Frequently Asked Questions
Dangerous Goods Regulations
What are Dangerous Goods?
Dangerous goods are items that possess potentially dangerous characteristics. These characteristics do not make their transportation by air dangerous, provided that suitable precautions are taken. Dangerous goods consist not only of obvious substances such as acids, explosives and poisons, but also include less apparent articles like magnets, refrigerants and some everyday household items such as bleaches, aerosols and perfumes.
To ensure that Dangerous Goods do not put an aircraft and its occupants at risk, countires have to introduce international Standards into their national legislation. This ensures governments have control over the transport of dangerous goods by air and there is a common safety standard followed by all the countries.
Who sets the standards and regulations that govern the transport of passengers and goods by air?
International civil aviation Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) is set up by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency established in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention). The Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (the "Technical Instructions") contain a comprehensive set of requirements for the safe transportation of Dangerous Goods by air.
The Technical Instructions contain training requirements that apply to everyone involved in consigning, handling and carrying dangerous goods, and cargo and passenger baggage. These include the need for refresher training at two-year intervals and the keeping of training records. There are specific responsibilities for shippers and operators. Shippers must ensure that staff preparing consignments of dangerous goods receive training or that another organization with trained staff is used. Operators must ensure that their own staff and those of their handling agents are trained. Training programmes for operators are subject to approval by the State of the Operator.
Regulations for Shippers, Freight Forwarders and Airlines
What are the responsibilities of the Shipper in air transportation?
Shippers must have adequate knowledge of Techincal Instructions or dangerous goods (DG) requirements and know the allowable quantity of dangerous goods that can be shipped. In addition Shippers must apply the correct packing, marking and labeling on DG.
What are the responsibilities of the Freight Forwarder?
Freight Forwarders act as the second check point in the transport of dangerous goods. Freight Forwarders must ensure that the shipper has knowledge of dangerous goods and check that the consignment is properly packed, labeled and correctly documented.
Freight Forwarders must NOT believe the shipper's claim that the shipment is non-DG and check point to ensure that there is no mishandling by the shipper.
What are the responsibilities of the Airline?
Airlines are the final check point in the transport of dangerous goods. Airlines have the final responsibility of making sure dangerous goods are properly packed and labeled before being loaded into the freight compartment, so all the DG must be rechecked even if the forwarder claims that proper checking has been carried out.
What are the training requiremets for organisations invovled in the transportation of Dangerous Goods by air?
The requirements and minimum aspects that must be included in a Dangerous Goods Regulations training program is given in Sub-Section 1.5 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). All parties involved in the transportation chain, including shippers, freight forwarders, ground service providers and airlines, play a role in ensuring the safe transport of dangerous goods by air.
For details of the requirements, please go to our Training Requirements page.
The Civil Aviation Deparment publishes Dangerous Goods Advisory Circulars from time to time to disseminate important information about the safe transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. The advisory below gives information about the training requirements for staff of freight forwraders.
DGAC 2/2015 - Dangerous Goods Training for Air Transport
To find out more about the laws and regulations governing the handling of dangerous goods for air transportation, please refer to the Civil Aviation Department's FAQ on Dangerous Goods.
If I wish to transport DG by road, are the above laws and regulations applicable? If not what are the relevant legislations in Hong Kong?
The storage, manufacture and transportation of DG by road is regulated by the Hong Kong Fire Services Department, companies or persons wishing to store, manufacture or transport DG by road are required to apply for the relevant license from the Fire Services Department. Interested parties can refer to the guidelines for license application published by the department.
Fire Services Department Licensing & Certification Command Dangerous Goods Division
Address: 4th Floor, FSD Kwai Chung Office Building, 86 Hing Shing Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories Office
Tel: 2417 5757
Basic and Refresher Dangerous Goods Regulations Course for Category 1 & 3 Personnel
Who needs to take the course?
The courses are for employees of freight forwarders, agents and airlines who wish to become qualified to sign the Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Good. According to The Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Regulations Chapter 384 Subsidiary Legislation for information, consignors, i.e. shippers and freight forwarders, must ensure all dangerous goods are properly classified, packed, marked, labeled and documented before they are offered for air transportation. If you have not prevsiouly taken the DG course, you will need to take the 5-day Basic Dangerous Goods Regulations course. To renew your DG license, you can take the 3-day Refresher Dangerous Goods Regulations course which extends your qualification for 24 months (2 years).
