본문으로 바로가기
검색 영역

Logistics Terms Dangerous Goods (DG)

Registration dateMAY 10, 2023

Dangerous Goods (DG)
  1. 1) Definition1) Definition

    "Dangerous Goods" refers to substances or products that, due to their physical, chemical, or biological properties, or due to the interaction between two or more substances, such as contact or friction under certain conditions, can cause explosion, ignition, toxicity, corrosion, radioactivity, asphyxiation, inflammation, infection, polymerization, solidification, dust explosion, or reaction, thereby posing a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment.

    Dangerous goods also include empty packaging containers that previously contained dangerous goods and have not been cleaned, such as small containers, medium-sized pallet containers, large containers, bulk containers, portable tanks, or tankers.

  2. 2) International Rules and Organizations by Transportation Means2) International Rules and Organizations by Transportation Means

    Through an investigation conducted in 1953, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) became aware that international rules and terminology for regulating the transport of dangerous goods were highly divergent, not only by means of transportation but also by region and country.

    Therefore, the UN ECOSOC made continuous efforts to create standardized criteria and regulations that could be applied to all modes of transportation, including ships, airplanes, roads, and railways. In 1956, it established the "UN Recommendation on the Transport of Dangerous Goods," and has been building the basic framework through biennial deliberations ever since. The UN Recommendation is a non-binding regulation in its legal nature, but it exerts binding force through international regulations established based on it.

    Various organizations are working to develop international standards: International Maritime Organization (IMO), responsible for safety, security, and prevention of marine pollution at sea, has developed the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) for maritime transport. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has established the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (TI) for air transport. The Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail(OTIF) follows the International Regulations Concerning the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID), and the European Commission of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) adheres to the International Regulations Concerning the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) and the International Regulations Concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) for road and inland waterway transport, respectively.

    [Names of Organizations and Rules by Transportation Means] Names of Organizations and Rules by Transportation Means (Source: Korea Maritime Dangerous Goods Inspection & Research Institute (KOMDI))
    Name data of the Organization Rules for Transportation (Source: KOMDI)
    International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)

    Since its establishment in 1958, the IMO has been managing dangerous goods in maritime transportation by establishing the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) in 1965, which includes packaging, container, labeling, and lashing requirements for each type of dangerous goods.

    Based on the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and Chapter 7 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the IMDG Code is revised every two years and has been mandatory since 2004. South Korea has been adopting the IMDG Code since 1979 through its domestic law, the Regulations on the Maritime Transport and Storage of Dangerous Goods, and requiring relevant companies to comply with the regulations.

    The IMDG Code classifies packaged dangerous goods from Class 1 (explosives) to Class 9 (miscellaneous dangerous goods) according to their hazard characteristics, and provides criteria for determining the classification, packaging methods, marking and labeling, manufacturing and testing standards for packaging containers, transport documents, and stowage and segregation requirements for dangerous goods on board ships.

    Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (TI) and Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)

    There are two types of regulations for transporting dangerous goods by air: the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (TI), established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). These regulations are mandatory for all employees who handle air cargo and baggage.

    The TI serves as a kind of guide for the handling and regulation of air cargo and baggage, and therefore it is applied as a recommendation. On the other hand, the DGR is a regulation related to aviation safety and dangerous goods, and has a mandatory nature that is regulated by international aviation safety organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Agreement.

    The TI was made in 1944 with the establishment of the ICAO, a UN agency that aims to improve the safety and efficiency of airports, aircraft, and air services. The current TI regulations were completed through continuous biennial revisions. Since 2009, South Korea has regulated and enforced compliance with its domestic legislation titled "Technical Standards for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air".

    The DGR made by the IATA, an organization established in 1945, has provided the global standard for air transport of dangerous goods since its first publication in 1956 and has been revised annually. Air carriers and organizations transporting dangerous goods by air must comply with the DGR.

  3. 3) Class / Division of Dangerous Goods3) Class / Division of Dangerous Goods

    Substances (including mixtures and solutions) and products that comply with the IMDG Code regulations are assigned to one of the nine classes or divisions, ranging from Class 1 to Class 9, based on the hazards posed by the substance. However, the numerical order of the class or division does not indicate the degree of danger posed by the hazard.

    [Classification of Dangerous Materials based on IMDG Code]Classification of Dangerous Materials based on IMDG Code
    Dangerous Goods Classification Table according to IMDG Code
  4. 4) Packing of Dangerous Goods4) Packing of Dangerous Goods

    To transport dangerous goods safely, it is necessary to comply with packaging methods and regulations. Generally, for the transportation of dangerous goods by air or sea, transportation companies or companies with specialized expertise are responsible for following the rules and procedures specified in their respective fields.

    The UN has standardized packaging, labeling, and other requirements for transporting dangerous goods. For maritime transport, the Korea Maritime Dangerous Goods Inspection & Research Institute (KOMDI) provides detailed information on the UN number of dangerous goods, their proper shipping name, packaging grade, and other relevant details according to the IMDG Code. For air transport, the IATA issues the DGR for airlines to follow.

    United Nations Number (UN No.)

