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Common terms  | IMO and MSDS | Hazardous Cargo Request | Lithium-Ion BatteriesSegregation

SHIPPING DANGEROUS GOODS

We may consider supporting Dangerous Goods shipments only for commercial cargo of Classes 3, 8, and 9, with IMO and MSDS provided in advance. We DO NOT support Personal effects shipments containing Dangerous Goods, even as a small part of the shipment.

Shipping Dangerous Goods must be approved before the booking. Every booking request related to the international transportation of Dangerous Goods must be accompanied by a draft of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (IMO) along with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Steamship lines will bill a $35,000 mis-declaration fee due to not matching DG documents. If you are not a professional in DG shipping, you should search for assistance from a professional. Please provide them with all available information related to your DG shipment and obtain proper paperwork. Booking requests without the draft of IMO and MSDS attached cannot be processed. No exceptions.

Our online freight calculator DOES NOT reflect DG surcharges. After considering and approving a DG shipment by the carrier, the sea freight carrier's DG goods surcharges may double or triple the carrier's rate vs. freight rates obtained for general commodities. Our FF surcharge of $175 will be added to the final shipping cost.

 

shipping dangerous goods in ocean freight

In respect of international cargo transportation from the US using ocean freight services, shipping Dangerous Goods means international shipping of substance or material that has been determined to be capable of posing a risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce. The equivalent term in US domestic ground transportation is Hazardous Material (HAZMAT). The shipping term Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) is used almost exclusively in the United States. Then in respect of international shipping from the USA by sea, Hazardous Materials will be classified as Dangerous Goods.

In the international shipping of Dangerous Goods from the USA, everything is strictly regulated: shipping documents, labeling, packing, marking, etc.

shipping dangerous goods in international seafreight

The shipper is always held responsible for identifying, declaring, and providing all necessary documentation related to shipping dangerous goods in proper forms acceptable by the international ocean freight carrier. All charges arising from a lack of appropriate documentation are on the shipper's account. Cargo shipping from the USA containing dangerous goods may require more transit time than regular international ocean freight shipments.

Most international ocean freight carriers will NOT accept Dangerous Goods other than IMO Classes 3, 8 & 9. Shipping dangerous goods other than classes 3, 8 & 9 requires ocean freight carriers with special equipment to transport dangerous goods of particular classes.

 

COMMON TERMS USED IN SHIPPING DANGEROUS GOODS FROM THE USA

UN NUMBER - stands for United Nations number. The UN number is a four-digit number assigned to potentially hazardous materials (such as gasoline, UN 1203) or class materials (such as corrosive liquids, UN 1760). Firefighters and other emergency response personnel use these numbers during transportation emergencies. UN (United Nations) numbers are internationally recognized.

IMO CLASS - International Maritime Organization dangerous goods class

Class 1. Explosives
Class 2. Gases
Class 3. Flammable Liquids
Class 4.1. Flammable Solids or Substances
Class 4.2. Flammable solids
Class 4.3. Substances that, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
Class 5.1. Oxidizing substances (agents) by yielding oxygen increases the risk and intensity of a fire
Class 5.2. Organic peroxides - most will burn rapidly and are sensitive to impact or friction
Class 6.1. Toxic substances
Class 6.2. Infectious substances
Class 7. Radioactive Substances
Class 8. Corrosives
Class 9. Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

FLASHPOINT - the lowest temperature at which the material can catch fire.

PACKING GROUP - grouping according to the degree of danger presented by hazardous materials. Packing Group I indicates great risk; Packing Group II is medium danger; Packing Group III is minor danger.

 

DANGEROUS GOODS DECLARATION (IMO) AND MSDS

Upon submitting a booking request for international shipping from the US cargo containing dangerous goods, the shipper must provide a draft of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (commonly called IMO) along with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) in a proper form acceptable by an ocean freight carrier.

