.

Please note that a proper record of training must be kept on file including a copy of the certificates.

Summary of Shipper Responsibilities 

·        Provide information to employees, enabling them to fulfil their responsibilities with regards to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

·        Provide approved training for all staff involved in the preparation of a dangerous goods shipment by air.

·        Keep written records of the training including copies of certificates.

·        Properly identify the article or substance, ensuring that it is not forbidden for transport by air.

·        Properly classify the article or substance according to section 3 of the regulation.

·        Package, marked, labelled, documented and offer the goods in a general condition for transport in accordance with these regulations

Click here for a Dangerous Goods Check List

Click here for Dangerous Goods Labels

Click here for Procedures for the Handling of Shipments Containing Dangerous Goods

The above information is in not exhaustive, and serves as a summary only

EMO Trans Australia strongly recommends that any shipper offering Dangerous Goods for airfreight, have a current copy of the Dangerous goods regulations available in the workplace and obtain training from an authorised and approved training provider. Alternatively you can employ an Approved Specialist Dangerous Goods company to act on your behalf with regards to the preparation of dangerous goods for airfreight.

Please call us if you require assistance to find an authorised provider of training, or an authorised Dangerous Goods Specialist.