Transport documents

Transport documents are generally required whenever dangerous goods are being transported in NSW. Transport documents contain information including a description of the dangerous goods and the number of packages or receptacles in the load.

Consignors who transport dangerous goods by road must ensure the prime contractor or driver has a transport document describing the dangerous goods.

Prime contractors who are responsible for transporting dangerous goods must ensure the driver has been given a transport document for each consignment of dangerous goods.

Drivers must ensure their transport documents

  • are carried in the vehicle’s cabin
  • are made available to any authorised person and emergency services if requested

If the vehicle is transporting a placard load, transport documents must be carried in the emergency information holder.

A transport document must not be in a sealed envelope or kept in any way that would prevent the driver reading it.

Information required in a transport document

The following information − in English and legible − must be included in a transport document.

  • Consignor's name and telephone number.
  • A description of the dangerous goods. Much of this information should be available from
    • the package label
    • the safety data sheet (SDS) for the product
    • the product’s supplier, manufacturer or importer

The description should include

  • United Nations number (UN number) – see the Australian Dangerous Goods Code
  • the proper shipping name, or the name of the goods which appears on the packaging or receptacle
  • dangerous goods class or division
  • subsidiary hazard (if applicable)
  • packing group (if applicable)
  • a description of each receptacle, e.g. 'drum' or 'intermediate bulk container' (IBC)

The number of packages or receptacles of each type.

The 'aggregate quantity' of the goods. This is the total quantity in litres or kilograms of each separate type of dangerous good being transported. The aggregate quantities shown must always reflect the actual quantities currently in the vehicle. It must be updated as dangerous goods are unloaded from the vehicle. This does not apply to tank vehicles transporting class 2 gases.

Transport document format

There is no standard format for a transport document in Australia. Transport documents may be in any suitable format, provided all the required information is included and the documentation is of a size and form that is suitable for carrying in the emergency holder.

Example transport document

Transport document

Consignor's name                                                     Consignor's contact number
Jones Australia Pty Ltd                                              (02) 8888 8888
Parramatta NSW 2222

Order number J44376

Brown & Jolly
Stuart Terrace
Richley Heights NSW 2879

Invoice number    83456

Date                        30 November 2011

Transported by
SCD Transport
Petersham NSW

UN number

Proper shipping name

Class/ division

Subsidiary hazard

Packing group

Container type

Number of containers

Aggregate quantity





200 L drum


400 L


Sulfuric acid, fuming




1 L bottle

5 cartons

15 L


Washing powder





10 cartons

400 kg


Combination vehicles

When dangerous goods are transported in a placard load on a combination road vehicle such as a B-Double, the transport document must indicate which dangerous goods are stowed in each trailer.

Residues and uncleaned packaging

Intermediate bulk containers, tank vehicles and others containing only residues must also be described in transport documents, by stating, for example, empty/uncleaned or residues.

Empty packaging, such as dangerous goods drums that have not been cleaned or contain only residues, may be described in a transport document as empty DG drums, DG residues or similar. A further description is not required.

Waste dangerous goods

Transport documents are required for wastes which are also dangerous goods.

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