How to transport dangerous goods

Classification of dangerous goods for transport


The carriage of dangerous goods by road, rail, inland waterway, sea and air is regulated internationally by European agreements, directives and regulations, and parallel legislation in the UK.

If you're involved in the processing, packing or transporting of dangerous goods, you will first need to classify them correctly so that all organisations in the supply chain, including the emergency authorities, know and understand exactly what the hazard is.

Dangerous goods are assigned to different classes depending on their predominant hazard. The United Nations (UN) classifies dangerous goods in the following classes and, where applicable, divisions:

UN Class Dangerous Goods Division(s) if applicable Classification
1 Explosives 1.1 - 1.6 Explosive
2 Gases
2.1 Flammable gas
2.2 Non-flammable, non-toxic gas
2.3 Toxic gas
3 Flammable liquid   Flammable liquid
4 Flammable solids
4.1 Flammable solid
4.2 Spontaneously combustible substance
4.3 Substance which emits flammable gas in contact with water
5 Oxidizers and organic peroxides
5.1 Oxidising substance
5.2 Organic peroxide
6 Toxic and infectious substances
6.1 Toxic substance
6.2 Infectious substance
7 Radioactive material   Radioactive material
8 Corrosive substances   Corrosive substance
9 Miscellaneous dangerous substances   Miscellaneous dangerous substances

The consignor - the person or business shipping the goods - is responsible for classifying, marking and packaging the dangerous goods.