Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods are articles and substances capable of posing a significant risk to safety when transported by air.

They may be corrosive, flammable, explosive, oxidising or reactive with water. Whatever their properties and potential for injury and destruction, great care is needed in their handling, storage and transport.

Australia has adopted a system of classification and labelling for dangerous goods (from 1 to 9), which helps people to quickly recognise their properties and dangers:

  1. Explosives - commercial explosives, fireworks, ammunition and flares
  2. Gases - compressed and liquefied gases and aerosols
  3. Flammable  liquids - lighter fluid, matches, paint thinner, fire lighters and alcohol
  4. Flammable solids - adhesives, articles containing celluloid, oily rags and petrol
  5. Oxidising substances and organic peroxides - bleaches, acids and pool chemicals, glass fibre repair kits, hair and textile dyes, disinfectants and adhesives
  6. Toxic and infectious substances - viable micro-organisms and pathological samples
  7. Radioactive materials - instruments and medical or research materials containing radioactive sources
  8. Corrosive materials - acids, alkalis, wet-cell batteries, caustic soda and mercury
  9. Miscellaneous dangerous goods - magnetised materials, dry ice, machines equipped with fuel tanks, polymerisable materials, noxious or irritating substances, articles liable to damage aircraft structures and articles possessing other inherent characteristics that make them unsuitable for air carriage unless properly packed.

The shipper is legally responsible for the declaration, classification, packing, marking, labelling and documentation of all dangerous goods consignments. Strict and severe penalties apply to any person or company who ignores the regulations by misdeclaration of contents, incorrect packaging or declarations.

If a consolidated or mixed consignment includes dangerous goods, such articles must be tendered separately, and must be clearly indicated as dangerous goods in the Nature and Quantity of goods (including dimensions or volume) box on the AWB. They must also be clearly indicated as dangerous goods on the AWB Extension List (when an Extension List is used).