Dangerous goods: NSW overview

The EPA regulates the transport of dangerous goods in NSW. Dangerous goods are substances and objects that pose acute risks to people, property and the environment due to their chemical or physical characteristics.

To determine if a product is a dangerous good, you can

  • check its label
  • check its shipping or transport documents
  • check the product's safety data sheet (previously called the materials safety data sheet)
  • check with the manufacturer or supplier of the product
  • check if the product is listed in the dangerous goods list in the ADG Code and is not excluded by a special provision detailed in column 7 of that list
  • have the products tested to the classification criteria of the ADG Code or UN Manual

The EPA regulates the transport of dangerous goods

  • by road
  • by rail, in conjunction with the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator

The EPA carries out regular audits of dangerous goods transport to ensure compliance with legislative requirements.

SafeWork NSW regulates activities prior to transport, including correct classification, packaging and labelling.

In NSW, dangerous goods transport is administered under the

The above legislation controls the transport of all dangerous goods except

Dangerous goods are classified under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG Code) and the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria (UN Manual).

The Road and Rail Transport Checklist for Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitiser (PDF 897KB) is a guide to assist people who pack, consign, load or transport alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are classified as dangerous goods.  If you have additional questions regarding the transport of hand sanitiser or have any questions about the Checklist email hazardous.materials@epa.nsw.gov.au

The National Code of Practice for Chemicals of Security Concern contains practical tips for industry, including transporters, to assess and reduce their chemical security risks.

Other jurisdictions and agencies administering legislation for transporting dangerous goods

Dangerous goods sold online from e-commerce websites such as eBay and Gumtree must comply with the relevant legislation and the ADG Code. Very small amounts of dangerous goods in individual consignments are exempt, in accordance with Clause 6 (2) (a) of the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014 and table of the ADG Code (Edition 7.5). 

The seller is responsible for ensuring dangerous goods are transported lawfully. Sellers consigning dangerous goods must ensure the goods are classified correctly.

  • Ensure the goods are packaged correctly for transport.
  • Ensure the goods are labelled correctly.
  • Provide a dangerous goods transport document to the transporter.

Online sellers of dangerous goods must engage a courier/transport company that transports dangerous goods in accordance with the ADG Code.

Note that Australia Post prohibits the transport of a large number of articles or substances classified as dangerous goods. View the Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide.

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