As a business owner, you should be aware that hazardous materials include more than just chemicals, guns, and needles. When it comes to shipping to the Philippines, some items, such as batteries, sprays, and paints, are classified as hazardous materials. When these products are not handled carefully during transit, it can result in unintended consequences for everyone involved in the supply chain, including packers, cargo handlers, equipment operators, and even drivers.
Fortunately, some guidelines can assist you in properly managing and handling hazardous items. Follow these six guidelines for ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the logistics chain.
1. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAZARDOUS ITEMS THAT ARE ACCEPTED AND THOSE THAT ARE PROHIBITED
First and foremost, you must determine the type of dangerous goods you intend to ship, as some items are classified as prohibited based on their classification. Even seemingly innocuous items like nail polish, tennis balls, and perfumes are classified as hazardous materials. They’re not particularly dangerous in and of themselves; they’re only labelled as such because of a potentially harmful component.
While many materials are classified as “dangerous,” others are too dangerous to transport by ground or air. Here’s a list of acceptable and prohibited items to help you out.
Accepted items include:
- combustible materials
- Liquids or solids that are corrosive
- Gases or solids that are flammable
- Drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies
- Solvents are a type of solvent.
Prohibited items include:
- Categorization A material that is infectious
- Radioactive substances
- noxious gases
You can also look for labels on the product to determine whether or not your shipment is dangerous. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to speak with a fulfilment expert who can offer valuable insight and advice.
2. FOLLOW TO TRANSPORT REGULATIONS
Following your education on the differences between various dangerous goods, you should also educate yourself on the transportation regulations that apply to them.
When it comes to hazardous shipping items, each freight forwarding service has its own set of rules and procedures. Similarly, the rules differ depending on the country (or even states and provinces) to which you’re shipping.
The Department of Trade and Industry Philippines, for example, regulates the transportation of dangerous goods by sea in the Philippines (DTI). The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), on the other hand, is in charge of air freight handling. Because they operate independently, each shipper or carrier must adhere to the various regulations established by these government agencies.
National government agencies should, in general, adhere to international committees’ standards, such as the International Maritime Organization’s IMDG Code and the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).
3. PROPERLY PACK DANGEROUS GOODS
To avoid cargo damage during normal shipments, it may be necessary to pack the cargo properly. The same can be said for dangerous goods, but you should also reduce the risk of accidents caused by their hazardous nature.
When packing dangerous items, use the appropriate packaging materials to ensure the safety of your goods. It’s also a good idea to use cushioning materials like bubble wrap, styrofoam pellets, cardboard, and foam packing peanuts. These items ensure that the dangerous goods do not move around during transit, reducing the risk of leakage or damage.
Ensure everything is tightly packed, braced, and secured if you’re shipping both hazardous and non-hazardous materials together. Also, request that your carrier store your packages in an easily accessible location so that they can be thrown out and discarded in the event of an emergency or an accident.
Overall, you should properly wrap your dangerous goods in high-quality packaging materials, not only for your products’ safety but also for the safety of everyone involved in the logistics chain.
4. PRESENT ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
Besides adequately packing your dangerous cargo, it’s also important to remember that you must present all necessary documents to the authorities when transporting these hazardous items.
Make sure to accurately declare your shipments in the “Item Description” section of your commercial or waybill invoice. You should also complete the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and assess the cargo for potential hazards. An MSDS document should include the following information for your convenience:
- Measurements for first aid and firefighting
- Hazardous class
- Composition and ingredients
- Handling, storage, and transportation precautions
- Concerns about reactivity, toxicity, the environment, and disposal
5. BE PREPARED TO PAY ADDITIONAL FEES FOR YOUR DANGEROUS PRODUCTS.
Most courier companies would charge individuals and businesses extra fees to properly handle and process dangerous goods due to their dangerous nature.
Furthermore, insurance premiums are relatively expensive due to the increased risk of health and safety. Some courier companies may require you to pay an additional fee for insurance. They may also refuse to pay for goods that are damaged in transit.
Overall, there’s no way of knowing whether you’ll have to pay extra money to agencies or not. Before sending out your shipment, it’s best to contact your courier and go over the following points with them.
6. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
Finally, whether you’re a shipper or a carrier, it’s your responsibility to inform others that you’re shipping hazardous materials that endanger everyone’s health and safety. Understand the regulations that apply to these hazardous goods and the processes and documentation that must be followed.
For example, to certify that all packing requirements were met, you must sign the necessary compliance documents. It also demonstrates that the packaging was done in accordance with local and international regulations.
You may face costly penalties if you fail to meet all of the requirements set forth by international logistics committees. As a result, make sure your hazardous products are properly classified before shipping them out.
Shipping dangerous goods can be difficult, but it’s something no one can afford to overlook because people’s health and safety are at risk. Fortunately, by remembering these six key points when transporting hazardous materials, you can keep your belongings safe and secure.