Maybe you have just finished your first IATA DGR Training (Dangerous Goods Regulations). Maybe you’re researching a new substance or article that needs to be shipped from your warehouse. Maybe you’re paging through the IATA DGR and you happen upon an odd-looking entry in the dangerous goods list. The packing instructions and quantity limitations for Passenger/Cargo Aircraft (PAX) and Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) are identical. Do you ship the material on a passenger aircraft? What if you want to or have to ship it via Cargo Aircraft Only?
What do you do if the PAX and CAO Packing Instructions and Quantity Limits are Identical?
First, don’t panic. You haven’t found a mistake in the Dangerous Goods List. There are several entries in the table with identical PAX and CAO packing instructions and quantity limits. These entries include, but are not limited to, UN3082, UN3077, UN3528, and ID8000.
If you are shipping a dangerous good with the same quantity limits and packing instructions for PAX and CAO, IATA says you should ship it under passenger aircraft rules. This is the least complicated way as there are no extra labels required on the packages or notations on the shipping paper or air waybill.
What if I Want to Ship the Material as CAO?
There are several reasons you may want or need to ship a material under CAO instructions rather than PAX when the packing instructions and quantity limitations are the same.
Many companies as a matter of safety practices and policy will not allow any of their materials to be shipped on passenger aircraft. In this case, all of the shipments from their warehouses are packed and labeled for cargo aircraft only.
There may be monetary advantages too. A company may have a contract with a forwarder, agent, or airline that gets them preferred rates if their shipments are offered as CAO.
Finally, USG-13 puts limitations on the maximum quantity of dangerous goods that can be loaded on the passenger (PAX) aircraft in an inaccessible manner. Some shippers will ship their materials as CAO to avoid a mistake by their forwarder or carrier and having a delayed shipment due to these quantity limitations.
In any case, if you are offering a shipment as CAO, even though the quantity limits for PAX are the same as CAO, remember that all of the labeling and shipping paper requirements for CAO shipments still apply. That means, you must apply the CAO label and declare CAO in the transport details section of the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods. Finally, the air waybill must have a handling information statement that includes CAO.
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