Friday, 7 December 2012

Shipping Dangerous Goods

Most of us know that it is forbidden to send dangerous goods such as toxins, explosives or munition via your usual courier service. However, few people are often aware that thermometers, magnets or batteries can also be classified dangerous or hazardous.

What are dangerous goods?

Dangerous or hazardous goods can be anything from solid or liquid to gas. This kind of goods are generally considered to be harmful to others, properties, the environment or animals. The most common types are radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, oxidizing, asphyxiating, bio hazardous, toxic, pathogenic, or allergenic.

Carriers' regulations

Depending on the courier company and carrier you will be using, restrictions may vary. Therefore it is important to check with your chosen courier before you package your shipment. Most UK carriers will not accept dangerous goods on any of their services. Similar applies to prohibited items.

You may be able to ship certain goods with your chosen carrier. However, in most cases, you as the sender will be liable for your shipment.

Sender's responsibilities

As the sender, it will be your responsibility to check that your shipment does not contain anything that could be harmful to others (see "what are dangerous goods").

Since you will be the one packaging your shipment, only you will be aware of its contents - the courier company and carrier will not know what is inside until your shipments reaches the depot. Should anything dangerous be found in your parcel(s), you will be made responsible.

Goods you may not consider hazardous

Did you know that nail varnish, glue or hair curlers are considered "dangerous" in the UK? Even airbags or seat belts for cars full under this term. You may not have had any intentions when you shipped these goods, but the carrier may charge you with a fine and reject your shipments.

In order to avoid scenarios like this one, you should always check back with the restricted items list provided by your chosen courier company.

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