The shipper’s declaration for dangerous goods is a vital document that a shipper has to attach while handling hazardous goods. It ensures the safe loading and unloading of sensitive packages, thus preventing mishaps.

The form known as dangerous goods declaration (DGD) comprises crucial information regarding the nature of the shipment, packaging instructions, etc., apart from the basic shipping details. Such data ensures shippers handle the package with extra care.

What Requires a Shipper’s Declaration?

Any item or substance that can pose a risk to the environment if not handled properly is classified as dangerous. Such articles require an official shipper’s declaration to caution all the responsible authorities managing the shipment directly or indirectly.

There are nine categories of dangerous goods in shipping, and knowing each of these will help the consignors pack the products appropriately.

1. Explosive items: Flares, seatbelt pretensioners, fireworks, etc.

2. Dangerous gases: Non-flammable, toxic, and flammable gases like spray, compressed oxygen, etc.

3. Flammable liquids: Nail polish, paints, etc.

4. Dangerous solids: Flammable solids, substances emitting flammable gases in water, and substances susceptible to instant combustion like matches, phosphorus, and calcium carbide.

5. Dangerous oxidizing agents: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides like fertilizers, adhesives, etc.

6. Toxic and infectious substances: Solid and liquid pesticides, blood tests, cell samples, etc.

7. Radioactive items and materials: Medical isotopes, smoke detectors, etc.

8. Corrosive items: Bleach, drain cleaners, etc.

9. Other dangerous substances: Magnets, dry ice, lithium batteries, etc.

Shippers can also refer to the official list of dangerous goods comprising the UN number of various items termed as dangerous goods.

What is a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods?

As mentioned earlier, a DGD is a document stating that the package comprises hazardous items. This declaration or statement also confirms that the parcel meets all the respective national and international laws related to the shipment of goods. Moreover, it cautions the shipping officials to handle the shipment with care as it contains harmful items that can prove hazardous.

Apart from the basic shipment information, the declaration includes vital details adequate for any shipper to identify the nature of the goods. Listed below are some of these details:-

  • The UN number of the product
  • Quantity of the product
  • Nature of the item– whether radioactive or not
  • Division or class of the product (category)
  • The product’s exact name
  • Extra contact details of the shipper in case of an emergency
  • Dangerous goods packing group– I, II, or III
  • Total weight of the package and net weight of the goods
  • Any other information and instructions, if required
  • Contact details and address of the consignor and the consignee

The shipment process must comply with a different set of rules and regulations depending upon the mode of transport.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is responsible for laying down the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). As per their mandate, every individual shipping hazardous goods must declare the same by attaching a DGD.

Alternatively, to make the process seamless, shippers can use the e-DGD service to enter all the required details and share the same with various stakeholders like freight forwarders, ground handlers, and other third-party individuals. Adopting this approach helps enhance the data quality and improves the overall customer experience. Other benefits of this solution include increased transparency and a significant reduction in errors.

If goods are being transported via waterways, the requirements would slightly differ. In that case, the consignors must comply with the provisions mentioned in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Regulations Code (IMDG Code). Shipping goods via roadways or railways requires complying with the exact provisions mentioned in the DGR and IMDG Code.

Who can Sign a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods?

The DGD has a signature section at the bottom. Only the consignor must sign and add the date on the document. However, there’s an exception to this if the document is sent to the carrier through other means like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or Electronic Data Processing (EDP). In such a case, the shipper’s name (in capitals) can be written in place of the signature. Only individuals with the US DOT hazmat training can pack and sign the shipper’s declaration.

What is a Dangerous Goods Declaration Form?

The DGD comprises details of the shipped goods, such as quantity, nature, and class. Dangerous Goods Declaration Form

While filling out the DGD, shippers need to remember the following points:-

  • To fill in all the details correctly.
  • To ensure the printed form is in a colored format and not black and white.
  • To ensure the form’s edges must be red with white background and black text.
  • To confirm with the courier service if handwritten details are acceptable.

