When importing goods, there are different requirements for each product that you’re bringing in. Some goods will need different documentation; some goods may even need a special type of container.

However, there are some goods that will require a lot more work and attention than others. Dangerous goods are a prime example of this – so be aware of what classifies as dangerous goods and why you need to be careful with them! Today, we’re sharing the 9 classes of dangerous products so that you can identify whether your goods are hazardous and take the necessary steps to ensure that you can import them safely.

Before we get into what goods are considered to be dangerous, though, we’re going to discuss what you need to do to bring dangerous goods into the country.

MSDS – Material Safety Data Sheets.

Material Safety Data Sheets must accompany any hazardous shipment as they identify and classify the potential hazard/risk. They also include details on what to do if there is an issue (what first aid to administer, how to fight a potential fire etc.) and how to safely handle/store the product. If you are importing something dangerous, naturally this information is essential for the port to be aware of – as well as you.” – What Documents Do I Need To Import Goods To The UK?

A MSDS is an essential piece of documentation that will need to accompany any goods that are considered dangerous for transportation. Essentially, these data sheets identify and minimise the risks these materials pose by telling the recipient how to handle them safely.

When you import any goods on this list, you need an MSDS sheet.


Shippo; Hazardous Goods9 Classes of Dangerous GoodsDangerous Goods ClassesExamples of Flammable LiquidsExamples of CorrosivesOxidising Materials, trends

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  • Dangerous Goods Classification Infographic

    Dangerous Goods To Import

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  • Class 1 - Explosives

    CLASS 1 – EXPLOSIVES SUB-DIVISIONS

    Division 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard

    Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard

    Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both

    Division 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard; only a small hazard in the event of ignition or initiation during transport with any effects largely confined to the package

    Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard

    Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard

    Class 1 Dangerous Goods For Transport - Explosives

    We’re sure you’re not surprised that dynamite isn’t exactly SAFE to import . . . Image source linked.

    What are Class 1 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Class 1 goods are products that possess the ability to alight or detonate as a consequence of a chemical reaction.

    Explosives are classified as a hazardous product for a pretty clear reason – they can explode.

    Naturally, goods that are partial to spontaneous combustion during transit if they aren’t properly handled are an issue – however, you may be surprised by some of the items that are in this category.

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 1 Explosive Goods

    1. Ammunition
    2. Fireworks
    3. Flares
    4. Blasting caps and detonators
    5. Fuse
    6. Primers
    7. Explosive charges such as those used for blasting, demolition, etc.
    8. Detonating cord
    9. Air bag inflators
    10. Igniters
    11. Rockets
    12. TNT
    13. RDX
    14. PETN

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  • Class 2 - Gases

    CLASS 2 – GASES SUB-DIVISIONS

    Division 2.1: Flammable gases

    Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gases

    Division 2.3: Toxic gases

    What are Class 2 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Class 2 consists of compressed gases, gases in their liquefied form, refrigerated gases, mixtures of gases with other vapours and products charged with gases or aerosols. These are considered hazardous goods for many reasons; often they are flammable, they can oxidize (chemically react with oxygen), act as asphyxiants and be toxic or corrosive.

    Although it is a lot easier to identify gases based on their physical states and substances, identifying the most commonly transported gases is still worthwhile.

    Dangerous Goods For Transport Class 2 - Gases

    If your goods are in a canister like this, they’re probably a gas – and they’re classed as dangerous for transport. Image source linked.

    Examples of Commonly Transported Class 2 Gases

    1. Aerosols
    2. Compressed air
    3. Hydrocarbon gas-powered devices
    4. Fire extinguishers
    5. Gas cartridges
    6. Fertilizer ammoniating solution
    7. Insecticide gases
    8. Refrigerant gases
    9. Lighters
    10. Acetylene / Oxyacetylene
    11. Carbon dioxide
    12. Helium / helium compounds
    13. Hydrogen / hydrogen compounds
    14. Oxygen / oxygen compounds
    15. Nitrogen / nitrogen compounds
    16. Natural gas
    17. Oil gas
    18. Petroleum gases
    19. Butane
    20. Propane
    21. Ethane
    22. Methane
    23. Dimethyl ether
    24. Propene / propylene
    25. Ethylene

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  • Class 3 - Flammable Liquids

    What are Class 3 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Flammable liquids are liquids, mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids that require a much lower temperature than others to ignite – often temperatures that may be reached during transportation. Due to this, flammable liquids are very volatile and easily combustible. This means that these goods will need to be transported more carefully and with their individual needs in mind.

    Again, some of these products may surprise you, so it’s worth perusing the list.

    Flammable liquids that are dangerous for transportation

    Here are a few examples of flammable liquids that are classed as dangerous for transportation – some of them are surprising, right? Image source linked.

