Skip to content

Access keys for nzta.govt.nz

  • h Home
  • m Menu
  • 0 Show list of access keys
  • 2 Skip to content
  • 3 Skip to top

An overview of the requirements for commercial transport operators who transport dangerous goods, and for couriers or any other person who transports dangerous goods for hire or direct reward.

Who should use this information

This information applies to people who carry dangerous goods as a licensed transport service operator or for direct reward.

This information is an overview only. If your business involves transporting dangerous goods, you must refer directly to the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005 (the rule) for details. (Printed copies of the rule are available from selected bookshops that sell legislation and some libraries.)

Read the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005
More information about transporting dangerous goods as tools-of-trade
More information about transporting dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use

What are dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods for transport on land include substances and articles that have explosive, flammable, toxic, infectious, corrosive or environmentally hazardous properties, and containers that have held dangerous goods. All classes of dangerous goods are described in table A of the rule, which is based on classifications in the United Nations (UN) Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods – model regulations.

What are my responsibilities?

Everyone involved in transporting dangerous goods has to comply with the rule. Responsibilities are allocated according to tasks, and you're responsible for all the tasks you do.

Consignors (manufacturers, importers or distributors) are responsible for:

  • packaging, labelling and marking dangerous goods
  • providing dangerous goods documents
  • providing emergency response information.

Loaders are responsible for:

  • checking packaging, labelling and marking for obvious defects
  • preparing a load plan or container or vehicle packing certificate
  • segregating incompatible dangerous goods
  • complying with special loading instructions on the dangerous goods documents
  • placarding the vehicle or freight container
  • securing the load in the vehicle or freight container
  • undergoing training appropriate for the nature, quantity and use of goods they handle.

Drivers or operators of road vehicles are responsible for:

  • placarding the vehicle
  • carrying dangerous goods documents in the holder on the driver's door
  • making the documents available to an enforcement officer or emergency services personnel
  • updating the schedule of quantities or load plan
  • load security
  • complying with parking restrictions
  • stopping at railway crossings
  • carrying emergency response information
  • undergoing training specific to the goods they carry
  • having a current and valid dangerous goods endorsement on their driver licence.

Drivers or operators of rail vehicles are responsible for:

  • carrying dangerous goods documents in the holder on the rail vehicle
  • making the documents available to an enforcement officer or emergency services personnel
  • undergoing training specific to the nature, quantity and use of the dangerous goods they transport.

Employers are responsible for:

  • ensuring their employees comply with the requirements of the rule.

Everyone involved is responsible for:

  • safely transporting dangerous goods and complying with the rule
  • discontinuing transport if the packaging is leaking
  • handing the dangerous goods documents to the next person responsible for transporting or handling the goods.

Anyone involved in transporting dangerous goods can ask that a package be opened to see if it contains dangerous goods, or refuse to handle or transport the package.

Packaging and identification

If you're a consignor, you must make sure the packaging is fit for its purpose, doesn't contaminate or react with the goods and is strong enough to hold the goods without leaking (under normal transport and handling conditions). Section 3 of the rule refers to packaging performance standards or the requirements of other New Zealand authorities. From the beginning of 2011, you must also comply with the UN packing instructions, which include details of types and sizes of packaging suitable for each dangerous goods product.

You must also make sure dangerous goods are marked and labelled to identify the hazard. This is explained in section 4 of the rule

Dangerous goods documents

Consignors must supply a dangerous goods declaration.

Sometimes, other dangerous goods documents are also required. Section 5 of the rule specifies the documentation requirements, including when each document is needed. Forms that comply with the rule are available from Standards New Zealand and Responsible Care New Zealand, but you can design your own forms and combine different dangerous goods documents on one page. Dangerous goods declarations for sea or air transport are acceptable for land transport as well, as long as they comply with the rule.

Standards New Zealand
Private Bag 2439
Wellington 6140

Phone 0800 782 632 or +64 4 498 5990

enquiries@standards.co.nz
www.standards.co.nz (external link)

Responsible Care New Zealand
PO Box 5557
Wellington 6145

Phone +64 4 499 4311

info@responsiblecarenz.com
www.responsiblecarenz.com (external link)

Segregation

Loaders must comply with the requirements in section 6 of the rule for the segregation of incompatible dangerous goods. This section also specifies conditions for using segregation devices, and when segregation isn't required (eg dangerous goods in limited quantities, consumer commodities or small packages transported within the limits specified for these goods in section 2).

Placarding

Loaders and drivers must placard vehicles and freight containers. If you're a loader or driver, you must display placards whenever the load is over 50 kilograms or 50 litres. The only exception to this is if the load is dangerous goods in excepted quantities or excepted packages of radioactive material, transported in accordance with clause 2.9 of the rule. On the other hand, for some classes of dangerous goods, you have to display placards no matter what quantity you're carrying.

Section 7 of the rule specifies the requirements for placarding vehicles, tank wagons, freight containers and bulk containers.

Examples of dangerous goods placards:

Flammable liquid label. Oxidising agent label. Explosive label.

Toxic label. Corrosive substances label. Dangerous goods sign.

Transport procedures

Consignors, loaders and drivers must comply with transport procedures. These include securing the load, complying with parking restrictions and supplying or carrying emergency response information. Transport procedures are set out in section 8 of the rule.

