dangerous goods note

What Is a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)?

When it comes to shipping dangerous goods, they often require an accompanying document that indicates vital information about the shipment and the cargo in question. The document requirements vary between countries and one important document is the DGN. 

A Dangerous Goods Note (DGN) is a multimodal transport document that needs to be submitted for exports from the United Kingdom. The DGN contains important cargo (dangerous goods) and shipping information for the local authorities, forwarders, and respective supply chain stakeholders. 

Take note that the Dangerous Goods Note, also known as the Dangerous Goods Declaration Note, is only required when exporting dangerous goods. For cargo that is classified as non-dangerous, a Standard Shipping Note (SSN) is submitted instead. The use of these two transport documents is widely practiced for shipments originating from the UK.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what a Dangerous goods Note is, who submits this document, what type of dangerous goods (DG) it’s applicable for, and what type of information a DGN contains. Let’s get to it!

What Types of Cargo Requires a Dangerous Goods Note?

All shipments containing dangerous goods that are transported via land, air, and sea require the use of a Dangerous Goods Note. It’s also important to note that various organizations and associations classify dangerous goods according to the mode of transport. 

Examples are the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Maritime Organization (IMO), and various others. Let’s take a closer look at the distinction of DGN classifications between sea freight and air freight. 

Dangerous Goods Note For Air Freight Shipments

For airfreight shipments, dangerous goods are categorized into 9 different classes. These are defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in close collaboration with The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is an agency of the United Nations (UN).

You’ll need to submit a DGN if your cargo classifies as per the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and its defined classes:

  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Gases
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Substances
  • Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Dangerous Goods Note For Sea Freight Shipments

For sea freight shipments, the global standard for shipping dangerous goods is defined and regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and is also categorized into 9 different classes.  

A Dangerous Goods Note is required when exporting cargo from the UK that is classified as DG cargo by the IMO. The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code classifies dangerous goods into the following classes:

  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Gases: Compressed, Liquefied, or Dissolved under Pressure
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids or Substances
  • Class 6: Toxic and infectious Substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive Substances
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

Who Submits the Dangerous Goods Note?

As with all dangerous goods-related documents, the shipper (also known as the seller or consignor) is responsible for the submission of the Dangerous Goods Note. 

However, there are certain parties, such as freight forwarders or agents who can submit the DGN on the behalf of the shipper. Regardless, the shipper is ultimately responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the document.  

What Information is Found on a Dangerous Goods Note?

A Dangerous Goods Note contains relevant shipping and cargo information as well as details about the shipper and the consignee. Below, you’ll find a list of the most important fields. 

  • Exporter / Shipper – The exporter or the shipper is also the sender of the goods. This is the same party that is mentioned in the shipper box that can be found on the bill of lading. 
  • Importer / Consignee – The receiver of the goods for shipment is also known as the buyer, importer, or consignee. This party also appears in the consignee box that is found in the bill of lading. 
  • Freight Forwarder – The company appointed by the shipper or the consignee to transport the goods from the origin to the destination. 
  • Booking Number – This is a unique reference number to track your booking or shipment and is provided by the freight forwarder or shipping line. 
  • Port of Loading / Origin Airport – The origin seaport or airport where the shipment is being loaded. 
  • Port of Discharge / Destination Airport – The destination seaport or airport where the shipment is arriving at. 
  • Vessel / Flight Number – The name of the vessel or aircraft where the cargo is loaded and transported.
  • Cargo Details – Specific details about the cargo such as UN number, shipping name, DG Class, packing group, weight, and additional handling instructions or relevant shipping information.
  • Container Number – The assigned container number given by the carrier at the time of export as verified by the shipper during the export procedure. 
  • Seal Number – The seal number that was used to seal the shipping container. 
  • Signatures – Confirmation made by the shipper that all declared information is accurate. Also signifies that the items were classified properly, packed to recognized standards, labeled properly and placed in visible areas of the packaging, and comply with all local regulations. 

Where Can I Find the Dangerous Goods Note Sheet?

If you’re submitting this document for the first time, we suggest that you work with a freight forwarder or seek guidance from the relevant local authorities. 

You’ll be able to find more information and the Dangerous Goods Note template on the official website of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Visit the link below for more information: