Dangerous goods are materials or items with hazardous properties which, if not properly controlled, present a potential hazard to human health and safety, infrastructure and/ or their means of transport.

The transportation of dangerous goods is controlled and governed by a variety of different regulatory regimes, operating at both the national and international levels. Prominent regulatory frameworks for the transportation of dangerous goods include the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, ICAO’s Technical Instructions, IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations and the IMO’s International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. Collectively, these regulatory regimes mandate the means by which dangerous goods are to be handled, packaged, labelled and transported.

Regulatory frameworks incorporate comprehensive classification systems of hazards to provide a taxonomy of dangerous goods. Classification of dangerous goods is broken down into nine classes according to the type of danger materials or items present, click on a class to read more details;


1. Explosives

Class 1 – Explosives

Explosives are materials or items which have the ability to rapidly conflagrate or detonate as a consequence of chemical reaction.


Division 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both
Division 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard; only a small hazard in the event of ignition or initiation during transport with any effects largely confined to the package
Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard

Reason for Regulation

Explosives are capable by chemical reaction of producing gases at temperatures, pressures and speeds as to cause catastrophic damage through force and/or of producing otherwise hazardous amounts of heat, light, sound, gas or smoke.


Commonly Transported Explosives

  1. Ammunition / cartridges

  2. Fireworks / pyrotechnics

  3. Flares

  4. Blasting caps/detonators

  5. Fuse

  6. Primers

  7. Explosive charges (blasting, demolition etc)

  8. Detonating cord

  9. Air bag inflators

  10. Igniters

  11. Rockets

  12. TNT / TNT compositions

  13. RDX / RDX compositions

  14. PETN / PETN compositions

2. Gases

Class 2 – Gases

Gases are defined by dangerous goods regulations as substances which have a vapour pressure of 300 kPa or greater at 50°c or which are completely gaseous at 20°c at standard atmospheric pressure, and items containing these substances. The class encompasses compressed gases, liquefied gases, dissolved gases, refrigerated liquefied gases, mixtures of one or more gases with one or more vapours of substances of other classes, articles charged with a gas and aerosols.


Division 2.1: Flammable gases
Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
Division 2.3: Toxic gases

Reason for Regulation

Gases are capable of posing serious hazards due to their flammability, potential as asphyxiants, ability to oxidize and/or their toxicity or corrosiveness to humans.

Commonly Transported Gases

  1. Aerosols

  2. Compressed air

  3. Hydrocarbon gas-powered devices

  4. Fire extinguishers

  5. Gas cartridges

  6. Fertilizer ammoniating solution

  7. Insecticide gases

  8. Refrigerant gases

  9. Lighters

  10. Acetylene / Oxyacetylene

  11. Carbon dioxide

  12. Helium / helium compounds

  13. Hydrogen / hydrogen compounds

  14. Oxygen / oxygen compounds

  15. Nitrogen / nitrogen compounds

  16. Natural gas

  17. Oil gas

  18. Petroleum gases

  19. Butane

  20. Propane

  21. Ethane

  22. Methane

  23. Dimethyl ether

  24. Propene / propylene

  25. Ethylene

3. Flammable Liquids

Class 3 – Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids are defined by dangerous goods regulations as liquids, mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids in solution or suspension which give off a flammable vapour (have a flash point) at temperatures of not more than 60-65°C, liquids offered for transport at temperatures at or above their flash point or substances transported at elevated temperatures in a liquid state and which give off a flammable vapour at a temperature at or below the maximum transport temperature.


There are no subdivisions within Class 3, Flammable Liquids.

Reason for Regulation

Flammable liquids are capable of posing serious hazards due to their volatility, combustibility and potential in causing or propagating severe conflagrations.

Commonly Transported Flammable Liquids

  1. Acetone / acetone oils

  2. Adhesives

  3. Paints / lacquers / varnishes

  4. Alcohols

  5. Perfumery products

  6. Gasoline / Petrol

  7. Diesel fuel

  8. Aviation fuel

  9. Liquid bio-fuels

  10. Coal tar / coal tar distillates

  11. Petroleum crude oil

  12. Petroleum distillates

  13. Gas oil

  14. Shale oil

  15. Heating oil

  16. Kerosene

  17. Resins

  18. Tars

  19. Turpentine

  20. Carbamate insecticides

  21. Organochlorine pesticides

  22. Organophosphorus pesticides

  23. Copper based pesticides

  24. Esters

  25. Ethers

  26. Ethanol

  27. Benzene

  28. Butanols

  29. Dichloropropenes

  30. Diethyl ether

  31. Isobutanols

  32. Isopropyls

  33. Methanol

  34. Octanes

4. Flammable Solids

CLASS 4 – FLAMMABLE SOLIDS; substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances which emit flammable gases when in contact with water

Flammable solids are materials which, under conditions encountered in transport, are readily combustible or may cause or contribute to fire through friction, self-reactive substances which are liable to undergo a strongly exothermic reaction or solid desensitized explosives. Also included are substances which are liable to spontaneous heating under normal transport conditions, or to heating up in contact with air, and are consequently liable to catch fire and substances which emit flammable gases or become spontaneously flammable when in contact with water.