    Examples of Commonly Transported Class 3 Flammable Liquids

    1. Acetone
    2. Paints,  lacquers and varnishes
    3. Alcohols
    4. Perfumery products
    5. Gasoline / Petrol
    6. Diesel fuel
    7. Aviation fuel
    8. Liquid bio-fuels
    9. Coal tar
    10. Petroleum crude oil
    11. Adhesives
    12. Gas oil
    13. Shale oil
    14. Heating oil
    15. Kerosene
    16. Resins
    17. Tars
    18. Turpentine
    19. Carbamate insecticides
    20. Organochlorine pesticides
    21. Organophosphorus pesticides
    22. Copper based pesticides
    23. Esters
    24. Ethers
    25. Ethanol
    26. Benzene
    27. Methanol
    28. Octanes

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  • Class 4 - Flammable Solids

    CLASS 4 – FLAMMABLE SOLIDS; SUBSTANCES LIABLE TO SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION; SUBSTANCES WHICH EMIT FLAMMABLE GASES WHEN IN CONTACT WITH WATER SUB-DIVISONS

    Division 4.1: Flammable solids

    Division 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion

    Division 4.3: Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases

    What are Class 4 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Flammable solids are products that can spontaneously combust.

    Image result for explosion gif

    Well, kind of. Flammable solids are actually classified as products that are easily combustible and likely to cause or contribute to fire under the conditions they’ll encounter in transport. This is usually due to a number of factors – some goods are self-reactive and can have strong exothermic reactions, some are liable to spontaneously heat up in normal conditions and some goods even heat up on contact with air. All of these things means that these products are liable to catch alight.

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 4 Flammable Solids

    1. Alkali metals
    2. Metal powders
    3. Aluminium phosphide
    4. Sodium batteries
    5. Sodium cells
    6. Firelighters
    7. Matches
    8. Calcium carbide
    9. Camphor
    10. Carbon
    11. Activated carbon
    12. Celluloid
    13. Cerium
    14. Copra
    15. Seed cake
    16. Oily cotton waste
    17. Desensitized explosives
    18. Oily fabrics
    19. Oily fibres
    20. Ferrocerium
    21. Iron oxide (spent
    22. Iron sponge/direct-reduced iron (spent)
    23. Metaldehyde
    24. Naphthalene
    25. Nitrocellulose
    26. Phosphorus
    27. Sulphur

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  • Class 5 - Oxidising Substances and Organic Peroxides

    CLASS 5 – OXIDIZING SUBSTANCES; ORGANIC PEROXIDES SUB-DIVISONS

    Division 5.1: Oxidizing substances

    Division 5.1: Organic peroxides

    What are Class 5 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Oxidising Substances are classed as dangerous for transport.

    Oxidising substances have chemical reactions with oxygen that can be dangerous. Image source linked.

    Class 5 goods – AKA oxidizers – are substances that can cause or be party to combustion typically by yielding oxygen as a product of chemical reactions. Although oxidizers are not necessarily combustible individually, the oxygen they yield can cause combustion with other materials.

    Organic peroxides, on the other hand, are likely to combust individually. An organic peroxide is a substance formed of organic compounds that are derivative of hydrogen peroxide; in organic peroxide, however, one or more of the hydrogen atoms in the chemical structure is replaced by organic radicals. Due to their nature, organic peroxides are thermally unstable and can give off heat.

    “Additionally, organic peroxides may be liable to explosive decomposition, burn rapidly, be sensitive to impact or friction, react dangerously with other substances or cause damage to eyes.” – Dgiglobal.com

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 5 Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides

    1. Chemical oxygen generators
    2. Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
    3. Chlorates
    4. Nitrates
    5. Nitrites
    6. Perchlorates
    7. Permanganates
    8. Persulphates
    9. Aluminium nitrate
    10. Ammonium dichromate
    11. Ammonium nitrate
    12. Ammonium persulphate
    13. Calcium hypochlorite
    14. Calcium nitrate
    15. Calcium peroxide
    16. Hydrogen peroxide
    17. Magnesium peroxide
    18. Lead nitrate
    19. Lithium hypochlorite
    20. Potassium chlorate
    21. Potassium nitrate
    22. Potassium chlorate
    23. Potassium perchlorate
    24. Potassium permanganate
    25. Sodium nitrate
    26. Sodium persulphate

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  • Class 6 - Toxic and Infectious Substances

    CLASS 6 – TOXIC SUBSTANCES; INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES SUB-DIVISIONS

    Division 6.1: Toxic substances

    Division 6.2: Infectious substances

    What are Class 6 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    This one’s pretty obvious; toxic substances are, well, toxic – they’re liable to cause death, serious injury or significant harm to human or animal health if they come into contact. This can be through swallowing, inhalation or skin contact.

    Infectious substances are . . . again, reasonably obvious; infectious substances are infectious and are likely to cause disease in humans or animals. These substances are classified as substances that are known or expected to contain pathogens. (Pathogens are also known as micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi and more.)

    The goods in Class 6 pose a large risk to animal and human health, which is why they need to be handled cautiously.

