What are Dangerous Goods?
Dangerous Goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or to property when transported. A look in the garden shed or under the kitchen sink will reveal a wide array of items which are potentially dangerous goods. A few examples of household objects include pesticides, acids, aerosols, perfumes, bleaches, matches, cigarette lighters, camping stoves with liquid fuel or compressed gas, anything that contains or has contained petrol, such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, brush cutters, model aircraft etc, batteries, fireworks, sparklers.
What are the Classes of Dangerous Goods?
The international community has created a classification system of nine primary classes of dangerous goods. Some classes have been sub-divided in order to adequately describe the nature of the properties of the individual goods.
There is a label for each class/division to convey the nature of the hazard. These labels must appear on the outside of the package when it is offered for transport and must remain on the package while it is in transit. They will also be found on most inner packages such as aerosol cans; bottles of bleach, containers of thinners, tins of paint etc that you purchase in the supermarket.
Sending Dangerous Goods by Air
Persons who send dangerous goods by air must ensure that they are properly packed, marked, labeled and declared. Those persons sending them are also required to be trained. The dangerous goods can only be lodged with freight forwarding companies or airlines. The transport of dangerous goods by air is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority under Section 23 of the Civil Aviation Act, 1988 covering all dangerous goods whether carried on domestic or international flights.
If you are considering sending dangerous goods by air and if the packaging, labeling, documentation etc does not meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Legislation, then you may be liable to heavy financial penalties which can run into thousands of dollars and/or up to seven years in prison.
See our Training Section for information about our courses, course dates and course fees.
Sending Dangerous Goods by Road
An obvious alternative to domestic air freight is the road system. The regulations governing transport by road & rail is complicated by each state having separate regulations and the different classes of dangerous goods are covered by separate codes & regulatory bodies:
  • The Australian Dangerous Goods Code;
  • The Australian Explosives Code;
  • The Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material; and
  • Federal, State/Territory Legislation
See our Training Section for information about our courses, course dates and course fees.
Sending Dangerous Goods by Sea
The mandatory application of the IMDG code within Australia is implemented through legislation adopted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority under the Navigation Act 1912. This legislation is known as marine Orders Part 41 - Carriage of Dangerous Goods.
The requirements of the IMDG code applies to the carriage of dangerous goods by sea & shore-based personnel engaged in the transport of such goods intended to be transported by sea from a port in Australia on interstate or international voyages.
From the 1st of January 2010, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) accepted training is mandatory for all staff involved in dangerous goods transport by sea.
See our Training Section for information about our courses, course dates and course fees.
Sending Dangerous Goods by Post
Do not post them – it is illegal and unsafe to put dangerous goods in the mail.
Australia Post subscribes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) which has a ban on carrying dangerous goods. Australia Post has a legal policy of not accepting dangerous goods into the postal system. Lodging dangerous goods into the postal system can incur a penalty of up to ten years in prison and the goods may be destroyed.