Transportation Classification and Requirements

 In Product Safety, TDG

By: Kirsten Alcock, Manager of Product Safety, email

Proper classification for transportation is key to the health and safety of everyone.  When a product is shipped from one destination to another, it is imperative that the product is properly classified in accordance with the transportation regulations. Although the regulations may seem similar, there are many differences between them. Each mode has something specific for them, as does each country. An exemption that may exist in one mode or one country may not be acceptable by another. Shipping a product by air or sea is very different than ground shipments and one must understand and be able to identify these differences when packaging and shipping their product.

The UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods are contained in the UN Model Regulations, also known as the ‘Orange Book’. The Model Regulations are prepared by the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). They cover the transportation of dangerous goods, also known as hazardous materials, by all modes of transport.

Although the UN Model Regulations are the basis for transportation requirements, each country has specific requirements and exemptions that must be taken into consideration when products are transported or shipped nationally or across international borders.

The Dell Tech Product Safety Team has been trained, tested, and received certification in accordance with the requirements for TDG, IATA, and IMDG. Our team is vigilant in keeping their transportation certifications up-to-date, in accordance with each mode of transport.

Transportation regulations are constantly changing, and Dell Tech ensures that the most up-to-date regulations are purchased and available to best help our clients whether they are looking to us to create the SDS which includes the proper transportation information  in section 14 to analyzing their test data to see which UN number, Class and Packing Group are acceptable for their Dangerous Good.  The transportation of dangerous goods is divided into 9 classes, each with their own unique criteria. This criteria can be subdivided into divisions, dependent on the class, and Packing Group Assignments or Compatibility Groups may also exist for some classes. Dell Tech specializes in classification for the following classes: 2,3,4,5,6,8 & 9

When determining the appropriate classification, one must look at all components within the product to come up with the appropriate classification for that product as a whole. When looking at the formulation, if it is 100% of a component with a listed UN number, it is easy to classify but most of our clients have products with a multitude of components and properties which can then make it difficult to come up with the proper classification.

For example, some of the most common dangerous goods, such as Sodium Hydroxide, are assigned a unique UN number, whereas some of the less commonly transported chemicals must use generic codes such as UN3265; CORROSIVE LIQUID, ACIDIC, ORGANIC, N.O.S..

Let Dell Tech take the guesswork out for you and your team!


  • Provide guidance on the proper shipping description (ISHP) of your product in accordance with TDG, DOT, IATA, and IMDG
  • Advise on the appropriate Class, UN number and Packing Group assignment
  • Perform Hazard Classification Testing for Class 8 materials: CORROSITEX as well as Metals Corrosion is available in-house
  • Perform Hazard Classification Testing for Class 3 materials: Flash Point testing and sustained combustibility is available in-house
  • Prepare mandated TDG Proof of Classification documentation
  • Provide guidance on exemptions such as Limited Quantity and Excepted Quantities
  • Provide guidance on Special Provision Requirements
  • Provide guidance on placarding requirements, selection of packaging, and safety marks
  • Provide guidance on dangerous goods shipping paper documentation
  • Provide assistance with CANUTEC registration

Dell Tech
Kirsten Alcock, B.Sc. (Hons) 
Manager, Product Safety Group

Dell Tech has provided professional, confidential consulting services to the chemical specialty industry in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia for the last 40 years.

Contact us today for more information.

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