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Freight from the USA

Dangerous Goods Declaration (IMO)

In respect of international cargo transportation from the USA, the Dangerous Goods Declaration is a document prepared by an international shipper that certifies that the shipping from the USA dangerous goods is packaged, labeled, and declared to comply with the standards of IMO - International Maritime Organization.

If your cargo contains dangerous goods, a draft of the dangerous goods declaration must be provided before requesting a booking. There are no exceptions.

A draft of dangerous goods declaration is a standard form of dangerous goods declaration, where all details about dangerous goods are provided, but sailing details are blank.

Most of the time, a dangerous goods declaration should be accompanied by the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS).

The information is necessary to complete and submit a draft of a dangerous goods declaration, and the MSDS should be available at the manufacturer. Otherwise, contact a company specializing in the shipping of hazardous goods.

Here is a sample of the dangerous goods declaration form used in international shipping from the USA. Click on the image below to maximize this dangerous goods declaration form in a new window.

Dangerous Goods Declaration


The Shipper is responsible for providing a dangerous goods declaration in the international shipping of Dangerous Goods from the USA.

The shipper is responsible for identifying whether their international sea freight shipment contains dangerous goods.

Suppose an international sea freight shipment contains any dangerous goods, even a small part of the cargo. In that case, the shipper must identify, classify, pack, mark, label, and complete all documentation related to transporting dangerous goods from the USA abroad. All conditions in shipping dangerous goods must comply with national and international regulations related to the shipping. Failure to do so could create hazardous conditions in transportation and result in administrative fines and penalties under applicable laws.

The very first step in shipping any cargo from the USA is to identify whether the international shipment contains dangerous goods or not, i.e., whether the international shipment includes aerosol sprays, airbags, ammunition, butane, car batteries, cologne, dry ice, fireworks, gasoline, jet fuel, lighters, lithium batteries, matches, nail polish, nail polish remover, nitrogen-refrigerated liquid, paint, perfume, solvents, some chemicals, etc.

Suppose you are unsure whether your commodity meets the criteria for shipping dangerous goods from the USA or which identification of hazardous goods and classification applies to your international shipping. In that case, you can contact the U.S. Department of Transportation at 1-800-467-4922. You also may contact the manufacturer of your goods to identify whether your cargo contains dangerous goods. If yes, gather the essential information to prepare your Dangerous Goods Declaration to ship from the USA by sea.

Please note that international shipping from the U.S. or trans-shipping dangerous goods via the USA requires a 24-hour emergency-response telephone number.

Please remember that most international ocean freight carriers will NOT accept dangerous goods shipping from the U.S. other than IMO Classes 3, 8 & 9. International transportation of dangerous goods by sea other than classes 3, 8 & 9 requires international ocean freight carriers with specialized equipment to transport hazardous goods of particular classes.


Segregation of Dangerous Goods. Hold Harmless Letter

In international cargo transportation from the USA by sea, many dangerous goods are incompatible with other substances. They may react with other dangerous goods shipping internationally or chemicals or with apparently harmless substances, such as dust, air, or water. Dangerous goods can easily come into contact with incompatible substances through spillage or leakage and may liberate toxic gases or cause a fire or an explosion. International shipping of dangerous goods not compatible with other substances is legally required to be stored and handled separately so that a loss of containment or interaction cannot cause a serious incident. Using a waterproof barrier or a suitable separation distance can achieve this.

Suppose dangerous goods before/during their international transportation from the U.S. must be segregated by the carrier. In that case, the shipper must furnish a HOLD HARMLESS LETTER under the consigner's letterhead.

 HOLD HARMLESS LETTER must clearly state that:

  1. International sea freight carriers and other parties involved in the segregation will NOT be responsible for any damages, cargo loss, etc., when the global sea freight carrier/warehouse does the segregation.

  2. Instructions on precisely what is to be segregated and

  3. The international shipper guarantees to pay the international sea freight carrier segregation charges.

For more information related to international shipping of dangerous goods from the USA using sea freight services, please refer to this web page on our website.

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