An overview of the requirements for people who transport dangerous goods as tools-of-trade, for agricultural use or for a commercial purpose, but not for hire or direct reward.

Who should use this information

This information applies to people who transport dangerous goods as tools-of-trade, for agricultural use or commercial purposes.

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. Printed copies are available from selected bookshops that sell legislation and some libraries.

Read the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005
More information about dangerous goods carried by transport operators
More information about transport dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use

What are dangerous goods?

For transport on land, dangerous goods include substances that have explosive, flammable, toxic, infectious, corrosive or environmentally hazardous properties. It also includes containers that have held dangerous goods. 

More information about dangerous goods and how to recognise them

Transporting small quantities of dangerous goods

If you carry dangerous goods as tools-of-trade, for agricultural use or for a commercial purpose, but not for hire or direct reward, and the quantity is within the limits in schedule 1 of the rule, then you're responsible for:

  • making sure the goods are properly packaged and identified
  • segregating incompatible dangerous goods (keeping them apart to prevent dangerous reactions)
  • securing the load on your vehicle
  • carrying emergency response information
  • safe handling practices and emergency procedures.

Packaging and identification

Packaging must not contaminate or react with the goods, and must be strong enough to transport the goods safely and without leaking under normal conditions.

Section 3 of the rule refers to packaging performance standards or the requirements of other New Zealand authorities. Packaging must also comply with the United Nations packing instructions, which include details of types and sizes of packaging suitable for each dangerous goods product.

When you buy dangerous goods, they are contained in packaging that meets the requirements for transport, and are marked or labelled to identify the danger of the goods.

There are, however, some common situations when you supply the container for dangerous goods. They are when you:

  • fill a container of your own with petrol or diesel (this doesn't include filling your vehicle's fuel tank), or
  • have a portable LPG cylinder refilled.

In these circumstances, both you and the person selling the goods have a responsibility to ensure the container complies with the requirements of the rule and, in the case of the LPG cylinder, has passed a test inspection within the last 10 years.

Your container must show that it contains dangerous goods. You need the UN number, the proper shipping name and the class of dangerous goods. For high flash point diesel containers bigger than five litres, you also need the environmentally hazardous substance mark (see the diesel information document [PDF, 110 KB] for more details and examples of labels and marks for diesel containers).

If your container does not have a diamond-shaped warning label to identify the class of dangerous goods, write the class number on it, together with the UN number and proper shipping name. For example the identification for:

  • petrol is UN 1203, PETROL, class 3
  • LPG is UN 1075, LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GASES, class 2.1
  • high flash point diesel is UN 3082, ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE, LIQUID, N.O.S. (Diesel), class 9 and if the container is over five litres, the environmentally hazardous substance mark.

These details can be written clearly on the container or on a tag attached to the container. You could also ask the person selling the goods for a class warning label to identify the danger.

Alternatively, the labels or markings required by any other law (eg the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996) which clearly identify the contents of the package, are also acceptable.

Segregate dangerous goods

To prevent serious reactions between different dangerous goods, they should be kept apart from each other. Small quantities of goods, such as aerosols (class 2.1 or 2.2), flammable liquids (class 3), toxic substances (class 6.1), corrosive substances (class 8) and environmentally hazardous substances (class 9) can be carried together.

Explosives (class 1), oxidising substances (class 5.1) and organic peroxides (class 5.2) should be kept apart as much as possible, and preferably not be carried together in the same vehicle or with other dangerous goods. Class 6 or class 8 substances should also be kept apart from food items, to prevent the food being contaminated.

Secure your load

All loads must be carried securely, so they don't fall from the vehicle or cause any harm to people, property or the environment. This is especially important with dangerous goods. If the packages are damaged, they could either spill (and put people, property or the environment in danger) or react dangerously with other goods.

Emergency response information and training

You must carry emergency response information and know about the hazards of the goods, safe handling practices and emergency procedures.

You can get emergency response information from safety data sheets or a handbook such as SAA/SNZ HB76:2010 Dangerous goods – initial emergency response guide. You can get these from:


Standards New Zealand
Private Bag 2439
Wellington 6140

Phone 0800 782 632 or +64 4 498 5990 link)

Responsible Care New Zealand
PO Box 5557
Wellington 6145

Phone +64 4 499 4311 link)

Transporting large quantities of dangerous goods

Table 1 shows which sections of the rule apply depending on the nature and quantity of dangerous goods you are transporting.

Schedule 1 of the rule shows the maximum amount of different dangerous goods that you can transport as tools-of trade, for agricultural use or commercial purposes.

If the quantities being transported exceed the limits in schedule 1, then you must comply with all the requirements of the Rule. This includes requirements for:

  • packaging
  • identification
  • documentation
  • segregation
  • placarding
  • transport procedures as they apply to licensed transport service operators
  • having a D endorsement on your driver licence (note: a D endorsement is not required to transport environmentally hazardous substances that are toxic to the aquatic environment (UN 3077 or UN 3082) such as high flashpoint diesel.
Table 1: Guide to the provisions of the rule (for dangerous goods both within and above the limit in schedule 1)
Nature and quantityPackagingLabelling and markingDocumentsSegregationPlacardsTransport proceduresTraining
DGLQ1 and con coms2 and other dangerous goods3 within the limit in schedule 1 of the rule section 3 section
not required
7.45 GSR4
and ERI6
Above the limit
in schedule 1 of the rule
section 3 section 4 section 5 section 6 section 7 section 8 section 9

1 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.

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

3 Other dangerous goods includes those packaged in the types and sizes of packaging permitted in subclause 3.2(8) and dangerous goods in excepted quantities or excepted packages of radioactive material transported in accordance with clause 2.9.

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

5 Placards are not generally required for transporting dangerous goods as tools-of-trade when the quantity is within the limits in schedule 1. However, placards must be permanently displayed on bulk containers for environmentally hazardous substances (UN 3077 or UN 3082). This includes tank trailers and portable tanks for high flash point diesel and some agrichemical products that may be transported as tools-of-trade in bulk.

6 ERI: emergency response information. This is information, which identifies the goods, their hazards and the procedures to follow in an emergency.

Where you can find out more

Download Factsheet 68: Dangerous goods transported as tools-of-trade [PDF, 312 KB]