Safety is our top priority, and adherence to processes ensures the smooth and secure delivery of goods from suppliers in Australia to our head office facilities in Kingston and throughout the supply chain to our Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations. A cargo consignor is obligated to declare any cargo items containing Dangerous Goods (DGs). Cargo containing DGs must be consigned in Econ, separately to cargo that does not contain Dangerous Goods.

What are Dangerous Goods?

Dangerous goods are substances or items that pose potential hazards to health, safety, property, or the environment when they are transported, handled, stored or used. They can be explosive, flammable, toxic, corrosive, or have other dangerous properties.

Due to the potential risks associated with dangerous goods, their transportation and handling are regulated by various international, national and local authorities. Special precautions, including labelling, packaging and transportation requirements, are in place to minimize the risks and ensure the safety of people, property and the environment.

Dangerous Goods are also known as restricted articles, hazardous materials and dangerous cargo.

Identifying Dangerous Goods

To ensure compliance with safety regulations, it is essential to be able to identify dangerous goods.

Labels and Markings

Dangerous goods are typically labelled with specific hazard symbols, warnings and other markings to indicate their nature and potential risks. Some common hazard symbols include flame, skull and crossbones, gas cylinder, corrosive and explosion symbols. These labels provide visual cues to easily identify potentially hazardous materials.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

An SDS provides detailed information about a hazardous substance, including its properties, hazards and safety precautions. Suppliers and manufacturers must provide SDSs for hazardous materials. Reviewing the SDS helps understand the potential risks associated with the substance and the appropriate safety measures to be taken during handling and transport.

Commonly Undeclared Dangerous Goods

While dangerous goods should be declared before transportation, certain items are frequently overlooked or mistakenly considered safe.

Commonly undeclared dangerous goods include:

  • Aerosol Cans: Aerosol cans, commonly used for spray paints, deodorants and insect repellents, contain pressurised flammable propellants. If not handled properly, they can explode or cause fires.
  • Flammable Liquids: Items such as lighter fluid, alcohol-based solvents and cleaning agents may be classified as flammable liquids. These substances can easily ignite if exposed to heat or an open flame.
  • Lithium Batteries: Lithium batteries power a wide range of devices, from laptops and cameras to smartphones and flashlights. Although convenient, they can overheat and catch fire if damaged or improperly handled.
  • Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover: These common toiletries often contain flammable solvents, making them hazardous if not properly stored and handled.
  • Perfumes and Cologne: Many fragrances contain flammable components, and their high alcohol content makes them potentially dangerous.
  • Non-Rechargeable Batteries: Some non-rechargeable batteries contain hazardous chemicals like mercury, cadmium, or lead, which can harm the environment if not disposed of properly.
  • Chemicals in Tool Kits: Many tool kits include chemicals such as glues, lubricants and sealants, which can be hazardous.
  • Paints and Thinners: Paints and paint thinners often contain flammable solvents.
  • Fire Extinguishers: While essential for safety, fire extinguishers themselves can be hazardous due to their pressurised contents.

It is essential to be aware of these potential hazards when preparing shipments and ensure that all dangerous goods are declared and handled appropriately. If you are unsure whether something you are sending is a dangerous good, please contact us for assistance. By working together to identify, declare and handle dangerous goods responsibly, we can ensure the safety and success of our expeditions.

Pre-Delivery Requirements for Dangerous Goods

Before dangerous goods can be delivered to the AAD, it is crucial to follow these guidelines.

Advance Notification

Notify Supply Chain Operations at least 24 hours before the planned delivery. Email all relevant details to, please include delivery information, consignment details, product specifics and attach the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).


Dangerous goods must be declared as dangerous when consigned in the AAD’s electronic consignment system, eCon, and must be consigned separately from other non-dangerous cargo. This measure helps ensure proper handling and reduces the risk of accidents or contamination.

SDSs should be added as attachments to your eCon consignments; or, if you are using the eCon system externally, you will need to email your SDSs to, please ensure you reference your consignment number/s.

Proper Packaging

Consigner must ensure that dangerous goods are securely packed and in compliance with the appropriate regulations for transport. Adequate packaging will prevent spills, leaks, or potential interactions with other cargo. Once your goods have been delivered to Supply Chain Operations, the packaging, marking and labelling will be reviewed by a qualified staff member to ensure it is suitable for transport to station and will be repackaged if required.

Clear Marking

Each package containing dangerous goods must be clearly marked with the appropriate hazard labels and relevant handling instructions.

Safety Data Sheets

Ensure that relevant manufacturer's safety data sheets accompany dangerous goods deliveries.

By strictly following these delivery requirements for dangerous goods, expeditioners and consignors contribute to a safe and successful Antarctic expedition. The AAD's commitment to safety ensures the protection of personnel, the environment and the smooth operation of the Antarctic research stations. For any queries or additional information, contact Supply Chain Operations at