Will I be qualified to sign the Shippers' Declaration after attending the DG course?
Yes, after attending the Basic/Refresher DG Regulations course and passing the DG examination, which is held on the the last day, you will receive a DG certificate which qualifies you to sign the Shippers' Declaration.
Is the course recognised by IATA?
Chem Freight Hong Kong Ltd. is an IATA Accredited Dangerous Goods Training School, the course contents of the Basic DG Regulations and Refresher Dangerous Goods Regulations courses follows IATA guidelines. Each certificate is registered with IATA with a unique registration number which is on the top right corner of the DG certificate. The course is also recognised by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.
What are the minimum standard of education for participants of the course?
There are no minimum education requirements for taking the course except that participants should have a good understanding of English. The course will be conducted in Cantonese while the course material and examination are in English.
What is the course fee and what does it cover?
The course fee for the Basic/Refresher Dangerous Goods Regulations course can be found on our home page (chemfreight.com.hk) and covers tuition, examination, handouts and IATA registration. Each participant will have a copy of the latest edition of IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for use during class. Discounts are offered for staff of HAFFA membersand additional discounts are available for enrolments of two or more persons from the same company.
If I am not successful in the examination, will I be given the chance to retake it?
Under IATA DG accredited School Guideline, participants are allowed one re-take exam. Participants who needs to retake the exam can retake the examination whenever it is held. The examination is held two times a month, at the end of the Basic DG Regulations course and Refresher Dangerous Goods Regulations course.
ICAO/FIATA Dangerous Goods Training for Category 1 & 3 Personnel of Shippers and Forwarders
What is the ICAO/FIATA-IATA Dangerous Goods Training for Shippers and Forwarders Cat 1 & 3 Personnel?
The FIATA Dangerous Goods for Shippers and Freight Forwarders (FIATA DG by Air) is for staff of shippers and forwarders (Category 1 & 3) who wish to become qualified to handle dangerous goods for air export. This course is recognized by IATA as meeting the requirements for training under the Cargo Agency Programme.
What does FIATA stand for and what qualifications will I receive after taking the course?
FIATA is a non-governmental organisation representing an industry that includes approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms employing around 8 - 10 million people in 150 countries. It is recognised as representing the freight forwarding industry by many other governmental organisations, governmental authorities, private international organisations in the field of transport such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Union of Railways (UIC), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.
FIATA runs the Dangerous Goods by Air Training Programme in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). TheFIATA DG by Air course is suitable for staff of shippers and forwarders who wish to become qualified to handle dangerous goods for air export Recognized by IATA as meeting the requirements for training under the Cargo Agency Programme.
Will I be qualified to sign the Shippers' Declaration after attending this course?
Yes, after attending the ICAO/FIATA-IATA Dangerous Goods Training for Shippers and Forwarders course and passing the DG examination, which is held on the the last day, you will receive a DG certificate which qualifies you to sign the Shippers' Declaration.
Dangerous Goods Awareness Course for Category 4& 5 Personnel
Who needs to take the Dangerous Goods Awareness course?
According to IATA guidelines and as stipulated by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, personnel of freight forwarders and agents involved in processing general air cargo (other than dangerous goods), i.e. checking of packaging, marking, labelling and documentation (i.e. MAWB, HAWB) of cargo consignments need to receive training in dangerous goods awareness.
In addition transportation and warehouse personnel, which may come into physical or close visual contact with cargo consignments or perusal of their documentations, are also required to undergo training in dangerous goods.
For details of the training requirement, please refer to the following Dangerous Goods Advisory Circulars published by the Civil Aviation Department:
Dangerous Goods Advisory Circular (DGAC 5/2008)
Dangerous Goods Advisory Circular (DGAC 1/2006)
When is the Dangerous Goods Awareness course held and what are the minimum education requirements for the course?
The course is held regularly and classes will be added in accordance with demand. There are no minimum education requirements for the course, the medium of instruction is Cantonese and participants will receive a bilingual (Chinese and English) handout. A 20-question bilingual (English/Chinese) test is given at the end of the course.
Participants who are not able to pass the course in the first attempt can retake the course at no extra charge.