    The UN assigns a unique four-digit number to each dangerous material listed in the IMDG Code, which is managed by the IMO. The UN number is designated by manufacturers or importers of the substance, taking into account its hazards, intended use, physical, chemical, and toxicological characteristics, among other factors. However, some chemicals may have different UN numbers depending on factors such as their concentration or physical properties, which requires caution when selecting a UN number.

    [Different UN Number by Condition] Different UN Number by Condition
    Proper Shipping Name (PSN)

    "Proper Shipping Name (PSN)" refers to the name (product name) that most accurately indicates dangerous goods being transported. It is the part of the IMDG Code Dangerous Goods List (DGL) or the Index that is written in uppercase letters.

    [Proper Shipping Name] Proper Shipping Name
    Packing Group (PG)

    Packing Group (PG) refers to the degree of danger posed by dangerous goods. Depending on the level of danger posed by dangerous goods, it is designated as one of the following three packing groups for the purpose of packaging.

    [Packing Group based on Level of Danger] Packing Group based on Level of Danger Packing Group based on Level of Danger

    PG is important as it serves as the criteria for selecting appropriate packaging containers, determining the allowable quantity of cargo per package, and setting performance standards for container testing.

  5. 5) Documents for Transport of Dangerous Goods5) Documents for Transport of Dangerous Goods

    For professional transport companies handling dangerous goods, it is essential to prepare documents that provide basic information to understand the potential hazards of dangerous goods and take appropriate measures. Dangerous good transportation documents play a critical role in minimizing risks that may arise during transportation by specifying the nature of the cargo's hazard, transportation conditions, and response measures.

    As the required documents may vary by country, region, and transportation method, it is necessary to check the regulations of the corresponding country or region before starting transportation. Documents related to the transportation of dangerous goods must be submitted to the designated authorities in the corresponding country or region 24 hours before the departure of the transportation means. As the relevant authorities may differ by country and region, it is necessary to check with the maritime or aviation authority of the corresponding country beforehand.

    Dangerous Goods Description

    Dangerous goods description must list the five components in the following order, and additional information must be provided on the back of the specification.
    *Order of describing dangerous goods : ①UN number ②Proper Shipping Name ③Primary Hazard ④Subsidiary Hazard ⑤Packing Group ⑥Additional Information

    [Example of Describing Dangerous Goods] Example of Describing Dangerous Goods
    Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

    Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are international documents for assessing and managing the hazards of chemical substances. They are typically created and maintained by organizations involved in the manufacture, import, transportation, and storage of chemical substances. Although MSDS is an international document, the submission of it may be mandatory depending on the country, so it is recommended that all companies and individuals handling chemical substances provide and manage MSDS.

    MSDS includes 16 pieces of information to enable organizations to correctly understand the hazards of chemical substances and take appropriate risk management and safety measures. The items that should be included in an MSDS and their order are as follows:
    ① Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking
    ② Hazards identification
    ③ Composition/information on ingredients
    ④ First aid measures
    ⑤ Firefighting measures
    ⑥ Accidental release measure
    ⑦ Handling and storage
    ⑧ Exposure controls/personal protection
    ⑨ Physical and chemical properties
    ⑩ Stability and reactivity
    ⑪ Toxicological information
    ⑫ Ecological information
    ⑬ Disposal considerations
    ⑭ Transport information
    ⑮ Regulatory information
    ⑯ Other information

    The most important information among the above 14 items is "14. Transport information," which should include the storage, packaging, and transportation methods of the cargo. If the cargo is considered dangerous, its UN number and PG should be listed in the "14. 1. Transport information".

    Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD)

    Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods (DGD) is a legal document in which the shipper declares that the dangerous goods have been properly packaged for transport. It is important to accurately indicate what the hazardous contents of the cargo are so that all those involved in handling the hazardous materials during transport can obtain information on safe handling. The DGD is prepared by the manufacturer, seller, or transporter of the dangerous goods, and in order to accurately prepare the document, they need to have sufficient knowledge about the dangerous goods being transported. The DGD format and essential information may differ depending on the mode of transport, so it is important to clearly understand the regulations for the mode of transport that will be used.

    [DGD Format] DGD Format DGD Format (Source: IMDG Code Compliance Centre)
    Container Safety Certificate (CSC)

    Container Safety Certificate (CSC) is an international document that proves that the person responsible for loading and storing dangerous goods in a container has properly loaded and secured the cargo and meets all applicable transportation requirements. It is a mandatory document when transporting dangerous goods by sea. The certificate can be issued by the Korea Marine Safety Corporation, which is the hazardous goods inspection agency designated by the Korean government, for ocean transport, or by the Korea Construction Living Environment Test and Research Institute, which has been delegated authority by the International Air Transport Association, for air transport.

    [Container Packing Certificate of Dangerous Goods Form] Container Packing Certificate of Dangerous Goods Form Container Packing Certificate of Dangerous Goods Form (Source: KOMDI)
# References Korea Maritime Dangerous Goods Inspection & Research Institute (KOMDI) https://www.komdi.or.kr/ukiwi/biz/info/ukiwiBizInfoDanger.do
Kangjin Customs Office http://www.chemcus.com/Sub04/files/IMDG/d_1.pdf