Division 4.1: Flammable solids
Division 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
Division 4.3: Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases

Reason for Regulation

Flammable solids are capable of posing serious hazards due to their volatility, combustibility and potential in causing or propagating severe conflagrations.

Commonly Transported Flammable Solids; Spontaneous Combustibles; ‘Dangerous When Wet’ - Materials

  1. Alkali metals

  2. Metal powders

  3. Aluminium phosphide

  4. Sodium batteries

  5. Sodium cells

  6. Firelighters

  7. Matches

  8. Calcium carbide

  9. Camphor

  10. Carbon

  11. Activated carbon

  12. Celluloid

  13. Cerium

  14. Copra

  15. Seed cake

  16. Oily cotton waste

  17. Desensitized explosives

  18. Oily fabrics

  19. Oily fibres

  20. Ferrocerium

  21. Iron oxide (spent

  22. Iron sponge/direct-reduced iron (spent)

  23. Metaldehyde

  24. Naphthalene

  25. Nitrocellulose

  26. Phosphorus

  27. Sulphur

5. Oxidizing Substances

Class 5 – Oxidizing substances; Organic peroxides

Oxidizers are defined by dangerous goods regulations as substances which may cause or contribute to combustion, generally by yielding oxygen as a result of a redox chemical reaction. Organic peroxides are substances which may be considered derivatives of hydrogen peroxide where one or both hydrogen atoms of the chemical structure have been replaced by organic radicals.


Division 5.1: Oxidizing substances
Division 5.1: Organic peroxides

Reason for Regulation

Oxidizers, although not necessarily combustible in themselves, can yield oxygen and in so doing cause or contribute to the combustion of other materials. Organic peroxides are thermally unstable and may exude heat whilst undergoing exothermic autocatalytic decomposition. Additionally, organic peroxides may be liable to explosive decomposition, burn rapidly, be sensitive to impact or friction, react dangerously with other substances or cause damage to eyes.

Commonly Transported Oxidizers; Organic Peroxides

  1. Chemical oxygen generators

  2. Ammonium nitrate fertilizers

  3. Chlorates

  4. Nitrates

  5. Nitrites

  6. Perchlorates

  7. Permanganates

  8. Persulphates

  9. Aluminium nitrate

  10. Ammonium dichromate

  11. Ammonium nitrate

  12. Ammonium persulphate

  13. Calcium hypochlorite

  14. Calcium nitrate

  15. Calcium peroxide

  16. Hydrogen peroxide

  17. Magnesium peroxide

  18. Lead nitrate

  19. Lithium hypochlorite

  20. Potassium chlorate

  21. Potassium nitrate

  22. Potassium perchlorate

  23. Potassium permanganate

  24. Sodium nitrate

  25. Sodium persulphate

6. Toxic & Infectious Substances

Class 6 – Toxic substances; Infectious substances

Toxic substances are those which are liable either to cause death or serious injury or to harm human health if swallowed, inhaled or by skin contact. Infectious substances are those which are known or can be reasonably expected to contain pathogens. Dangerous goods regulations define pathogens as microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, parasites and fungi, or other agents which can cause disease in humans or animals.


Division 6.1: Toxic substances
Division 6.2: Infectious substances

Reason for Regulation

Toxic and infectious substances can pose significant risks to human and animal health upon contact.

Commonly Transported Toxic Substances; Infectious Substances

  1. Medical / Biomedical waste

  2. Clinical waste

  3. Biological cultures / samples / specimens

  4. Medical cultures / samples / specimens

  5. Tear gas substances

  6. Motor fuel anti-knock mixture

  7. Dyes

  8. Carbamate pesticides

  9. Alkaloids

  10. Allyls

  11. Acids

  12. Arsenates

  13. Arsenites

  14. Cyanides

  15. Thiols/mercaptans

  16. Cresols

  17. Barium compounds

  18. Arsenics / arsenic compounds

  19. Beryllium/ beryllium compounds

  20. Lead compounds

  21. Mercury compounds

  22. Nicotine / nicotine compounds

  23. Selenium compounds

  24. Antimony

  25. Ammonium metavanadate

  26. Adiponitrile

  27. Chloroform

  28. Dichloromethane

  29. Hexachlorophene

  30. Phenol

  31. Resorcinol

7. Radioactive Material

Class 7 – Radioactive material

Dangerous goods regulations define radioactive material as any material containing radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity exceeds certain pre-defined values. A radionuclide is an atom with an unstable nucleus and which consequently is subject to radioactive decay.


