Dangerous goods

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

At Qantas, safety is our first priority.
Our aim is to move shipments classified as dangerous goods as carefully and smoothly as possible, whilst safeguarding against any potential hazards to our staff, our aircraft and other cargo. Additional precautions need to be taken with shipments that may be corrosive, flammable, explosive, oxidising or reactive with water. Whatever their properties, great care is needed when handling, storing and transporting dangerous goods.

Some items used in day-to-day activities around the home, office or workshop, may appear of no real concern, however, are actually classified as Dangerous Goods when carried by Post or Air transport. Please check with your transport agency before simply sending such goods on their way.

Australia has adopted a system of classification and labelling for dangerous goods - from 1 to 9 - which can help quickly idenfity the properties and potential 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.





Booking and labelling dangerous goods

Due to the increased risk of transporting dangerous goods by air, each shipment needs to be booked and labelled correctly. You can specify whether your shipment contains dangerous goods or dry ice when booking your freight on qantasfreight.com.

As with all other shipments, it's also important that the AWB reflects the correct number of pieces and total combined weight. Any discrepancies, including not declaring the goods accurately can result in delays, loss of goods or incorrect charges being applied.  

Failure to declare dangerous goods is an offence by Aviation law and carries severe penalties. Be aware - and declare!



Special handling restrictions

The carriage of dangerous goods by air is governed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Dangerous goods can only be accepted in accordance with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, copies of which are available at your local Qantas Freight office.

The outer packaging must show the full shipping name of the contents and not contain any old labels.



Sending goods in old packages with old Dangerous Goods hazard labels displayed is problematic, and can cause extensive delays to the shipment and/or further Regulatory investigations. 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).