It is essential that Dangerous Goods Notes (DGN) are completed correctly and that in all cases dangerous goods are accurately declared to ensure their safe handling.
Issues are particularly common in the road and maritime environment where the information is provided to the carrier in any one of the three main ways – the DGN, the dangerous goods consignment note, or transport documentation
Detailed instructions regarding the shipping of dangerous goods are included in Chapter 5.4 of the IMDG Code and similarly the same chapter of the ADR regulations. The DGN must be raised by the shipper/consignor and completed in an official language of the origin country – or English, French or German if the official language is note one of these. There are certain agreements between countries to allow a relaxation of this rule.
The regulations detail mandatory information to be included on the DGN, which is:
- The UN Number of the goods being shipped
- Proper Shipping Name
- Class (with subsidiary hazard where applicable in brackets)
- Packing Group (where assigned)
- Number and description of packages
- Total quantity of each item covered by an individual UN Number
- Name/address of consignor
- Name/address of consignee(s)
- Where applicable the tunnel code, except where it is known that the journey will not involve passing through a tunnel (not required for maritime)
- For containers and vehicles taking a sea voyage as part of their journey, the vehicle/container packing certificate must be completed
- In addition, for maritime, if the dangerous goods have a flashpoint of 60 ° C or below, then the minimum closed up flashpoint must be shown in brackets (eg, 34 °C).
If the documentation is incorrect, shipments can be rejected by ports and carriers; the most common issues with the documentation are:
- Incorrect or missing information – the regulations state the dangerous goods information must be provided in the following prescribed format: the UN Number, proper shipping name, class (with subsidiary hazard where applicable in brackets), packing group (where assigned) and tunnel code. In many cases the information is not in the correct order or that certain items are simply missed off the documents.
- For goods classified as environmentally hazardous, there is a requirement to show the words “Environmentally Hazardous” on the DGN. For cargoes moving under the IMDG regulations, “Marine Pollutant” must be included. Too often this is completely forgotten in transport documentation.
- When transporting waste by road or sea, the word “Waste” must be inserted into the dangerous goods description, in front of the proper shipping name. This is omitted from many DGNs.
Whilst it is the shipper’s/consignor’s responsibility to raise or arrange to have raised the relevant documents, the forwarder should have processes in place to check the DGN, etc, to ensure compliance. This means that the person carrying out the checks must be suitably trained.
Completing the Container/Vehicle Packing Certificate – the minimum information required on the packing certificate is the name, date and signature of the person who loaded the goods onto the vehicle or into the container. This may be the shipper if the goods are loaded at its premised, or the forwarder if it loads the container.
If you are arranging or undertaking the international transport of dangerous goods by maritime or road, it is extremely likely you will need a Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA). Please contact BECCY RICKETTS, ADR Express’ in-house DGSA on 07973442354 for further information or support.
Article extracted from BIFAlink