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Shipping of dangerous goods in Australia

In Australia, the Commonwealth is responsible for regulating the transport of dangerous goods by air through the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and by sea through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), while the Australian states and territories have responsibility for road and rail transport of dangerous goods.

You may not be aware your item is dangerous. That’s why it’s important to check the different classifications and ensure your shipment is safe and compliant. If you’re still unsure whether your shipment is classified as dangerous goods, ask the manufacturer or supplier for a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). If it shows or mentions a UN number, it is a dangerous good.

Classification of dangerous goods

There are nine classes of dangerous goods, plus a few sub-classes. The class your shipment falls under will affect how you pack, label and transport it. Some goods, such as explosives and poisons, are clearly dangerous. But others may surprise you. Aerosols, perfumes and most products that contain lithium batteries – such as mobile phones or laptops – all count too.

Like fireworks or flares

DG classification: 1. Explosive substances and articles

Like aerosols or camping gas

DG classification: 2.1. Flammable gas

Like compressed oxygen

DG classification: 2.2. Non-flammable gas

Like insecticide gases

DG classification: 2.3. Toxic gas

Like solvents or paints

DG classification: 3. Flammable liquids

Like matches

DG classification: 4.1. Flammable solids

Like phosphorus

DG classification: 4.2 Substances liable to spontaneous combustion

Like calcium carbide

DG classification: 4.3. Substances that emit flammable gases when in water

Like fertiliser

DG classification: 5.1. Oxidising substances

Like fibreglass repair kits

DG classification: 5.2. Organic peroxides

Like pesticides

DG classification: 6.1. Toxic substances

Like blood tests or medical trials

DG classification: 6.2. Infectious substances

Like smoke detectors

DG classification: 7. Radioactive material

Like bleach or drain cleaner

DG classification: 8. Corrosive substances

Like airbags, magnets, telephones or laptops

DG classification: 9. Miscellaneous

Like separate lithium cells and batteries

DG classification: 9. Miscellaneous


It’s the shipper’s responsibility to ensure dangerous goods are correctly declared, packed and labelled with the right documentation for the countries of origin, transit and destination. Shipping dangerous goods require special transport and handling services. If in doubt, it’s best to get in touch directly with your chosen carrier and enquire about the specific goods you are wanting to ship.

At Lee Transport, we are experienced in moving all kinds and classifications of freight. This includes but is not limited to beer, chemicals, farm supplies, scaffolding, turf, stock feed and machinery. We are always happy to have a chat about the types of goods you want to move, so get in touch with us at (07) 5482 1697, or online here.

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