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Dangerous goods are substances or articles with hazardous properties which, if not properly controlled during transport, present potential hazards to health, safety and the natural or built environment and anything in it.
Within international frameworks for managing hazardous substances, the term ‘dangerous goods’ refers to items that are potentially dangerous specifically during transportation and this term is used in New Zealand’s transport legislation.
International and associated domestic regulatory frameworks have been established to ensure dangerous goods are transported safely and effectively. These are made up of:
The Dangerous Goods Regulatory System Map describes the components of our regulatory system for managing dangerous goods across the transport system. The map outlines the key components of the system and helps identify possible issues, overlaps, gaps and risks. However, the map is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to dangerous goods requirements for industry operators.
Each mode of transport — aviation, maritime and land, including rail — has its own regulatory framework for managing the transport of dangerous goods in New Zealand. This includes primary legislation, regulations and dedicated rules. The following transport regulatory agencies regulate transport of dangerous goods under these modal frameworks.
Some dangerous goods can be carried safely by air, if they are packed and transported in a specific way. Other articles and substances are prohibited on aircraft due to the risk they pose. Airlines may refuse to carry them or impose their own additional requirements.
Maritime rules set out how dangerous goods can be transported at sea. The requirements are in place to protect the lives of seafarers and passengers, the safety of vessels and the marine environment.
Land Transport Rules, administered by Waka Kotahi, set out how dangerous goods can be safely transported by land.
The Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 sets requirements for the safe transport of dangerous goods by land.
Amendments to this Rule were made in 2010 and 2011.
New Zealand Standard 5433:2012 provides detailed technical information to meet the requirements of Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005. There are 2 parts to the standard that apply to transporting dangerous goods on land, excluding radioactive materials, that cover technical requirements such as classification criteria, packaging and what qualifies as a dangerous good.
We published a guide in 2008 focused on technical information for shippers and the transport industry. As various details are now out of date, operators should make direct contact with the relevant regulatory agencies for the latest information.