Apart from the basic information like the address, the quantity of goods and type of packing are the most critical aspects of the DGD. These details come under the nature and quantity of dangerous goods section.

Nature & Quantity of Dangerous Goods _ Quantity and type of packing: This section must display the total net quantity of the dangerous goods, either quantity or weight. For example, the weight of dry ice, if any. Additionally, it must consist of the material of its outer packaging. Shippers can either write 'overpack used' or 'all packed in one fiberboard box.'

  • Packing instruction: This column is for the freight handlers. Shippers can write '620' if the goods delivered are category A infectious items and '954' if it includes dry ice.

How to Fill a Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods?

Individuals can refer to the DGR for detailed packing instructions, its applicability, and other vital information. Here’s how to fill each section of the form:-

  • Shipper: Fill out this section with the shipper’s complete address along with the full name and phone number.

  • Air waybill number, page of pages, and shipper’s reference number: The international airline shipping the goods provides the air waybill. The shipper must fill this section with the air waybill number mentioned on the receipt along with its number of pages. The reference number is optional and can be an internal organizational number.

  • Consignee: This block must include the receiver or the consignee’s full address, name, and phone number.

  • Transportation: Under this section, the shipper must verify whether the goods comply with only cargo aircraft or both cargo aircraft and passenger aircraft. This information is vital as passenger aircraft have relatively more restrictions.

  • Airport of departure: Includes the complete name of the airport where the consignment is departing from. Even the airline agent can fill this part.

  • Airport of destination: Comprises the full name of the destination airport. The shipper or the airline agent can fill this section.

  • Shipment type: It displays whether the package includes radioactive materials or not.

Let’s take an example to understand the process of filling the DGD. Please note that the following details don’t refer to any individual or place and are used only to take an example.

  • Shipper: John Carter Day Natural Inc. 13th Street New York City NY 10011 USA (555) 212-2456

  • Air Waybill Number: 123456789101 Page of pages: Page 1 of 1

  • Shipper’s reference number: 0455

  • Consignee: Ryan Kennedy Pharma Care Inc. Broadway Sydney Streets 2007 New South Wales Australia 00 61 2 9876 5432

  • Transport details: CARGO AIRCRAFT ONLY

  • Airport of Departure: John F Kennedy International Airport, New York

  • Airport of Destination: Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport

  • Shipment type: Non-radioactive

  • Nature and quantity of dangerous goods:

a)UN or ID No. : UN 2542 b)Proper shipping name: Infectious substance affecting animals (Category A) c)Class or division (subsidiary hazard): 6.2 d)Packing group: III e)Quantity and type of packing: ONE (1) PLASTIC BOX, Total volume 45 ml f)Packing inst.: 620 g)Authorization: Axxx

FAQs on Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods

How to Fill the Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods for Goods Transported by Sea?

In case a shipper is transporting dangerous goods by sea, they must comply with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) code. The code comprises rules related to labelling, packing, and storing dangerous goods to be transported by ocean freight.

The shipping party must fill out the International Maritime Organization (IMO) DGD. Additionally, they must submit the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

Is a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods Required for Category B Air Shipments?

No, the shipper's DGD is not required for category B air shipments.

What is Shipper's Declaration for Articles not Regulated as Dangerous Goods used for?

The shipper's declaration for articles not regulated as dangerous goods has green edges to differentiate it from hazardous goods. It ensures the goods aren't mistaken as dangerous goods, and the shipment process is conducted without delays.

Is a Shipper’s Declaration Required while Shipping Accepted Quantities of Dangerous Goods?

A shipper's declaration isn't required when shipping specific accepted quantities of dangerous goods. Both IMDG Code and IATA comprise charts dedicated to expected quantities. These are quantity limits under which the specified goods can be shipped without a shipper's declaration.

Who is Responsible for Dangerous Goods Note?

The consignor or the shipper is responsible for signing and filling the DGD.

What paperwork must accompany an item of dangerous goods?

Every dangerous goods shipment must be accompanied by important documents– the air waybill and the declaration for dangerous goods.