Understanding the classification of dangerous goods is crucial for safe and compliant shipping. Here’s a brief overview of each DG cargo class, accompanied by examples:

Class 1: Explosives

Substances that can explode or trigger explosive devices, posing serious risks if ignited. Examples of goods under this class include fireworks, flares, and ammunition.

Class 2: Gases

2.1 Flammable Gases

Gases that can ignite or burn instantly under certain conditions. Examples include aerosol sprays, fire extinguishers, gas lighters, and camping gas.

2.2 Non-Flammable and Non-Toxic Gases

Gases that neither ignite nor are toxic but can displace oxygen in the air. Examples include hairspray, helium, and oxygen.

2.3 Toxic Gases

Gases that are harmful or fatal to humans and animals due to their toxic or corrosive properties. Some examples include tear gas, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide.

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

Goods under this class refer to liquids that can easily catch fire under certain conditions. Examples include heating oil, turpentine, and kerosene.

Class 4: Flammable Solids

4.1 Flammable Solids

Solids that can readily ignite or contribute to a fire during transportation. Examples include matches, camphor, and waste rubber.

4.2 Substances predisposed to spontaneous combustion

Substances that are prone to spontaneous combustion under normal conditions. These include hafnium and phosphorus.

4.3 Flammable When Wet

Substances that become flammable or emit dangerous gases when wet. Examples of such goods include trichlorosilane, rubidium, and alkali-metal alloy, lithium.

Class 5: Oxidising Substances and Organic Peroxides

5.1 Oxidising Articles

Substances that can emit oxygen, supporting the combustion of other materials. Examples include oxygen generators, zinc chlorate, and potassium chlorate.

5.2 Organic Peroxides

Compounds that may rapidly decompose, causing explosive reactions or burns. Goods like these include fertilisers, drain cleaners, and toolkits with hardeners.

Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

6.1 Toxic Substances

Materials that can cause death, injury, or harm to humans upon exposure. Examples include dyes and lead compounds.

6.2 Infectious Substances

Biological materials that can cause disease in humans or animals. Examples include clinical waste and medical specimens.

Class 7: Radioactive Material

Substances that emit radiation, posing hazards to health and sensitive materials. Examples include isotopes and radioactive ores.

Class 8: Corrosives

Substances that can corrode or damage living tissues and materials upon contact. Examples include sludge acid, chlorides, and bleach.

Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Items that don’t fall under other classes but are still dangerous for transport. Examples include asbestos, dry ice, magnetic material, consumer goods, and self-inflatable rescue equipment like vests and airbags.

*Please note that this article is not intended as definitive guidance for international DG shipping. For the most accurate and current instructions, we strongly recommend consulting with your account representative or reaching out to our customer service team before dispatching your shipment.


The categorisation of items as “dangerous goods” highlights the risks they pose during transport. As such, it’s important to package your orders meticulously, ensuring the safety of the products and those handling them.

Packaging DG Cargo

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The different classifications of each dangerous good means packaging must be carefully considered to prevent any risk of spillage or damage during air transportation. For instance, flammable liquids require secure containment to prevent spill risks. In the event of a spill, the packaging must include a contingency plan that prevents any impact on other shipments or the shipping vessel itself.

Moreover, shipping certain items like lithium batteries require additional protection. Using extra padding can reduce danger risks to the product and ensure the safety of those handling the package. It’s crucial that all shipments, whether they involve electronics or liquids, are sufficiently cushioned. 

Inadequate packaging can not only pose safety risks but also cause delays. Be mindful that specific couriers may impose their own rules on the carriage of dangerous goods, such as limiting liquid volumes to 100ml and allowing no more than two batteries per shipment. We recommend that you always verify these details with your courier, as regulations can frequently change.

Marking and Labeling DG Cargo

Properly labelling your DG shipment is paramount. Fully regulated DG goods, particularly those under Class 9 and ID8000 (consumer commodities), must be accurately labelled to clearly display the type of dangerous good and its potential hazards. These labels should adhere to the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) standards.

Every DG shipment should be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD), alongside the Air Waybill and a detailed shipping invoice. These documents must accurately describe the DG commodity being transported, ensuring clarity and compliance from the point of origin to the destination.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) dictates stringent rules for DG cargo, limiting the transport of many items by air. This often necessitates the use of surface freight— trucking and sea freight—which, while cost-effective, extends delivery times. Specific items, particularly certain types of batteries, present significant challenges for air transport. This is due to safety risks and the potential for heavy fines from national authorities for non-compliance.

Understanding different destination countries’ specific import and export regulations is just as essential. For instance, Singapore advises that the transportation of dangerous goods on roads should occur between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday, with no transportation permitted on Sundays and public holidays.

It’s crucial, then, to familiarise yourself with the DG cargo regulations relevant to the countries you frequently ship to. Before organising a DG shipment to a country with which you’re less acquainted, consult with your shipping provider to understand their capabilities and restrictions.


Freight forwarders and shipping providers often require businesses to secure insurance coverage for their dangerous goods consignments. This requirement serves a dual purpose: 

  • It protects the courier from liability related to health and safety incidents
  • It ensures compensation for the shipper in case of damage or loss of the goods. 

Given the intricate nature of dangerous goods regulations and the severe repercussions of non-compliance, having comprehensive cargo insurance coverage not only offers peace of mind but also safeguards your financial interests.

When arranging insurance for your dangerous goods shipments, it’s advisable to thoroughly discuss with your insurance provider or broker the specific nature of the goods you’re shipping. Ensure the coverage adequately reflects the particular risks and compliance requirements associated with your cargo.


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Selecting the appropriate freight forwarding partner is crucial when shipping dangerous goods. The complexities and stringent regulations surrounding DG shipments demand expertise, precision, and a deep understanding of international, regional, and local customs regulations. 

This ensures not only the safety and security of the cargo but also compliance with legal requirements, minimising the risk of penalties and delays. M&P International Freights stands out as the ideal partner for your DG shipping needs. Our dedicated team of specialists offers comprehensive support, ensuring your cargo is managed with the utmost care and professionalism from start to finish. 

Other advantages of engaging M&P International Freights include:

1. Expert Guidance and Support

Navigating the intricacies of DG shipments can be challenging. M&P International Freights provides an in-house team of experts readily available to clarify any doubts and assist with your shipping decisions. Our specialists are well-versed in the customs regulations of every country, ensuring your shipments are processed smoothly and efficiently.

2. Seamless Shipping Process

Our global network includes specialists in nearly every country, equipped with the knowledge and resources to handle a wide variety of dangerous cargo. M&P International Freights prides itself on a seamless operational process, offering end-to-end services that cover all aspects of international DG delivery.

3. Unwavering Commitment to Compliance

At M&P International Freights, we prioritise safety and compliance above all. Our stringent adherence to rules and regulations guarantees that every shipment meets the highest safety standards and is fully compliant with all pertinent regulations.

Choosing M&P International Freights means you’re partnering with a freight forwarder that understands the critical nature of your DG shipments. Our commitment to excellence ensures your peace of mind, making us the preferred choice for your dangerous goods shipping needs.