Do you consider cosmetic products like perfume or nail polish dangerous?

Potential hazards are more complicated than they appear at first glance.

When transporting hazardous cargo, it is important to take all necessary precautions to avoid any accidents. Some vendors will not feel the effects of this at all. While others, such as cosmetics companies, will have to adapt their entire shipping process to HAZMAT regulations.

Dangerous goods shipping, or HAZMAT shipping, is defined as transporting items that necessitate unique shipping and handling procedures. All forms of potentially hazardous material, including solids, liquids, and gases, fall under this category.

When it comes to shipping HAZMAT materials, they must conform to government regulations and those of each carrier.

Who is accountable for overseeing HAZMAT transport?

A number of sets of rules govern the shipping of hazardous materials:

Shipping, handling, and labeling procedures for hazardous materials transported within the 

Code for the International Maritime Transportation of Hazardous Materials (IMDG)

The IMDG code establishes guidelines for the secure transport of dangerous goods during international sea transport. Each member of the crew and the ocean environment will be shielded from potentially hazardous substances thanks to this design.


ICAO sets regulations for the safe transport of hazardous materials via airplanes around the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a private organization responsible for regulating commercial airlines’ transport of hazardous materials (HAZMAT).

What kinds of substances/equipment fall under the HAZMAT umbrella?


Based on their potential for harm, compounds are classified into one of nine groups in the Hazardous Materials Table. Shipping, handling, packing, and labeling of dangerous goods are subject to varied rules depending on their hazard classification:

Explaining the meanings of labels on potentially dangerous materials

Category 1: Explosives

Explosive materials, as the name suggests. Nothing in Class 1 can be taken on an airplane or any other mode of international transit.

  1. The Division of Mass Explosive Danger Subdivision
  2. Fire and Minimal Explosion/Projection Risk Subdivision 
  3. Minimal Risk of Explosion 
  4. Extremely Insensitive Regarding the Potential for Massive Explosions Dynamite, fireworks, live ammunition, and water emulsion blasting chemicals fall under this category 
  5. Extremely insensitive; no mass explosion hazard.

Category 2: Gases

Compressed gas, or gas that has been held for later use, is gas that has been (only surface transportation is permitted).

  1. Gases That Can Cause Fires
  2. The Noncombustible Gases Subdivision
  3. Gases That Are Harmful to Humans

Aerosols, oxygen tanks, cylinders of natural gas, carbon dioxide, and lighters are all included.

Category 3: Liquids that are flammable and combustible 

To put it simply, flammable and combustible liquids are those that catch fire when exposed to heat or flame. They have varying flashpoints (the lowest temperature at which an item may ignite) and are so classified as follows:

1: Flashpoint Temperatures Below Zero Degrees Fahrenheit 

2: Flashpoint Temperatures Below Zero Degrees Fahrenheit and Greater Than or Equal to Seventy-Three Degrees Fahrenheit

3: Minimum 73°F and maximum 141°F flash point

Nail polish remover (acetone), glue, paints, gasoline, perfume, ethanol, and vanish are all included.

Category 4: Flammable Solids

Solids that catch fire when exposed to heat qualify as flammable. These are further classified by the following criteria:

1: Combustibles

2: The Easily Combustible 

3: Dangerous When Wet Materials.

Category 5: Organic Peroxides and Oxidizers

Organic peroxide is a chemically unstable organic molecule made up of two oxygen atoms linked together; it emits combustible vapors and so fits the definition of an oxidizer.

  1. Chemicals That Cause Oxidation 
  2. The Organic Peroxides 
  3. Hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, sodium nitrite, ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and oxygen generators are all part of the package.

Category 6: Toxic and poisonous compounds

Toxic substances are those that, when ingested or breathed, are known to cause significant harm or death. This also covers any potentially harmful compounds that have been tested positive for, or have a high probability of testing positive for, pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

  1. Toxic Substances
  2. Pathogens
  3. Tear gas, methyl bromide, and forensic items are also included.

Category 7: Radioactive Sources

All materials with a specific activity greater than 0.002 microcuries per gram are considered radioactive.

