Transporting chemicals

Most chemicals are classified as 'dangerous goods' and their transport is regulated. You must follow these regulations or risk personal prosecution.

Be aware that the transport of dangerous goods requires: 

  • The driver of the vehicle to have a dangerous goods endorsement on their driver's licence.
  • The vehicle to display dangerous goods placarding at the front and rear of the vehicle
  • Dangerous goods declarations and associated documentation
  • Use of approved packaging and marking
  • Adequate segregation of chemicals.

Note:

  • The transport of chemicals (i.e. transport of dangerous goods) is quite complex and the requirements must be adhered to at all times. Unless small quantities of one or two chemicals are being transported (see below), the transport of chemicals must be entrusted to commercial carriers with a Dangerous Goods licence endorsement.
  • Chemicals must never be carried on public transport.

Rules for packaging chemicals for transport by a carrier

  • Each UN Class of chemical must be packaged separately.
  • Each package must be prominently labelled 'Dangerous Goods—UN Class X' (and refer to the title of the UN Class).
  • UN Class 4.1, 4.3, 5.1 and 5.2 chemicals must be transported separately from any other UN class of compound. The carrier must carry them on another vehicle or make another trip.

Transport of individual chemicals as 'tools of trade'

Small quantities of one or two chemicals (less than 2 litres and 2 kg) can be transported under the provision for 'tools of trade' in the Land Transport Regulations, provided the chemical is not highly hazardous (see 2 below).

  1. Larger quantities of chemicals must be transported using a chemical courier.
  2. Highly Hazardous chemicals—UN Class 3.1 (Packing Group 1), 4.1, 4.3, 5.1 (Packing Group 1) and 5.2 chemicals cannot be transported as ‘tools of trade’ and must be transported using a chemical courier with a Dangerous Goods license endorsement.

The following only applies to transport of one or two chemicals less than 2 litres or 2 kg that do not qualify as highly hazardous (see 2 above) and invoke the 'tools of trade' provision. 

  • Use of private vehicles is strongly discouraged as any accident may not be covered by private vehicle insurance.
  • Persons who are transporting the chemicals must document that they have consulted the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and determined the compound not to be highly hazardous. More information: SDS.
  • If University vehicles are used the proposed transport must have the relevant manager’s approval.
  • Each UN Class of chemical must be packaged separately.
  • Each package should be prominently labelled 'Dangerous Goods: UN Class X' (and refer to the title of the UN Class), the UN Packing Group and the UN Number of the compound. The label must be clear, legible and properly fixed to the container or the overpack. The UN Number and Packaging Group can be obtained from Gold FFX.
  • Packages must be secured inside the vehicle.
  • There must be a record of the packages and contents which should be readily available to emergency services in the event of an accident. This record must be kept in a prominent place inside the vehicle.
  • There must be brief instructions about measures to be taken in the event of an emergency. A copy of 'Mini-MSDS' will suffice. This document must also be kept in a prominent place inside the vehicle. You can download and print a copy of this document printed from Gold FFX.

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 2019
Next Review: Dec 2022
Owner: hsw@auckland.ac.nz
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing