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Freight from the USA

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Shipping dangerous goods

Dangerous Goods (DG) is the term used in sea freight. In general, it implies the same as Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) in other modes of cargo transportation.

Depending on the risk involved in its transportation, Dangerous Goods shipping is divided into classes from 1 to 9. Most ocean freight carriers do not accept dangerous goods of classes other than 3, 8, and 9. If you ship DG of another class, you should search for an ocean freight carrier specializing in dangerous goods shipping.

Shipping from the USA cargo containing dangerous goods is heavily restricted and must be approved before booking. DG goods shipments are subject to DG surcharges. DG surcharges can be significant and always have a minimum charge per shipment.

DG surcharge is NOT included in price quotes received with our online calculator. Select the DG option when quoting an international shipment with our online freight calculator. You will provide us with your Dangerous Goods Declaration (IMO) and wait for approval and DG surcharges from the ocean freight carrier afterward.

Unless you are a professional in DG shipping, you should avoid shipping DG, if possible. For example, we suggest removing the battery if you send an electric lawnmower.

If you need a dangerous goods shipment anyway, prepare the IMO Dangerous Goods Declaration before you search for a carrier (International Maritime Organization in the United Nations). Without IMO, ocean freight carriers cannot approve and book a DG shipment. You can submit a hazardous cargo request in proper form to be pre-approved. (Actually, the appropriate format is the draft of your IMO, but without sailing details). However, the IMO signed by the shipper must be attached to DG cargo before the cargo will obtain a release to sail.

Dangerous Goods Declaration in shipping from the USA by sea is a document prepared by the consigner (the shipper) to certify that the transporting from the USA hazardous goods are packed, labeled, and declared to comply with standards in international cargo transportation by sea. Samples of DG declaration forms for international shipping from the USA are widely available online. Here is an example of the DG Declaration used in international cargo transportation from the USA.

Dangerous Goods shipping from the USA

The Shippers' responsibility is to provide Dangerous Goods Declarations internationally from the USA. The shipper is responsible for identifying whether their international sea freight shipment contains dangerous goods or not.

Even a small part of shipping from the USA cargo contains dangerous goods; unless the part of shipping goods is booked separately, the entire shipment is considered hazardous. Shippers must identify, classify, pack, mark, label, and complete all international DG cargo transportation documents. Failure to do so could create dangerous conditions on the cargo vessel and result in administrative fines under applicable laws. Failure to comply with DG regulations may sometimes result in criminal charges.

The first step in shipping any cargo from the USA is to identify whether an international sea freight shipment contains dangerous goods or not, i.e., whether the international shipment includes aerosol sprays, airbags, ammunition, butane, car batteries, cologne, dry ice, fireworks, gasoline, jet fuel, lighters, lithium batteries, matches, nail polish, nail polish remover, nitrogen-refrigerated liquid, paint, perfume, solvents, some chemicals, etc.

If you are unsure whether your commodity meets the criteria or which identification of hazardous goods and classification applies to your international shipment, then at the beginning, contact the US Department of TRANSPORTATION at 1-800-467-4922. You also may contact a manufacturer of your goods to identify whether your international shipment contains dangerous goods. If yes, gather the essential information necessary to prepare the Dangerous Goods Declaration for shipping your goods overseas from the USA.

Once again, please: Most international sea freight carriers will NOT approve dangerous goods for shipping from the USA other than IMO Classes 3, 8 & 9. International transportation of hazardous goods from the US, other than classes 3, 8 & 9, requires a carrier with specialized equipment to transport dangerous goods of particular classes.


Segregation of DG / Hold Harmless Letter

Some dangerous goods are incompatible with other substances. They may react with other dangerous goods, chemicals, or harmless substances like dust, air, or water. Hazardous goods can easily come into contact with incompatible substances through spillage or leakage and may liberate toxic gases or cause a fire or an explosion. It is a legal requirement that dangerous goods shipped from the US that are incompatible with other substances are stored and handled separately so that a loss of containment or interaction cannot cause a serious incident. Using a waterproof barrier or a suitable separation distance can achieve this.

If dangerous goods must be segregated by the ocean freight carrier in international transportation, the consigner must furnish a HOLD HARMLESS LETTER under the consigner's letterhead.

HOLD HARMLESS LETTER must clearly state that tconsigner'sational sea freight carriers and other parties involved in the segregation will NOT be responsible for any damages, loss of cargo, etc. when the global sea freight carrier/warehouse does the segregation,

  1. Instructions on precisely what is to be segregated and,
  2. The international shipper guarantees to pay the global sea freight carrier segregation charges.
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