Shipping Dangerous Goods

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The material safety data sheet – better known as MSDS is a supporting document for your shipment. It contains detailed information on the contents of your shipment with a technical breakdown of the components or substances in your item to prove that it does not fall under the dangerous goods (DG) category.

The purpose of the MSDS is to: 

  1. Provide information on the hazards of chemicals to protect users of chemical products
  2. Ensure safe operation and provide technical information for the formulation of safe operation procedures for hazardous chemicals
  3. Provide technical information helpful for emergency rescue and emergency handling of accidents
  4. Guide the safe production, safe circulation and safe use of chemicals
  5. It is an important basis and information source for chemical registration management
  6. It plays a very important role in the customs declaration, transportation, customs, air transportation, land transportation and other links of import and export

No. The MSDS serves as proof that your shipment is not classified as a dangerous good. Different countries may also have different requirements, so there is no hard and fast rule for the need of an MSDS. The bottom line is, in the event that your contents are an authorized dangerous good, they will have to adhere to proper packaging and transportation guidelines.

Kindly send MSDS to MY_CS_DG@dhl.com for further confirmation.

In most circumstances, MSDSs are readily obtainable online – especially if they are commercialized/readily available products in the market. However, in the event that the contents of your shipment are unique, you must create your own MSDS. If you manufactured the item, you should be able to produce a document indicating the breakdown of the contents in its physical state and the transportation requirements.

It is important to note that all MSDSs should be dated and have a validity period of 5 years.

It affects the overall transit time of your shipment. Most DG shipments have to be sent on cargo-only flights which are not as frequent as our daily flight schedules. On top of that, DG shipments are subject to more stringent security and customs inspections. We aim to deliver all your shipments in the quickest way possible – and your accurate declarations will play a significant part to speed up your delivery.

In most situations, DHL Express will hold back on processing your shipment until we receive the correct documentation. In the most extreme situations, we will reject the shipment and/or return it to you.

DHL Express employs a team of DG and MSDS experts that are able to efficiently help and advise you. 

The same MSDS can only be used for recurring shipments if the hazardous material is exactly the same. For example, you can use the same MSDS for a lithium battery in many different types of products as long as the same lithium battery is being used. The MSDS will still need to be provided for every single shipment to certify that the hazardous material has not changed.

Dangerous goods (also known as hazardous material or hazmat) are any substances or materials that are capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property. Identifying dangerous goods is the first step to reduce the risks posed by the product with proper packaging, communication, handling, and stowage. HL is an established carrier of Dangerous Goods and as a leading transportation and logistics company, DHL Express adheres to the following regulations:

  • IATA for all DHL Express air services
  • ADR applicable within all countries that have adopted the ADR convention in their legislation
  • Other applicable national legislation, depending on the origin, transit and destination of the shipment

Goods with these characteristics are considered dangerous (not exhaustive):

  • Radioactive
  • Flammable
  • Explosive
  • Corrosive
  • Toxic
  • Oxidizing
  • Infectious
  • Other regulated materials

Electronic equipment, perfumes and even food flavoring may be classified as Dangerous Goods. Some materials or chemicals may have characteristics that cause them to become harmful in specific circumstances.

The Material Safety Data Sheet or Safety Data Sheet from the manufacturer provides information to identify the content classification.

DHL Express requires pre-approval to ship Dangerous Goods to ensure that account holders are sufficiently trained, instructed and will prepare Dangerous Goods shipments according to the applicable regulations and DHL’s policies and procedures.

If you would like to ship via DHL Express, it is essential that you have a Dangerous Goods expert. With a wide experience of transporting all types of Dangerous Goods, DHL Express is perfectly placed to offer you professional advice.

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