This category includes X-ray equipment, medicinal isotopes, radioactive ores, and enriched/depleted uranium.

Category 8: Materials that eat away at the metal

The term “corrosive” refers to any liquid or solid that may quickly corrode metals like steel or aluminum, or that can cause harm to human skin.

Sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, batteries, battery fluid, drain cleaner, and paint remover are all included.

Category 9: Assorted Dangerous Goods

All hazardous substances that do not fall under Category 1 to Category 8 are collectively referred to as “miscellaneous hazardous substances.”

Lithium batteries, automobiles, first aid kits, and dry ice are all included.

What are the consequences if you don’t know how to ship dangerous materials properly?

Because of the potential danger to both transportation staff and consumers, shippers who fail to follow the rules may face severe consequences.

Penalties for breaking regulations regarding the transport of hazardous materials were raised in recent years by the authority. In essence, whether you export hazardous materials on a daily basis or just in rare cases, it’s vital to do it appropriately.

Dangerous Goods Transport Regulations


First, you need to find out if the item you’re delivering is considered dangerous.

Knowing whether or not a product falls into the category of a hazardous good and, if so, which category, is the first step. Which shipping method (Air or Ground) is available to you, as well as the type of packaging you need to employ, is determined by this.

Material Safety Data Sheets are useful for this purpose (SDS). Any shipment containing a hazardous item or chemical must have these attached by law. The MSDS details what the item should be packaged and labeled as, as well as its Proper Shipping Name, Class of Hazard, and UN Identification Number.

Obtain a HAZMAT shipping credential (or partner with a 3PL)

The Department of Transportation (DoT) mandates that businesses that carry hazardous materials (HAZMAT) provide evidence that their employees have been trained in the necessary methods for identifying and labeling hazardous materials. Serious penalties may be imposed for willful disregard of this warning.

The term “HAZMAT personnel” refers to those who:

  • Doing so may put you in harm’s way, yet
  • Gets potentially dangerous goods ready for shipment
  • Drives a truck that carries potentially dangerous items
  • Creates or processes hazardous materials packaging; performs design, production, inspection, labeling, reconditioning, upkeep/repair, or testing

You may avoid this time-consuming procedure by contracting a third-party logistics provider (TPL) with competence in HAZMAT shipping to handle the packing and transport of your hazardous materials.

Third, figure out what kind of container you’ll need.

Depending on the type of HAZMAT substance and the quantity, the container must be packaged differently. Those are classified into the following “packing groups”:

Group I = Extreme Risk; Group II = Moderate Risk;

Group III, Low-Risk Hazardous Materials Packaging: Multiple-component packaging, composite packaging, liquid, and solid intermediate bulk containers, and single-component packaging

Be aware that there are restrictions on shipping multiple types of HAZMAT materials in the same container. 

Make sure your package is properly marked and labeled.

To ensure safe handling, HAZMAT packages must be marked and labeled in specified ways, such as package orientation and keeping them away from heat. If this isn’t done properly, package delivery services may refuse to deliver your shipment. 

The Significance of Dangerous Goods Labels

Make sure your shipper’s declaration is ready to go.

Both ground and air shipments of hazardous materials need to complete special documentation. Things like these are included:

  • Universally Unique Identifier
  • Correct shipping name
  • Danger rating
  • Assembling a Pack
  • Package count, count type, and package type
  • Data for Use in Emergencies
  • Confirmation from the shipper

The Department of Transportation’s website has further details about Hazardous Materials (HM) Shipping Papers.

Galaxy Freight Services: Safely Transporting Dangerous Materials

There is no tolerance for error in the HAZMAT shipping process, which is among the most complicated and hard procedures in e-commerce fulfillment. For this reason, it is recommended to employ a skilled crew that can oversee tasks such as product handling, packaging, and shipping documentation to guarantee the prompt and secure delivery of your goods.