There are no subdivisions within Class 7, Radioactive Material.

Reason for Regulation

Whilst undergoing radioactive decay radionuclides emit ionizing radiation, which presents potentially severe risks to human health.

Commonly Transported Radioactive Material

  1. Radioactive ores

  2. Medical isotopes

  3. Yellowcake

  4. Density gauges

  5. Mixed fission products

  6. Surface contaminated objects

  7. Caesium radionuclides / isotopes

  8. Iridium radionuclides / isotopes

  9. Americium radionuclides / isotopes

  10. Plutonium radionuclides / isotopes

  11. Radium radionuclides / isotopes

  12. Thorium radionuclides / isotopes

  13. Uranium radionuclides / isotopes

  14. Depleted uranium / depleted uranium products

  15. Uranium hexafluoride

  16. Enriched Uranium

8. Corrosives

Class 8 – Corrosives

Corrosives are substances which by chemical action degrade or disintegrate other materials upon contact.


There are no subdivisions within Class 8, Corrosives.

Reason for Regulation

Corrosives cause severe damage when in contact with living tissue or, in the case of leakage, damage or destroy surrounding materials.

Commonly Transported Corrosives

  1. Acids / acid solutions

  2. Batteries

  3. Battery fluid

  4. Fuel cell cartridges

  5. Dyes

  6. Fire extinguisher charges

  7. Formaldehyde

  8. Flux

  9. Paints

  10. Alkylphenols

  11. Amines

  12. Polyamines

  13. Sulphides

  14. Polysulphides

  15. Chlorides

  16. Chlorosilanes

  17. Bromine

  18. Cyclohexylamine

  19. Phenol / carbolic acid

  20. Hydrofluoric acid

  21. Hydrochloric acid

  22. Sulfuric acid

  23. Nitric acid

  24. Sludge acid

  25. Hydrogen fluoride

  26. Iodine

  27. Morpholine

9. Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Class 9 – Miscellaneous Dangerous goods

Miscellaneous dangerous goods are substances and articles which during transport present a danger or hazard not covered by other classes. This class encompasses, but is not limited to, environmentally hazardous substances, substances that are transported at elevated temperatures, miscellaneous articles and substances, genetically modified organisms and micro-organisms and (depending on the method of transport) magnetized materials and aviation regulated substances.


There are no subdivisions within Class 9, Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods.

Reason for Regulation

Miscellaneous dangerous goods present a wide array of potential hazards to human health and safety, infrastructure and/ or their means of transport.

Commonly transported Miscellaneous Dangerous goods

  1. Dry ice / cardice / solid carbon dioxide

  2. Expandable polymeric beads / polystyrene beads

  3. Ammonium nitrate fertilizers

  4. Blue asbestos / crocidolite

  5. Lithium ion batteries

  6. Lithium metal batteries

  7. Battery powered equipment

  8. Battery powered vehicles

  9. Fuel cell engines

  10. Internal combustion engines

  11. Vehicles

  12. Magnetized material

  13. Dangerous goods in apparatus

  14. Dangerous goods in machinery

  15. Genetically modified organisms

  16. Genetically modified micro-organisms

  17. Chemical kits

  18. First aid kits

  19. Life saving appliances

  20. Air bag modules

  21. Seatbelt pretensioners

  22. Plastics moulding compound

  23. Castor bean plant products

  24. Polychlorinated biphenyls

  25. Polychlorinated terphenyls

  26. Dibromodifluoromethane

  27. Benzaldehyde


The multitude of dangerous goods regimes across the world and the complexity of dangerous goods classifications and regulations render compliance a particularly difficult task. However ColliCare Logistics, as a logistics company specialising in dangerous goods, is well placed to deliver tailored solutions to all customer’s dangerous goods needs.

ColliCare Logistics, is proficient in all nine classes of dangerous goods and provides a range of services including labelling and freight forwarding.


Rule:  How it works:
Hazard Precedence
If above two rules do not apply, please refer to the following hazard precedence table to choose primary hazard.
Dominant Hazard
The following hazard class always takes precedence irrespective of packing groups:

Materials class 7 (except radio-active materials in excepted packages)
Substances and articles of class 1
Gases of class 2
Liquide desensitised explosives of class 3
Self-reactive sunstances and solid desensitised explosives of division 4.1
Pyrophoric substances of division 4.2
Substances of division 5.1
Substances og division 6.1 or class 3 with packing group by inhalation
Infectious substances of division 6.2
Hazard Precedence
If above two rules do not apply, please refer to the following hazard precedence table to choose primary hazard.