Undeclared Dangerous Goods

Do you travel by air? Do you own a company that ships consumer products? Do you mail holiday or birthday presents? Do you sell products online on e-commerce sites? Do you handle or accept cargo packages for transportation? If the answer is yes, then it is time for you to determine whether or not the products that you introduce into transportation are dangerous.

An "undeclared" dangerous good is any shipment where dangerous goods are not identified. In other words, there is no visible indication that the package contains a dangerous material (e.g. missing the required shipping paper/declaration, markings, labels, or other hazard communication).

More than 3 billion tons of regulated dangerous goods—including explosive, poison, corrosive, flammable, and radioactive materials—are known to be transported in the United States each year. Over 261,000 tons of these dangerous goods are transported by air. The Department of Transportation has developed a system of hazard communication, which includes visual markings and labels (identifying the potential hazards of a shipment), shipping papers and notices to pilots (which allow for proper segregation of potentially reactive chemicals and critical emergency response information), and specific packaging (which is tested to withstand conditions typically encountered during transportation).

An improperly prepared shipment increases the risk to everyone in the supply chain. Lives, safety, property, and the environment all rely on the safe transportation of dangerous goods. Experts believe that the most frequent explanation for undeclared shipments is a shipper's lack of knowledge--an unawareness or misunderstanding of the requirements for properly declaring and transporting dangerous goods.

No person or business wants the negative repercussions resulting from a dangerous goods aviation incident. Take the time to evaluate whether or not you handle dangerous goods, and make sure you have the proper training. Explore the resources on this website, and share them with your network.

Last updated: Wednesday, November 30, 2022