Shipping hazardous goods is not an easy task. There are many aspects to consider when it comes to packaging and labeling as well as handling of the goods in loading terminals, ports and on vessels. In this article, we have summarised what dangerous goods are, which international guidelines to follow and what kind of special treatment dangerous goods require to enable safe transportation at sea.
UN’s classification helps to categorise dangerous goods
United Nations Committee of Experts has published recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. These recommendations are adopted by the regulatory organisation responsible for the different modes of transport.
It is crucial to be fully aware of the properties of dangerous goods in order to ensure a safe transportation. Goods that are listed as dangerous contain hazardous substances that can harm humans, living organisms and the environment in various ways. All hazardous materials are identified with a unique UN number. The regulation is based on a classification system which, depending on the nature of the danger, assigns substance or articles to one of nine classes. Category 1 is the most dangerous and category 9 is the least dangerous.
The classification consists of:
Class 1 Explosives
Class 2 Gases (flammable, non-flammable, non-toxic and toxic gases)
Class 3 Flammable liquids
Class 4 Flammable solids
Class 5 Oxidising substances, Organic peroxides
Class 6 Toxic and infectious substances
Class 7 Radioactive material
Class 8 Corrosives
Class 9 Miscellaneous dangerous goods