Packing dangerous goods and applying for special transport approvals

We adhere to the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. These set out the requirements for consigning and carrying dangerous goods.

You must use special packaging and declare your dangerous goods with the correct documentation.

Approval to transport dangerous goods

Some dangerous goods are too hazardous to fly and forbidden on aircraft.

Some dangerous goods that may not be permitted may be eligible for permission from us. Sometimes these goods may require permission from the aviation authorities from the countries involved. 

You must apply for permission from us to send or carry goods which need an approval or an exemption under the ICAO technical instructions for the safe transport of dangerous goods by air (ICAO TIs).

We grant permissions in special cases such as:

  • humanitarian or environmental relief
  • national security
  • life saving
  • limited availability of the product at the destination.

Consider other methods such as road, rail or sea when transporting dangerous goods where possible. 

Learn more on our understanding dangerous goods page.

Applying for permission

If you need our permission to transport goods, you will need to apply to your carrier (airline) for approval first. They will then apply to us for permission to carry the goods.

You can learn more on how to apply in:

Transporting radioactive materials

You must contact us before you plan to transport radioactive materials in special form and Type B containers for transport. We will provide a cost estimate for an inspection.

A dangerous goods inspector will assess your application against:

You can learn more on how to apply in:

Packing and packaging dangerous goods

Packing dangerous goods and the packaging used in the packing process is essential to the safe transportation of dangerous goods by air.

Some dangerous goods require UN specification packaging and must conform to packing instructions. This are packed in performance-tested packaging.

Anyone who packs dangerous goods need to have completed training.

You can learn more in:

Find a commercial packing service

You can also search for companies that provide commercial packaging services.

Testing packaging to meet standards

Contact the National Association of Testing Authorities if you would like your packaging tested to UN standards.

Marking and labelling packages

This information helps the people handling the goods identify the risk and know:

  • how to store them
  • load them in transit
  • what to do if the goods break or leak.

Anyone who labels dangerous goods needs to have completed training.

Declaring dangerous goods

You must declare any dangerous goods. Most goods will need a Shippers Declaration and the person accepting the goods will check the goods by completing an acceptance checklist.

The airline will complete a Notification to Captain (NOTOC) ensures:

  • the pilot is aware of the dangerous goods that they are carrying
  • where they are located on the aircraft
  • emergency response actions in the event of an emergency.
Last updated:
9 Mar 2023
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