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 will need to 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 are forbidden on aircraft. Other dangerous goods need permission from the aviation authorities of the countries involved.

To send or carry goods which need an approval or an exemption, you must apply for special permission from CASA.

Permissions are granted in special cases such as:

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

Carriage by other forms of transport should be considered where possible.

Applying for permission

If your goods require our permission, 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 in Advisory Circular 92-04(0) for details on how to apply.

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 the International Atomic Agency Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material and the ICAO Technical Instructions.

You can learn more in Advisory Circular 92-7(0) for details on how to apply.

Packing and packaging dangerous goods

Packing dangerous goods and the packaging used as part of this process, is an essential part of the transportation of dangerous goods by air.

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

Anyone who packs dangerous goods need to have completed training. See Advisory Circular AC 92-01 for more information.

Find a commercial packing service

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

Testing packaging to meet standards

If you would like packaging to be tested to UN standards you can contact the National Association of Testing Authorities.

Marking and labelling packages

As well as using the correct packaging, dangerous goods must be marked and labelled correctly. They must have hazard labels and handling labels where needed.

You must attach the label to the outside of the package before transport and ensure it can remain on the package during transit. 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.

Declaring dangerous goods

You must declare any dangerous goods. Most goods will require 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). This ensures that the pilot is aware of the dangerous goods that they are carrying, where they are located on the aircraft and the emergency response actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.

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