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Freight from the USA

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IMO Dangerous Goods Declaration

In international cargo transportation from the USA, Dangerous Goods (D.G.) is similar to shipping Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) in other cargo transportation modes.

In sea freight shipping, dangerous goods are always separated from regular commodities and accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Declaration.

A Dangerous Goods Declaration in shipping freight from the USA is a document that must be provided by a shipper to the ocean freight carrier before dangerous goods can be approved for international shipping. It certifies that the dangerous goods are properly packed, labeled, and comply with standards of international cargo transportation by sea. You can look at examples of the Dangerous Goods Declaration used in shipping cargo from the USA by sea online. That's about what this document looks like.

Dangerous Goods Declaration

International shippers are responsible for identifying whether their cargo contains dangerous goods. If it has, then the shippers' responsibilities are filling and providing Dangerous Goods Declarations for shipping hazardous goods from the USA overseas.

If you are a beginner in shipping goods from the USA overseas, we encourage you to take the regulations on shipping dangerous goods seriously. If your shipment contains dangerous goods, even a not significant part of the total volume of your cargo, then you must declare the goods in the Dangerous Goods Declaration anyway. Failure to do so could result in hazardous conditions for the entire voyage. Then, it will result in administrative fines or even criminal charges under applicable laws.

For example, if you're shipping an electric bike from the U.S., You must either remove the battery or complete the Dangerous Goods Declaration. 

When shipping cargo overseas, you must identify whether the load contains dangerous goods. I.e., whether the 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're shipping new items from the USA in the factory packaging, then pay attention to the hazardous signs on it. 

Suppose you are unsure whether your commodity meets the criteria for shipping dangerous goods from the USA or which identification of hazardous goods and classification applies to your international shipment. In that case, you can contact the U.S. Department of Transportation at 1-800-467-4922. You can also contact the manufacturer of shipping goods to identify whether your international shipment contains dangerous goods. If yes, ask them for the information necessary for your Dangerous Goods Declaration preparation.

When shipping dangerous goods from the USA by sea, sea freight carriers will NOT approve dangerous goods sent other than IMO Classes 3, 8 & 9. If you ship dangerous goods other than classes 3, 8 & 9, you must search for ocean freight carriers with special equipment to transport dangerous goods of particular classes.

Segregation of dangerous goods shipping from the USA / A hold harmless letter.

When transporting dangerous goods, many of them are incompatible with other substances. During transportation, they may react with other dangerous goods or chemicals or even with apparently harmless substances, such as dust, air, or water. Dangerous goods can quickly come into contact with incompatible substances through spillage or leakage and may liberate toxic gases or cause a fire or an explosion. The legal requirement is that dangerous goods not compatible with other substances be stored and handled separately. So that a loss of containment or interaction cannot cause a serious incident, this can be achieved by using a waterproof barrier or a suitable separation distance.

If the carrier must segregate dangerous goods before/during shipping from the USA, the shipper must furnish a hold harmless letter under the consigner's letterhead.

 The hold harmless letter must state that:

  1. The ocean freight carrier and other parties involved in the segregation will not be responsible for any damages, cargo loss, etc. when the ocean freight carrier/warehouse does the segregation.

  2. Instructions on what is to be segregated and

  3. The international shipper guarantees to pay the ocean freight carrier segregation charges.

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