Training

Everyone involved in dangerous goods transport must undergo training appropriate to the nature, quantity and use of the goods they handle. Section 9 of the rule explains what training is required, including when you need a D endorsement on your driver licence. If you need a D endorsement but don't have one, you must not drive a vehicle transporting dangerous goods unless you are supervised by a passenger who does have a D endorsement.

More information about D endorsements and how to get one

Low danger or small quantities of goods

  • Dangerous goods in limited quantities and consumer commodities are dangerous goods of low or medium danger in small primary containers, and packaged for transport in strong outer packagings. They can be transported with some relaxation of controls. The requirements for this category of dangerous goods are set out in clause 2.3 of the rule.
  • Small packages of dangerous goods in limited quantities or consumer commodities may be transported without a dangerous goods declaration, placards on the vehicle or drivers having a dangerous goods endorsement on their driver licence, as long as the total quantity doesn't exceed 50 kilograms. Please note that many dangerous goods are not allowed to be transported as small packages.
  • Some explosives can also be transported under the small packages provisions. Refer to clauses 2.4 and 2.5 of the Rule for requirements for small packages.
  • Dangerous goods in excepted quantities are very small quantities of low-danger products, eg 30 millilitres of perfume. When prepared for transport in accordance with subclause 2.9(1), up to 1000 packages can be carried without a dangerous goods declaration, segregation, placards or a driver licence endorsement.
  • Excepted packages of radioactive material are packages that have a minimal radioactive content, such as empty packagings or radioactive material in instruments and manufactured articles. When transported in accordance with subclause 2.9(2), a dangerous goods declaration, segregation, placards or a driver licence endorsement is not required.

Technical information for compliance with the rule

Not everyone involved in dangerous goods transport will need technical information, but if you're a manufacturer, importer or distributor of dangerous goods, you will have to refer to one of the documents incorporated in the rule to meet your responsibilities. New Zealand Standard 5433:2012 Transport of dangerous goods on land (NZS 5433:2012) provides information on:

  • classification of dangerous goods for transport
  • maximum inner package sizes for dangerous goods in limited quantities and dangerous goods in excepted quantities
  • packing instructions
  • specifications for hazard warning labels and special marks
  • performance standards for segregation devices
  • the UN numbers and proper shipping names for goods classified as dangerous for transport, and the list of special provisions.

The table below is a guide to the provisions of the rule that apply to you, according to the nature and quantity of the goods.

Dangerous goods transported by licensed transport service operators or for direct reward

Nature and quantityPackagingLabelling and markingDocumentsSegregationPlacardsTransport proceduresTraining
DGLQ1 
and con coms2
(2.3)
3.2(2) 2.3(1)(f),
2.3(1)(g),
2.3(2)(a)
2.3(1)(h),
2.3(1)(i),
5.3(2)
2.3(1)(j),
2.3(2)(b),
2.3(2)(c)
section 7 section 8 section 9
Small packages3 
(2.4 and 2.5)
2.4(1)(b) 2.4(1)(c),
4.2(4)(b)
not required – up 
to 50kg 2.4(2)(a)
2.4(1)(d), 
2.4(1)(e),
2.4(2)(b),
2.4(2)(c)
not required – up 
to 50kg 2.4(2)(d)
section 8 GSR4 
9.15 (up to 50kg)
Excepted quantities6 
and excepted packages7 
(2.9)
2.9(1)(d),
2.9(2)(b), 
3.2(6),
3.2(7)
2.9(1)(e),
2.9(2)(c), 
2.9(2)(d), 
4.2(4)(e)
2.9(1)(f), 
2.9(2)(e), 
5.3(1)(e)
2.9(1)(g), 
6.2(e)
not required
2.9(1), 2.9(2)
section 8 GSR4 
9.19
All other dangerous goods section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 section 9

DGLQ: dangerous goods in limited quantities. These are dangerous goods of low to moderate danger, packaged in small quantities as listed in schedule 2 and complying with requirements in clause 2.3.

Con coms: consumer commodities. These are DGLQ packaged for retail sale for personal care, recreational or domestic use.

3 Small packages are DGLQ and con coms or explosives specified in clause 2.5, up to a total of 50 litres or 50 kilograms.

4 GSR: general safety requirements. These are set out at the beginning of each section of the rule.

5 A D endorsement is not required for up to 50 litres or 50 kilograms of small packages (paragraph 2.4(2)(e)).

6 Dangerous goods in excepted quantities are very small quantities of low risk dangerous goods as listed in schedule 4 (eg 30 millilitres of perfume) and transported in accordance with subclause 2.9(1).

Excepted packages of radioactive material are packages that have a minimal radioactive content, such as empty packagings or radioactive material in instruments and manufactured articles, transported in accordance with subclause 2.9(2).

Placards are not required for up to 1000 packages of dangerous goods in excepted quantities (subclause 2.9(1)) or for any quantity of excepted packages of radioactive material (subclause 2.9(2)).

A D endorsement is not required for up to 1000 packages of dangerous goods in excepted quantities (subclause 2.9(1)) or for any quantity of excepted packages of radioactive material (subclause 2.9(2)).

Further information

Download Factsheet 67: Dangerous goods carried by transport service operators or for direct reward [PDF, 298 KB]

Top