IATA Shipping by Air: The DG Journal Part 5 of 6, IATA Limited Quantities (LQ) by Air Process

Welcome to this week’s 5 of 6 installment of the DG Journal! Today we will explore the 16 key components of the IATA Shipping by Air Limited Quantities (otherwise known as LQ) process. The guide below is full of helpful information you will need to correctly prepare dangerous goods shipments for shipping by air as LQ. Feel free to keep this guide handy, and even use it as a reference while on the job.  Our regulatory compliance professionals recommend you follow this process, along with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, to ensure that all of the applicable requirements for classification, identification, marking, labeling, packaging, and documentation are met.  

Please note: This guidance is NOT meant to replace the regulations.  Be sure to check regulatory references to determine if they affect your shipment as the regulations change often.

16 Steps for IATA Shipping by Air Limited Quantities (LQ) Process Best Practices 

  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 proper shipping name and UN number 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 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 A and B) for the UN NUMBER and 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 as a LIMITED QUANTITY.    
  5. Look at Columns G and H.  If the word “FORBIDDEN” appears in the column, the material must not be shipped as a limited quantity.  
  6. If the material is not forbidden for transport as a limited quantity, determine the PACKAGE LIMITS in Column H and the Packing Instruction for limited quantities.
  7. Note the PACKING INSTRUCTION number in Column G.  Packing instructions for limited quantities always begin with the letter “Y”.
  8. Read all SPECIAL PROVISIONS listed in Column M.  Special provisions are found in IATA 4.4.
  9. Ensure the packaging complies with the limited quantity provisions of 2.7.5, the general packing provisions of 5.0.2 to 5.0.4, and the specific provisions found in the packing instruction.
  10. Check STATE AND OPERATOR VARIATIONS for any additional requirements or limitations.
  11. Prepare the PACKAGING following the packing instruction.  Make sure the package weighs 30 kg Gross or less. 
  12. MARK AND LABEL the package as required. Don’t forget to mark the package with the limited quantity marking for air (“Y” marking).  (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 although not required, Carrier might require the number regardless)
  16. RECOMMENDED: Complete the ACCEPTANCE CHECKLIST found in the back of the IATA regulations to verify you have not missed anything.

IATA Online Training and More Through Hazmat University

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