  1. A "draft of IMO" means that the form of the IMO contains all information related to the dangerous goods, but sailing details in it are blank. The draft must be dated and signed by the shipper and include a valid shipper's contact information.
  2. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is typically available at the manufacturer of the shipping goods. MSDS that cannot be verified by the manufacturer most likely will be rejected by the carrier.

If you are not a professional in shipping Dangerous Goods, you may need to seek a company specializing in DG shipping. 

Upon approval and booking confirmation receipt, the shipper fills in the missing fields on the IMO and re-submits the completed IMO to all parties related to the shipping of dangerous goods.

Here is a sample form of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (IMO) used in international shipping from the United States of America.

a sample of dangerous goods declaration in sea freight

 

HAZARDOUS CARGO REQUEST

The Hazardous Cargo Request may be used at the time of quoting of a DG shipment. In addition to the general cargo description, it specifies:

However, the best way to initiate a DG shipment is to provide a draft of a Dangerous Goods Declaration (IMO) and MSDS. If you intend to ship a cargo containing Dangerous Goods, you will need the documents anyway.

Otherwise, prepare and submit a hazardous cargo request on top of the quote. Here is a sample of the hazardous cargo request form.

  Shipper's Name, Address, and Phone Number:
  ____________________________________
  ____________________________________
  ____________________________________
  ____________________________________
  Phone:

 

  Proper Shipping Name: ______________________________

  Technical Name: ___________________________________

  IMO CLASS/DIVISION: ________________ UN NUMBER: ________________

  PACKAGING GROUP: __________________ PLACARDS: _________________

  FLASHPOINT IN CELSIUS CC: ______ ERG NO: ______ QUANTITY: ________

  PKGS: ___________ TYPE: ___________ WGT (KG): _________ CFT: ______

  24-HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER: ____________________ CONTACT: _________

THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE-NAMED MATERIALS ARE PROPERLY CLASSIFIED, DESCRIBED, PACKAGED, MARKED, AND LABELED AND ARE IN PROPER CONDITION FOR TRANSPORTATION ACCORDING TO THE APPLICABLE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION
EMERGENCY CONTACT ______________________________________


I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the correct technical name(s) (proper shipping name(s)), are classified, packaged, marked, and labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable international and national governmental regulations.

Shipper's Signature/Date ____________________________________
** Must be legibly signed manually, by typewriter, or other mechanical means **

IT IS DECLARED THAT THE PACKING OF THE CONTAINER HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT by THE PROVISIONS OF 12.3.7 OF SECTION 12 OF THE GENERAL INTRODUCTION OF THE IMDG CODE.

 

Shipping Cargo Containing Lithium-Ion Batteries

Customer Advisory - Lithium-Ion Batteries SP 188. Issue Date: February 19, 2020

Effective immediately, ocean freight carriers will not accept export shipments containing Lithium-Ion Batteries that are declared as Non-Hazardous according to Special Provision 188 without a copy of the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) and the Test Report confirming compliance with Special Provision 188.

For additional information on acceptable test reports, please refer to:

Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3, paragraph 38.3.5. or The US Department of Transportation link

 

SEGREGATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS / HOLD HARMLESS LETTER

Shipping of some dangerous goods may be incompatible with other substances.

They may react with other dangerous goods, chemicals, or 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. It is a legal requirement that shipping dangerous goods from the USA that are not compatible with other substances is stored and handled separately so that a loss of containment or interaction cannot cause a serious incident. The use of an impervious barrier or a suitable separation distance can achieve this.

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

This HOLD HARMLESS LETTER must clearly state:

  1. The international sea freight carrier and other parties involved in the segregation WILL NOT be responsible for any damages, cargo loss, etc. when the international sea freight carrier/warehouse does the segregation.
  2. Instructions on exactly what is to be segregated and
  3. The international shipper guarantees to pay the international sea freight carrier segregation charges.

For more information on the international shipping of dangerous goods from the USA, please refer to 49 CFR Parts 100 – 185. The Hazardous Material Transportation Regulations (HMR).

 
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