There are 9 classes of dangerous goods (DG), each comprising of unique characteristics and features. Dangerous goods are susceptible to volatility and pose destructive risks when not handled correctly. Shipping dangerous goods cargo internationally has its own set of complications – complying with regulations and restrictions is everyone’s responsibility to uphold safe practices.
The very first, and possibly most important requisite to ship DG cargo is to have your account approved by DHL Express. First of all, you should communicate with your account manager on your shipping requirements. When you present a valid case for shipping DG cargo, DHL Express will send our in-house DG expert to your premises to inspect your eligibility to become an approved shipper. Here are some things that we look out for.
When you are shipping UN3733 (biological substances), UN1845 (dried ice), DG in Excepted Quantities (EQ) and Class 9 DG cargo (with the exception of Lithium Batteries Section II), you must have at least one staff on-site that is DG certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This means the staff has completed and maintained his or her valid DG certification. Learn more about IATA’s DG course.
Each item is unique, and as a shipper, you should have the best solution to pack each DG item safely. Prior to approval, we will inspect the security and integrity of each shipment’s packaging and if they can withstand air transportation. For example, we accept certain flammable liquids, however, they have to be packed to ensure that there is absolutely no spillage. If there is a spillage, there should be a contingency within the packing, where it will not affect other shipments or the airplane.
Fully regulated DG goods under Class 9 and ID8000 (consumer commodities) has to be correctly labelled, clearly indicating the DG type and potential hazards. This should be in line and up to date with IATA standards. Each shipment should also be accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration (DGD) – a supporting document on top of the AWB and shipping invoice that provides a clear description of the DG commodity being transported.
Read further about dangerous goods declaration (DGD) here.
Upon inspection, we will review the item to be shipped as DG and approval will warrant eligibility to ship the item as it was agreed upon. Alterations to the product or shipping more than what was agreed will raise a red flag when it is being processed in our system. For this reason, you must adhere to the agreed shipping guidelines and clearly indicate the quantity of the contents.
Although it is clearly indicated which DG classes DHL Express can accept, it is crucial to understand that different destination countries have different regulations for importing dangerous goods. Therefore, prior to granting approval, we will check which countries you deal with most frequently. On the same note, prior to arranging a DG shipment to a country you are unfamiliar with, you should check with your account manager or our customer service team on DHL Express’s capabilities.
In many cases, you may be shipping a non-DG cargo, but due to the nature of the contents, we might classify it as a DG shipment, and if you are not an approved shipper, we will either return, reject, or request for an MSDS – a document that proves your shipment does not fall under a DG category. For example, you may be shipping hand sanitizer without any alcohol content. Therefore, it does not fall in any DG category because the absence of alcohol makes it non-flammable. The purpose of the MSDS is to give the technical breakdown of your item.
Apart from having an in-house team of specialists deployed in almost every country we operate in, DHL Express has the resources and experience to handle all sorts of dangerous cargo. One of our many commitments as a first- class logistics service is that we ensure all shipments that we carry are fully compliant with international, regional and country regulations.
When you choose DHL Express to import or export your DG cargo, you can be rest assured that it will be handled by a dedicated team of international professionals from start to finish.