Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD)


A DGD is used when shipping hazardous materials.

By signing the declaration, the shipper confirms that the goods have been  packaged, labelled, and declared according to the regulations. The declaration informs the carrier about the exact nature of the dangerous goods being shipped. Chapter 5.4 of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods specifies the provisions for the mandatory documentation to be used during the transport of dangerous goods by all modes (air, maritime, road, rail and inland navigation). They allow the use of electronic data processing and electronic data interchange transmission as an alternative to paper documentation.

As a matter of aviation safety, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed a specific requirement for a transport document for dangerous goods transported by air.


Supplier, shipper, logistic service provider, consignor


Buyer, regulator, bank, government agency, operator, carrier, customs authority, consignee

Legal requirement

For carriage of dangerous goods by road and inland navigation, the recommendations of the UN Model Regulations are implemented through the Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)  and the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN) as well as those for rail through the Regulation concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID). Detailed provisions including a multimodal dangerous goods form are provided in Chapter 5.4 of these legal instruments.

The air declaration is part of ICAO guidance on how states may comply with the standards and recommended practices of Annex 18 – The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO Doc 7300). This guidance is fully detailed in the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284). The declaration may be in hard copy or electronic.

As a matter of public law, states may apply this ICAO guidance through their national regulations, giving them legal force.

Regarding private law, consignors may be required to prepare a form certifying that the cargo has been packed, labelled and declared according with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).


According to the guidelines on the use of RID/ADR/ADN, the electronic data exchange is allowed to satisfy the documentation requirements of Chapter 5.4, provided the procedure for capturing, storing and processing the data meet the legal requirements as regards evidential value and availability during transport in a manner at least equivalent to that of paper documentation. However, RID/ADR/ADN does not further define this equivalence.

The IATA e-DGD initiative was launched at the end of 2016.


The UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Model Regulations lay down the provisions for required documentation in transport of goods by all modes and are aligned with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, specifically Annex 18 and the ICAO Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284). However, IATA does not authorise the use of the multimodal forms—as permitted by the model regulations for transport—in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, which are industry standards beyond the ICAO requirements.

Such exclusion of a multimodal solution in the contemporary operating environment yields duplication in documentation requirements that can impede multimodal transport of goods at a time when they are a growing trend. Eliminating this exclusion for air could simplify processes, considering the trend and enable more seamless sharing of safety-critical cargo information across the entire supply chain.


Cargo Community Systems (CCS) are the emerging platform for sharing DGDs and data from other relevant documents.


  • Address and contact details of shipper and receiver
  • Emergency contact details
  • Proper shipping name of the dangerous goods (e.g. Acetone)
  • Quantity
  • UN number (e.g. UN 1090): The four-digit number that identifies the type of dangerous goods being shipped. It is found on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) under section 14.
  • Class or division (subsidiary hazard)
  • Net weight of dangerous goods and total shipment weight (if required)
  • DG packing group I, II or III (if required)
  • Whether the dangerous goods are radioactive or not
  • Additional handling information (if required)


Increased digitalisation of regulators and authorities who require the document, as well as concomitant standards are necessary for increased digital adoption. An example is the European Commission, which is working now on the implementation of the Electronic Freight Transport Information Regulation (eFTI) and will use the MMT RDM—itself incorporating the DGD—as the common interface for multimodal data exchange. Emerging standards that could further increase digital adoption include verifiable credentials and other decentralised architectures.