Dangerous Goods are articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in the ICAO Technical Instructions, or which are classified according these Instructions.

Class 1 - Explosives, articles and substances are assigned to one of six divisions and to one of thirteen compatibility groups. Not all compatibility groups are to be found in all divisions.

Only explosives in Division 1.4, compatibility group S are permitted on passenger aircraft.

Only explosives in Division 1.3, compatibility groups C and G and Division 1.4, compatibility groups B, C, D, E, G and S are permitted on a cargo aircraft. (Approvals or Exemptions are often necessary).

Class 2 - Gases, compressed, liquefied, dissolved, refrigerated liquefied gases; mixtures of one or more gases with one or more vapours of substances of other classes; articles charged with a gas, and aerosols.

This class has three Divisions:

  • 2.1 Flammable Gas (RFG) - gases which at 20°C and a standard pressure of 101,3 kPa are ignitable when in a mixture of 13 % or less by volume with air; or have a flammable range with air of at least 12 percentage points regardless of the lower flammable limit, e.g. Propane, Butane
  • 2.2 Non-flammable, Non-toxic Gas (RNG or RCL) - gases which are asphyxiant, oxidizing or do not come under the other divisions, e.g. carbon dioxide, compressed gas
  • 2.3 Toxic Gas (RPG) - gases which are known to be so toxic or corrosive to humans as to pose a hazard to health or are presumed to be toxic or corrosive to humans, e.g. carbon monoxide

Class 3 - Flammable Liquids, includes the following substances:

  • Flammable Liquids (RFL) - Liquids or mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids in solution or in suspension, e.g. paints, lacquers
  • Liquid desensitized explosives (RFL) - are explosive substances which are dissolved or suspended in water or other liquid substances, to form a homogeneous liquid mixture to suppress their explosive properties, e.g. Nitroglycerin solution in alcohol max. 1 %

Class 3 has no divisions, flammable liquids are assigned to packing groups according to the flash point and the boiling point of the liquid (ICAO Technical Instructions Table 2-4)

Class 4 - Flammable Solids; Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion; Substances which in Contact with Water, Emit Flammable Gases Three Divisions:

4.1 Flammable Solids; Self-reactive Substances; and Desensitized Explosives:

  • Flammable Solids (RFS) - are readily combustible solids and solids which may cause fire through friction, e.g. Matches, Phosphorus amorphous
  • Self-reactive Substances (RFS) - are thermally unstable substances liable to undergo a strongly exothermic decomposition even without the participation of oxygen (air) e.g. Benzenesulphonyl hydrazide
  • Solid Desensitized Explosives (RFS) - are explosive substances which are wetted with water or alcohols or are diluted with other substances to form a homogeneous solid mixture to suppress their explosive properties, e.g. Ammonium picrate, wetted

4.2 Substances Liable to Spontaneous Combustion (RSC) - are liable to spontaneous heating under normal conditions encountered in transport, or to heating up in contact with air, and being then liable to catch fire, e.g. Phosphorus white and yellow

4.3 Substances which, in Contact with Water, Emit Flammable Gases (RFW) - Substances, which, by interaction with water, are liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable gases in dangerous quantities, e.g. Sodium, Potassium

Class 5 - Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides

Two Divisions:

  • 5.1 Oxidizing Substances (ROX) - are substances which, in themselves are not necessarily combustible, but may generally cause or contribute to the combustion of other material by yielding oxygen, e.g. whitener, chlorates
  • 5.2 Organic Peroxides (ROP) - are thermally unstable substances which may undergo exothermic, self-accelerating decomposition. In addition, they may have one or more of the following properties: be liable to explosive decomposition, burn rapidly, be sensitive to impact friction, react dangerously with other substances or cause damage to the eye, e.g. Dibenzoylperoxide, Cyclohexanone peroxides

Class 6 - Toxic and Infectious Substances

Two Divisions:

  • 6.1 Toxic Substances (RPB) - which are liable to cause death or injury or to harm human health if swallowed, inhaled or contacted by the skin, e.g. Arsenic, Nicotine. Packing Groups must be allocated by using the LD50 - or LC50 -value (ICAO Technical Instructions Table 2-8)
  • 6.2 Infectious Substances (RIS) - are know or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens. Pathogens are defined as micro-organisms and other agents such as prions, which can cause disease in humans or animals, e.g. HIV, parasites, fungi

lass 7 - Radioactive Material (RRW, RRY) means any material containing radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity in the consignment exceed the values specified in Table 2-12 of the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Radioactive material must be assigned to one of the proper shipping names/UN numbers specified in Table 2-11 of the ICAO Technical Instructions, depending on the activity level of the radionuclides, the type of package to be presented for transport, and the nature or form of the contents of the package, or special arrangements governing the transport operation.

A distinction is drawn between:

  • Excepted Package
  • Low Specific Activity Material (LSA)
  • Surface Contaminated Objects (SCO)
  • Type A Package
  • Type B(U) Package
  • Type B(M) Package
  • Type C Package
  • Radioactive Material under Special Arrangement
  • Uranium Hexafluoride

Class 8 - Corrosives (RCM) - Substances which by chemical action, can cause severe damage when in contact with living tissue or, in the case of leakage will materially damage or even destroy, other goods or the means of transport, e.g. acids, Benzotrichloride

Class 8 has no divisions; the packing group must be assigned based on corrosivity (ICAO Technical Instructions Part 2; 8.2.5).

Class 9 - Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods (RMD) - Articles and substances, which during air transport, present a danger not covered by other classes, e.g. engines (internal combustion), vehicles, consumer commodity, dry ice, magnetized material.