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Dangerous Goods and Prohibited Items

DHL Freight is an established carrier of dangerous goods and can provide solutions for the transport of dangerous goods by road and rail.

Dangerous goods transports are regulated by international and national regulations according to the respective mode of transport. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent accidents to people and property as well as damage to the environment. Regulations include issues such as packaging requirements, the maximum amounts that can be transported and the kinds of goods that can or cannot be transported in the same transport unit.

In order to ensure consistency between all these regulations, mechanisms for the harmonization of hazard classification criteria and hazard communication tools as well as for transport conditions for all modes of transport have been established.

More information about dangerous goods classification can be found on the UNECE website.

Dangerous Goods Transport by Road

DHL Freight transports dangerous goods by road in accordance with national and international ADR (The European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) regulations. These are applicable within all countries that have adopted the ADR convention in their legislation. Furthermore, the EU directives concerning the transport of dangerous goods also apply in Europe.

The agreement is renewed every 2 years by the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).


International dangerous goods transports by road are subject to International ADR. ADR = European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road.

For countries separated from continental Europe by sea, the IMDG code concerning international sea transports also applies.

The IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code is accepted as an international guideline to the safe transportation or shipment of dangerous goods or hazardous materials by water on vessels. For more on the IMDG visit IMO – the International Maritime Organization.

International dangerous goods transports by rail are subject to international RID (International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail) regulations. For more information visit the OTIF - Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail. OTIF - Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail.

Required Documents

The following documents are required for the transport of dangerous goods:

  • Multimodal Dangerous Goods Form, required for transport by sea (countries separated from continental Europe by sea)
  • Waybill (CMR) stating the appropriate ADR classification, in the local official language and in either English, German or French

Mandatory Dangerous Goods Information

Required in sequence:

  • UN number (UN + four-digit number that identifies hazardous substances and articles within the context of international transport)
  • Technical name (according to current ADR/RID/IMDG specifications)
  • ADR/RID/IMDG hazardous label numbers
  • Packing group, if applicable
  • Tunnel restriction code (for ADR/RID)

Not required in sequence:
  • Gross weight / liters
  • Net weight / liters
  • Information about goods in limited or excepted quantities, if applicable
  • Number and specific kind of packages
  • Name and address of consignee
  • Name and address of consignor
  • Flashpoint in Celsius (IMDG-only)
  • Dangerous goods information has to be printed on the single Transport Order Form as well as on the CMR.

Information and documents required for the transport of dangerous goods needs to be delivered to DHL Freight at the time of order.

DHL Freight ensures that all transport equipment is provided with the legally required documentation and certificates including drivers “Instructions in writing according to ADR”, in the required languages.

Dangerous goods transports always require special arrangements, which is why the transport schedule has to be agreed separately.

Goods Exclusions for DHL Freight

Please note that DHL Freight does not transport all types of goods through its network. For more details on what is excluded, please see section 1 and section 7 in our DHL Freight Terms and Conditions.

Dangerous Goods Surcharges

Dangerous goods transports require additional measures, such as marking the transport units, declarations to authorities and shipping companies, handling of documents, etc. Dangerous goods are subject to local and/or national DGR fees which are debited separately. Dangerous goods transports are always subject to additional charges.

To find out more about local costs and regulations related to dangerous goods transportation please get in touch with DHL Freight customer service.

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