Your Responsibilities as a Shipper / Freight Forwarder
A shipper, including its agent (freight forwarder)^, must ensure that:
i) the articles or substances are not forbidden for carriage by air under any circumstances;
ii) Dangerous Goods are properly classified, identified, packed, marked, labelled and accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Transport Document (also known as the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods), in compliance with the ICAO Technical Instructions; and
iii) training and information is provided to its employees to enable them to carry out their responsibilities in the carriage of dangerous goods.
If found guilty of breaking the law*, the offender may be fined or/and imprisoned upon conviction.
When uncertain if the goods may be classified as Dangerous Goods, the shipper or its agent should contact the supplier/manufacturer for confirmation, or request for a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) (also known as Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), or Product Safety Data Sheet (PSDS)) to determine the classification of a substance or article. The SDS should provide information on the classification of the goods based on their hazardous characteristics.
^ A freight forwarder is any person or organisation which offers the service of arranging the transport of cargo by air. As the shipper’s agent, the freight forwarder may undertake part or all of the shipper’s responsibilities.
* Under the Air Navigation Order, it is against the law for any person to take or cause to be taken on board any aircraft, or to deliver or cause to be delivered for loading thereon, any goods that he knows or ought to know or suspect to be dangerous goods for carriage. On conviction, the offender is liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of five years or to both.