IATA (ICAO) Shipping by Air: The DG Journal Part 2 of 6, IATA Non Limited Quantity by Air Process

Welcome to the next installment of the DG Journal! This IATA (ICAO) Shipping by Air guide will walk you through the IATA non-limited quantity shipping guidelines step-by-step. This information is invaluable for when you are preparing your next dangerous goods shipment for air transport. This can be used as a reference point while on the job, or simply as a quick reminder document if it’s been a while since you trained with us. Here we will break down crucial details you need to know about the shipping process to include; classification, identification, packing, marking, labeling, and documentation of your next DG air shipment. There are various regulatory compliance steps to consider with IATA (ICAO) Shipping by Air, but let’s explore the 17 core steps for air-shipping success.  (Please note: This guide is NOT meant to replace the regulations. Be sure to check regulatory references to determine if they affect your shipment.)

The 17 Key Steps in IATA (ICAO) Shipping by Air Process

  1. Determine if the substance is CLASSIFIED as a dangerous good in transportation.  Most shippers will use section 14 on the material’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS). If the material is a dangerous good, the UN number and proper shipping name most likely will be found there.  It may also be provided in the company’s shipping system.
    1. If the information is not listed on an SDS or in the shipping system, the hazard class/division must be determined by comparing the physical and chemical characteristics of the materials with the classification criteria found in IATA Section 3.
    2. If the information on the physical characteristics of the material is not available, testing must be performed to determine the hazard class(es).
    3. This section may also provide information about whether the material is a HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE.  Check 49 CFR 172.101 Appendix A to see if the material or its components are listed.  If the material is being shipped at a quantity equal or above the listed RQ, the material is a hazardous substance and must be identified as such on the package and shipping document. (IATA USG-04)
  2. Check the List of Dangerous Goods (IATA 4.2, Column B) for the PROPER SHIPPING NAME listed in bold type.  This is the name used to identify the material on the package and the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods.  If there is a “star” following the proper shipping name, the technical name must be shown in parenthesis with the proper shipping name. (IATA 4.1.6)
    1. If only the UN number for the material is provided, use the Numerical “Cross-Reference” List of Dangerous Goods (IATA 4.3) to find the proper shipping name, then look up the proper shipping name in the List of Dangerous Goods.
  3. Note the PRIMARY AND SUBSIDIARY HAZARD CLASSES/DIVISIONS (Column C) and PACKING GROUP (Column E) of the material.  If more than one packing group is listed, check the SDS to determine which packing group to apply. 
  4. Determine if the material is permitted to be transported on PASSENGER OR CARGO AIRCRAFT.    
  5. Look at Columns I through L.  If the word “FORBIDDEN” appears in the column for the desired mode, the material must not be shipped by that mode. If a material is forbidden for Passenger and Cargo Aircraft (Columns I and J), check Cargo Aircraft Only (Columns K and L).  
  6. If the material is not forbidden for transport by air, determine the PACKAGE LIMITS in Column J for passenger aircraft and Column L for Cargo Aircraft Only.
  7. Note the PACKING INSTRUCTION number in Column I for passenger aircraft and Column K for Cargo Aircraft Only.
  8. Read all SPECIAL PROVISIONS listed in Column M.  Special provisions are found in IATA 4.4.
  9. Ensure the packaging complies with the general packing provisions and the specific provisions found in the packing instruction (IATA Section 5).
  10. Check STATE AND OPERATOR VARIATIONS for any additional requirements or limitations.
  11. Prepare the PACKAGING following the packing instruction and the manufacturer’s closure instructions.
  12. MARK AND LABEL the package as required. (IATA List of Dangerous Goods and Section 7)
  13. If preparing an OVERPACK, make sure to:
    1. Check Table 9.3.A for segregation requirements, 
    2. Duplicate all labels and markings on the outside of the overpack, 
    3. Mark the outside of the overpack with the OVERPACK marking, and 
    4. Add the overpack identification mark if required. 
  15. Provide appropriate EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION.  (IATA and USG-12)
  16. RECOMMENDED: Complete the ACCEPTANCE CHECKLIST to verify compliance and to catch any errors or omissions. 
  17. Offer PLACARDS to trucking company as required by 49 CFR 172 Subpart F.

Dive Deeper with Hazmat University Today

We all know compliance is important and Hazmat University is here to make it easy. Our team of seasoned DG Professionals are here to help newbies and professionals alike with our easy-to-access online series for IATA (ICAO) Shipping by Air training courses! Consider IATA online training, or any one of our wide varieties of course offerings today and learn how to be confident, be competent, and be compliant. If you’re interested in learning more or signing up today, feel free to contact us.

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