Shipping hazardous goods?

When shipping dangerous or hazardous goods it is very important to follow the proper cargo handling procedures.

Hazardous goods can be defined as elements, materials and articles that are enclosed with an IMDG code. These goods are examined of inflammable, corrosive, poisonous nature or other goods freight. The IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) code for freight delivery of hazardous goods is approved by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization by the conclusion of MSC.122 (75).

All hazardous goods are divided in 9 categories. A good with several hazards is placed in one main category, but still can have more secondary risks. As well it can be unsafe for the marine atmosphere.

Category 1 – Explosives

This includes:

  • Explosive goods, excluded goods that are too hazardous for transportation.
  • Explosive items, excluded devices containing explosive substances in such quantity or character that their ignition or initiation during the shipment should not have any reaction to the device either by projection, fire, smoke, heat or loud noise.
  • And substances and articles not mentioned above manufactured to produce a practical, explosive or firework effect.

The transit of explosive goods is prohibited, when they are too delicate or reactive for an impulsive reaction.

Within this category, the packaging used has a crucial effect on the hazard of the good. Class 1 can be split in six different divisions:




 Category 2 – Gases

The conditions for transporting gas are:

- Compressed gas: packed under pressure for transport only gaseous at 20 degree Celsius.

- Liquefied gas: packed for transport, is partly liquid at 20 degree Celsius.

- Refrigerated liquefied gas: packed for transport, is part liquid by reason of low temperature. 

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 Category 3 – Flammable & Combustible Liquids

This category contains liquids, mixed liquids, liquids which contain solids in solution or suspension.



 Category 4 – Flammable solids

Substances readily combustible or that may contribute to a fire or cause it under transport conditions.



 Category 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides



 Category 6 – Toxic and Infectious substances

Those substances can damage any living body and nervous system.



 Category 7 – Radioactive materials

Any material containing radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity in the consignment exceed the values specified in IMDG code.



 Category 8 – Corrosives

 In case of leakage, those substances will cause physical damage or destroy other goods.



 Category 9 – Miscellaneous


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