When it comes to international supply chain and transportation, the term dangerous goods takes a very specific meaning. It may surprise you that many items that are considered dangerous goods are items that we use every day.

Examples of dangerous goods:

  1. Chlorine
  2. Alcohol wipes
  3. Helium
  4. Turpentine
  5. Chloroform
  6. Petrol Diesel
  7. Ammonium solution
  8. Hydrochloric acid
  9. Dry ice
  10. Lithium batteries
  11. Mercury

Why is DG Classification important?

Contrary to popular belief, DG classification is not used for security risk assessments. Instead, they are more commonly used for safety assessments – such as safety in transport and safety in storage. DG assessments are not there because people want to know which materials may explode, rather they are required so that supply chain folks know what precautions to take to prevent accidents from happening! DG classifications ensure that appropriate standards are drawn up to handle cargo with minimal risk to port workers, warehouse operators, transport operators, vessel and airplane crew, and airport staff.

What is a dangerous good?

DG cargo is generally any item that can cause significant risks to the safety, health of others, and/or physical property. The risk in question is usually the risk associated with transportation and storage. There are 9 classes of DG classification.

It is interesting to note that many weapons are themselves not dangerous goods, although their ammunition most certainly is.

For example, a weapon such as a spiked club maybe be dangerous when put in the wrong hands, but it poses no danger during transport or storage. Hence it would not be a DG good.

The 9 classes of DG goods are:

  1. Explosives – These are generally items that can ignite with explosive force.
  2. Gases – This class covers gases in all their states and storage temperatures. Gases can also be explosive in nature.
  3. Flammable liquids – This class covers liquids that catch fire easily.
  4. Flammable solids – This class covers solids that catch fire easily.
  5. Oxidizing agents/Organic peroxides – This class covers products that if ignited, burn with a flame that is hard to put out.
  6. Toxins and infectious substances – This class covers products that may cause death or disease.
  7. Radioactive materials – This class covers products that emit ionizing radiation
  8. Corrosives – This class covers products that can cause chemical decomposition upon contact with other items.
  9. Miscellaneous dangerous goods – This is a broad class that contains other items that may be a cause of concern like asbestos and dry ice.
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