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Freight from the USA
Common terms  | DG Declaration | Hazardous Cargo Request | Lithium-Ion BatteriesSegregation

SHIPPING DANGEROUS GOODS

Shipping Dangerous Goods must be approved before the booking. Every booking request related to 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). Booking requests without the draft of IMO and MSDS attached cannot be processed. No exceptions.

shipping dangerous goods in ocean freight

In respect of international cargo transportation from the U.S. using ocean freight services, shipping Dangerous Goods means international shipping of substance or material, which has been determined to be capable of posing a risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce. In U.S. domestic ground transportation, the equivalent term 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 international shipping of Dangerous Goods from the USA, everything is strictly regulated: the shipping documents, labeling, packing, marking, etc.

shipping dangerous goods in international seafreight

International transportation of dangerous goods from the USA by sea requires approval from the ocean freight carrier in advance. Dangerous goods can be booked only after the approval and are subject to DG surcharges.

The shipper is always held responsible for the identification, declaration, and providing all necessary documentation related to shipping dangerous goods in proper forms acceptable by the international ocean freight carrier. All charges that may arise due to lack of proper 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 used 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 material (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 which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
Class 5.1. Oxidizing substances (agents) by yielding oxygen increase 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 - is 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, medium danger; Packing Group III, minor danger.

 

DANGEROUS GOODS DECLARATION (IMO)

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

A "draft of DGD" means that the form of the DGD 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 contains a valid shipper's contact information.

All the information necessary to prepare a draft of DGD and the MSDS should be available at the manufacturer of shipping goods. If you miss a piece of information necessary to complete your DGD and/or the MSDS, contact the goods' manufacturer. Otherwise, seek a company specializing in dangerous goods shipping. 

Upon approval and receipt of a booking confirmation from the carrier, the shipper fills missing fields on the DGD and submit the DGD to all parties related to the dangerous goods shipping.

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

a sample of dangerous goods declaration in sea freight

 

HAZARDOUS CARGO REQUEST

At a time of requesting a quotation on ocean freight shipping from the USA that contains Dangerous Goods, in addition to general cargo description, always provide at least:

  • UN#
  • IMO Class
  • Flashpoint 
  • Packing group

The best way is to attach a draft of your Dangerous Goods Declaration. You will need the declaration 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)), and 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 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 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. It is a legal requirement that shipping dangerous goods from the USA that not compatible with other substances are stored and handled separately so that a loss of containment or interaction cannot cause a serious incident. This can be achieved by the use of an impervious barrier or a suitable separation distance.

If dangerous goods prior/during its international shipping from the USA have to be segregated by the sea freight carrier, then the consigner/international shipper must furnish a HOLD HARMLESS LETTER under consigner’s letterhead.

This HOLD HARMLESS LETTER must clearly state:

  1. That the international sea freight carrier and other parties involved in the segregation WILL NOT be responsible for any damages, loss of cargo, etc., when the international sea freight carrier/warehouse does the segregation.
  2. Instructions on exactly what is to be segregated and
  3. That 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, please refer to 49 CFR Parts 100 – 185. The Hazardous Material Transportation Regulations (HMR).

 
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