Sending Dangerous Goods within New Zealand?

No problem.

But fail to follow the New Zealand Couriers’ Dangerous Goods (DG) Policy, and you can run into some serious problems.

The government can issue fines of up to $500,000 for failing to declare Dangerous Goods and three months imprisonment in some extreme cases. Luckily, sending Dangerous Goods in New Zealand doesn’t have to end with a lengthy prison term if you just follow the guidelines.

It’s as easy as knowing what products are ‘Dangerous Goods’ and what documents you need to ensure your package is safe and compliant with the regulations. This comprehensive guide explains what Dangerous Goods are, what types there are, and how to send them.

What are Dangerous Goods?

Dangerous Goods are items that can pose a risk to the “health, safety and the natural or built environment and anything in it”. That is anything that may cause harm to yourself, the transporter, or the receiver. 

A Dangerous Good can be in the form of a solid, liquid, or gas. That is anything flammable, toxic, combustible, oxidising or contains other hazardous properties. You may think your product is safe, but consider the effects when these products are transported, i.e. pressure, temperature, static electricity, and the impact that this may have on your product, and ultimately the people, machinery and products your products may come in contact or close proximity to. 

The Land Transport Rule, or the ‘Dangerous Goods Rule’, outlines the requirements for the safe transport of Dangerous Goods on land. We recommend taking a look at this document, as well as the New Zealand Couriers’ Dangerous Goods Policy, to understand what you need to know when shipping dangerous goods. 

Types of Dangerous Goods

The New Zealand Government provides a list of Dangerous Goods based on the United Nations Recommendation. The list categorises nine classes based on chemical properties. Having a classification of dangerous goods helps keep the health and safety of the public and environment in mind when transporting goods.

The following outlines each class of Dangerous Good and provides hazardous material examples:

  • Class 1: Explosives (ammunition, fireworks, aerosols)
  • Class 2: Gases (cigarette lighters, hydrogen)
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquids (paint, perfumes, products)
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids (matches, firelighters, alcohol wipes)
  • Class 5: Oxidising Substances (hydrogen peroxide, home bleachers)
  • Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances (pesticides, blood samples)
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material (treatments for cancer)
  • Class 8: Corrosives (car batteries, glacial acetic acid)
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Substances (fertilisers, batteries, laptops)

Check out Transporting Dangerous Goods Safely for more information.

Dangerous Goods handling

To send Dangerous Goods domestically via road, you must know the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 as well as the standard NZS5433. The rule and regulations cover the packaging, documentation and overall compliance that must be adhered to in order to send dangerous goods.

Effective Dangerous Goods Road Handling Training will help with this as it will help with understanding compliance and provide in-depth Dangerous Goods awareness. Training will also cover relevant safety procedures and emergency plans of action.

If you are transporting Dangerous Goods by Air, you must be IATA (International Air Transport Association) certified. Many aviation authorities require that operations provide dangerous goods training. IATA works closely with local governments to develop regulations that efficiently ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods by air.  

Completing the IATA training usually takes a few days. This can be done in a variety of different ways:  

  • Attending an accredited IATA Course at a training school.
  • Join Virtual classrooms.
  • Purchase e-textbooks, printed textbook or e-learning courses.

There are many accredited training schools nationwide. For more information, check out the IATA website.

How to send Dangerous Goods

To send Dangerous Goods, you will need to complete a declaration form.

But why do you need to declare Dangerous Goods? 

As a consignor, you are responsible for:

  • The packaging and consequent marking of Dangerous Goods
  • Providing any relevant declaratory documents
  • Packaging your item to avoid any leaks during transportation and meet the legal requirements
  • Ensuring it is labelled and issued with a Dangerous Goods ticket.

This is to make sure you follow the requirements of the Land Transport Rule set out to protect everyone involved with the transportation process. This includes loaders, drivers, employers, and employees. 

Dangerous Goods Declaration forms are available at your nearest New Zealand Couriers’ branch

Mislabelling Dangerous Goods

The consequences of mislabelling Dangerous Goods can be catastrophic and potentially endanger lives. 

If you were to mislabel your item and an incident took place, emergency responders may not be able to immediately identify the hazard. This complicates the best response to diffuse the situation. 

mislabelling dangerous goods

A 2019 panel noted the rising number of container ship fires in a discussion on the effects of mislabelled and undeclared Dangerous Goods within the Cargo Transport Industry.

They discussed a fire that broke out of the Yantian Express, forcing its crew to evacuate. When BSU officials went to investigate, they found a declared cargo of coconut charcoal mislabeled as coconut pellets. 

Coconut charcoal is self-lighting charcoal and ruled likely to be the cause of the fire. Investigators are also unable to rule out the possibility that the cargo was mislabeled on purpose to dodge policy. That is why labelling Dangerous Goods plays a vital role in managing the risks associated with the hazardous materials classification. 

Want help sending Dangerous Goods in New Zealand?

Are you wanting to send lithium batteries but aren’t sure about the next step? Do you have a shipment of perfume, and you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution? 

Now that you know how to send Dangerous Goods, it’s time to decide who to send them with. 

Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. 

Get in touch with us and let us know your sending requirement. We provide guaranteed friendly service to our customers in order to make it easy for you to get your products delivered.