With the development of social and economic globalization, the circulation of goods has been gradually expanded to everywhere in the world. More and more companies in China begin to develop import and export business, and customers have higher and higher requirements for timeliness. In such context, air freight has become the first choice of most customers, and air freight China forwarders have also played an important role. More attentions should be paid to some special cargo than ordinary one. The following introduces the classification of some dangerous goods.

dangerous good


Dangerous goods refer to the articles or substances listed in the Dangerous Goods Regulations or classified according to the Regulations that can harm health, endanger safety, and cause property loss or environmental pollution.


Category 1: Explosives




Main Goods




Signal flare and flare

(no loading into passenger aircraft)



Firecrackers, fuze, maneuver grenades, display shell, hand-held signal devices of fireworks

Considered as less dangerous articles (no loading into passenger aircraft)



The lowest dangerous gunpowder such as fuses and explosive nails or cargo containing these articles

Category 2: Compressed and Liquefied Gases




Main Goods



Ignitable Gases

Butane, acetylene, lighter, igniting smoke agent, etc.

High risk. Highly dangerous with fire when leaking


Flammable Gases

Non-toxic Gases

Compressed gas, fire extinguisher, oxygen (gas)

Risk of high-pressure vessels


Toxic Gases


(No loading into passenger aircraft)

Category 3: Flammable Liquids




Main Goods


Ignitable Liquids

Alcohol and gasoline

Fire risk when leaking

Category 4: Flammable Solids, Pyrophoric Chemicals and Flammable Chemicals When Wet




Main Goods



Flammable Solids

Manganese resinate,dimethyl fumarate, safety match

Risk of intense combustion where there is firework


Pyrophoric substances

Metal titanium powder (dry), sodium sulfide (dry) and activated carbon


Flammable substances emitted when contacting water

Potassium borocyanide, sodium methoxide (dry), calcium carbide and metal barium

Category 5: Oxidants and Organic Peroxides




Main Goods




Calcium hypochlorite and sodium permanganate

Fire risk in contact with flammable substances


Organic Peroxides

Ethyl, methyl, ketone, peroxide (used for catalyst such as resins or binders)

Risk of reaction with other substances or self-decomposition and heat emission

Category 6: Toxic Goods




Main Goods



Toxic substances

Metal arsenic, carbolic acid, cyanide, dinitroaniline, mercury chloride, nicotine, sodium fluoride and magnesium fluosilicate


Infectious viral substances

Hepatitis and polio virus (non-vaccine) that have risk to cause human disease attack

Category 7: Radioactive Chemicals




Main Goods


Exempted radioactive substances (L-type Transport Goods)

Radioactive substances, instruments, machines and others with extremely little surface radiation, which need not to be isolated from humans or animals

Class 1 radioactive substances

Radioactive medical supplies and radioisotopes

Class 1 radioactive substances with little radiation (transport index as 0), which need not to be isolated from humans or animals

Class 2 radioactive substances

All kinds of radioactive medical supplies and radioisotopes

Class 2 radioactive substances with certain surface radiation (transport index below 1.0), which need to be kept at a distance of more than 30cm from humans or animals.

Class 3 radioactive substances

All kinds of radioactive medical supplies and radioisotopes

Class 3 radioactive substances with surface radiation far more than that of Class 2 (transport index above 1.0), which need to be isolated in accordance with the relevant IATA regulations.

Class 8: Corrosives




Main Goods



Hydrochloric acid and sodium cyanide

Corrosive to human body or metal, etc.

Category 9: Other




Main Goods


Other dangerous substances

Formalin, polychlorinated biphenyls, polystyrene beads and dry ice that are dangerous substances in air transport and cannot be classified

Lithium battery

Lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries

Magnetic substances

Magnetron and magnet (large articles without sealing)

Risk of affecting the aircraft compass system if without a certain distance

Lithium battery

Lithium metal batteries, lithium ion batteries, balance cars, UAVs, electronic cigarettes and cell phones


Small amount of dangerous substances


Dangerous goods subordinate to the categories of dangerous goods (excluding explosives, toxic gases, infectious substances, etc.) , with the capacity in both internal and external packaging containers lower than the allowable capacity of the dangerous goods stipulated in the regulations. The total weight of the package shall not exceed 30kg (66 pounds).


Micro amount of dangerous substances

Dangerous substances (excluding explosives, magnetic substances, etc.) belonging to the various categories of dangerous substances with the capacity in both internal and external packaging containers lower than the allowable capacity of the dangerous goods stipulated in the regulations




Label of "loading into full cargo aircraft allowed"




Non-flammable gases (Grade 2.2), including cryogenic liquefied gases


Liquation from heat source


Applicable to vessels containing and classifying self-reactive substances in Item 4.1 and classifying organic peroxides in Item 5.2, as well as synthetic packages

Potentially hidden dangerous goods: instruments, household goods, mechanical equipment, automotive parts, medicines, metal building apparatus, vaccines, personal goods, battery and power supply devices, photographic apparatus, etc.

II. Documents Required

1. MSDS, and Certification/DGM

There are two types of documents to identify and describe the dangerous goods. MSDS, namely the Chemical Safety Data Sheet, contains not only the parameters of physical and chemical characteristics, but also many matters needing attention during operation.

In addition to MSDS, the Certification for Safe Transport of Chemical Goods is needed to prove that the cargo has met the safe and airworthiness conditions. It is a relatively authoritative third-party certificate that is recognized by most airlines carrying dangerous goods. Generally, Other certificates with the same qualifications such as DGM need to be provided for those inapplicable airports.

2. Packaging Instructions

The packaging of dangerous goods, including cartons, pallets and fibre drums, shall be produced by companies qualified for the production of dangerous goods packaging. All those companies shall have been registered in the commodity inspection authorities and can only provide packaging after obtaining the production qualifications. Companies need to issue the “Certification for Packaging of Dangerous Goods” for the corresponding batch of packaging.

The Certification will explain the packaging, such as the categories of dangerous goods it is applicable to, the class of packaging in air transport, safety performance, etc.

3. Inspection Result of Goods Packaging Performance

Besides the Certification for Safe Transport of Chemical Goods and Certification for Packaging of Dangerous Goods, a certificate needs to be issued by the relevant organ after the dangerous goods are packaged, so as to prove that all indicators of a certain type of dangerous goods meet the standards of air transport after being packaged into a certain type of packaging. Generally, the local Commodity Inspection and Testing Bureau will carry out inspection and issue the “Inspection Result of Goods Packaging Performance” that clearly describes the specific dangerous goods and the safety parameters under the specific packaging.

4. Export License for Dual-use Items and Technologies of PRC

There is no big difference between the documents for customs clearance of hazardous goods and those for general cargo, but it should be noted that the Commodity Inspection Certificate is needed for most dangerous goods, especially chemical raw materials, pesticides, cleaning agents and finished automobiles; and the “Export License for Dual-use Items and Technologies of PRC” is needed for some special articles such as radioactive substances.

5. Shipper's Declaration of Dangerous Goods

This certificate is a declaration statement issued by the exporter of dangerous goods to the airline carrying the goods.

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