    Toxic and infectious substances are classified as hazardous for transport.

    Toxic substances can require this much caution to handle – needless to say, they aren’t allowed to be transported carelessly! Image source linked.

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 6 Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances

    1. Medical/Biomedical waste
    2. Clinical waste
    3. Biological cultures / samples / specimens
    4. Medical cultures / samples / specimens
    5. Tear gas substances
    6. Motor fuel anti-knock mixture
    7. Dyes
    8. Carbamate pesticides
    9. Alkaloids
    10. Allyls
    11. Acids
    12. Arsenates
    13. Arsenites
    14. Cyanides
    15. Thiols/mercaptans
    16. Cresols
    17. Barium compounds
    18. Arsenics / arsenic compounds
    19. Beryllium/ beryllium compounds
    20. Lead compounds
    21. Mercury compounds
    22. Nicotine / nicotine compounds
    23. Selenium compounds
    24. Antimony
    25. Ammonium metavanadate
    26. Adiponitrile
    27. Chloroform
    28. Dichloromethane
    29. Hexachlorophene
    30. Phenol
    31. Resorcinol

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  • Class 7 - Radioactive Material

    What are Class 7 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Class 7 goods are radioactive materials that emit ionizing radiation when they experience radioactive decay. This presents risks to human health.

    Radioactive material is defined as any material that contains radionuclides that exceed certain values on its activity concentration and total activity. Radionuclides are atoms with an unstable nucleus – unstable nuclei release radioactive energy.

    Examples Of Commonly Class 7 Transported Radioactive Materials

    1. Radioactive ores
    2. Medical isotopes
    3. Yellowcake
    4. Density gauges
    5. Mixed fission products
    6. Surface contaminated objects
    7. Caesium radionuclides / isotopes
    8. Iridium radionuclides / isotopes
    9. Americium radionuclides / isotopes
    10. Plutonium radionuclides / isotopes
    11. Radium radionuclides / isotopes
    12. Thorium radionuclides / isotopes
    13. Uranium radionuclides / isotopes
    14. Depleted uranium / depleted uranium products
    15. Uranium hexafluoride
    16. Enriched Uranium
  • Class 8 - Corrosives

    What are Class 8 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Class 8 dangerous goods are defined as dangerous goods because they are corrosive. Due to their nature, corrosive substances cause chemical reactions that degrade or disintegrate other materials when they come into contact with each other.

    This can cause severe injury when coming into contact with living tissue – however, in terms of transport, it can also damage and destroy surrounding materials if not transported properly.

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 8 Corrosives

    1. Acids/acid solutions
    2. Batteries
    3. Battery fluid
    4. Fuel cell cartridges
    5. Dyes
    6. Fire extinguisher charges
    7. Formaldehyde
    8. Flux
    9. Paints
    10. Alkylphenols
    11. Amines
    12. Polyamines
    13. Sulphides
    14. Polysulphides
    15. Chlorides
    16. Chlorosilanes
    17. Bromine
    18. Cyclohexylamine
    19. Phenol / carbolic acid
    20. Hydrofluoric acid
    21. Hydrochloric acid
    22. Sulfuric acid
    23. Nitric acid
    24. Sludge acid
    25. Hydrogen fluoride
    26. Iodine
    27. Morpholine
  • Class 9 - Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

    What are Class 9 dangerous goods and why are they classed as dangerous?

    Goods in Class 9 of dangerous goods are simply products that present dangers during transport that haven’t been covered in the other classes.

    Some of the items this class includes, but is not limited to, include:

    Environmentally hazardous substances, substances that are transported at elevated temperatures, miscellaneous articles and substances, genetically modified organisms and micro-organisms and (depending on the method of transport) magnetized materials and aviation regulated substances.” – Dgiglobal.com

    Dangerous goods for transport - the 9 classes explained with examples

    Image source linked.

    Examples Of Commonly Transported Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

    1. Dry ice / cardice / solid carbon dioxide
    2. Expandable polymeric beads / polystyrene beads
    3. Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
    4. Blue asbestos / crocidolite
    5. Lithium ion batteries
    6. Lithium metal batteries
    7. Battery powered equipment
    8. Battery powered vehicles
    9. Fuel cell engines
    10. Internal combustion engines
    11. Vehicles
    12. Magnetized material
    13. Dangerous goods in apparatus
    14. Dangerous goods in machinery
    15. Genetically modified organisms
    16. Genetically modified micro-organisms
    17. Chemical kits
    18. First aid kits
    19. Life saving appliances
    20. Air bag modules
    21. Seatbelt pretensioners
    22. Plastics moulding compound
    23. Castor bean plant products
    24. Polychlorinated biphenyls
    25. Polychlorinated terphenyls
    26. Dibromodifluoromethane
    27. Benzaldehyde


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    We hope you found this post helpful; if you are importing dangerous goods, feel free to get in contact with us for advice on the preparations that you will need to make at info@shippo.co.uk or call us at 0203 384 0498.



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