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Sending Dangerous Goods
Having determined that your goods are dangerous – then there are a couple of options to consider. The first is to consider not sending dangerous goods at all, but rather find a supplier at the destination. Some companies will spend hundreds of dollars sending something as simple as a four dollar bottle of methylated spirits to one of their interstate branches when the local branch could have purchased the required item locally. Dangerous Goods should not be sent by air unless the goods are required urgently or other forms of transport (road, rail, sea) are unavailable or impractical.
Sending by Air
Persons who send dangerous goods by air must ensure that they are properly packed, marked, labelled and declared. Those persons sending them are also required to be trained. The dangerous goods can only be lodged with freight forwarding companies or airlines.
There are a number of organisations that undertake a commercial packing service. Whilst the service may seem expensive, it is cheap when compared with the cost of obtaining the packaging materials and making several attempts to send the item whilst incurring fees with each failed attempt to send the goods.
Organisations considering sending dangerous goods on a more regular basis may be better off investing in training.
Some freight forwarding companies operate only airport-to-airport with dangerous goods; some will only carry for regular clients and are not “common carriers”.
Freight forwarders that will carry dangerous goods are:
(Contact email@example.com to add to or amend this list).
Sending by Road
An obvious alternative to air is the road system. So long as bulk quantities are not involved; then there is little impediment to sending dangerous goods through a freight forwarder or courier; they will still require you to declare the item so that the driver can obey certain State-based legal requirements (such as where the goods must be stored in the vehicle and have a copy of the documentation located in the driver’s side door).
Sending by Post
Do not post them – it is illegal and unsafe to put dangerous goods in the mail.
Australia Post subscribes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) which has a ban on carrying dangerous goods.
If you are considering sending dangerous goods by air and if the packaging, labelling, documentation etc does not meet the requirements of the Civil Aviation Legislation, then you may be liable to heavy financial penalties which can run into thousands of dollars and/or up to seven years in prison.
Australia Post have a legal policy of not accepting dangerous goods into the postal system. Lodging dangerous goods into the postal system can incur a penalty of up to ten years in prison and the goods may be destroyed.
Before sending any product that may be considered as dangerous goods, you should first seek advice from the appropriate air transport freight forwarder or airline operator and in the case of mailing the item you should first check with your local Australia Post office or agency.