How to Fill Dangerous Goods Declaration

Do you know how to fill dangerous goods declaration? An incorrectly filled dangerous goods declaration can put lives of transport workers and ships at risk.

In maritime transport the decision to place a container on a specific location on board vessel is purely taken from the information provided in Dangerous Goods Declaration. Majority of the stakeholders do not physically see the packages or containers with its labels, marks, or placards to make any decision to accept to load or where to place it viz on deck or under deck or the segregation from other containers. This sums up the prime importance of correctly filled dangerous goods declaration.

Common deficiencies noticed in Dangerous Goods Containers

Below is the Consolidated result of container inspection programmes carried out by IMO member countries


Almost 10% containers had various deficiencies with compliance including documentation.

Filling up Dangerous Goods Declaration

You may download DGD here DGD

This is Multimodal Dangerous Goods Form which can be used for any mode of transport and is acceptable by IMDG Code for sea transport also. There may be certain points which are not applicable for sea transport, example Aircraft limitations.

For ease of understanding we will divide this exercise into three sections, box 1 to 13, box 14 & Box 15 to 22

Box 1 to 13

1 Shipper/Consignor/Sender

Fill up full address of the shipper

2 Transport document number

This box is for booking number issued by Carrier

3 Page 1 of pages

Here page number must be entered consecutively.  Example if the DGD has only 1 page then entre as Page 1 of 1 Pages.  If the DGD has 3 pages then on first sheet entre Page 1 of 3 pages, on second page entre page 2 of 3 pages and on third page entre page 3 of 3 pages.  Numbering pages consecutively is mandatory and important to identify exact missing page, if any, during transport.

4 Shipper’s reference

This box is for entering shipper’s on reference number, such as his own booking number.

5 Freight forwarder’s reference

If freight forwarder has their own booking number it can be entered here.

6 Consignee

Here we must entre full address of the consignee

7 Carrier (to be completed by the carrier)

This box will be filled by carrier with their name. Example Maersk Line, MOL, MSC etc.

8 This shipment is within the limitations prescribed for: (Delete non-applicable)

This section is applicable only for air transport hence can be ignored for ocean transport

9 Additional handling information

In this box shipper can fill in any additional handling requirement. It can be preferring underdeck stowage or away from heat etc. However, carrier will stow the box only according to IMDG Code requirement for stowage and carrier’s own in-house rule.

10 Vessel/flight No. and date

Fill in here vessel’s name and date. Date can be either the date of preparing the DGD or the date of handing over DGD to the first carrier.

11 Port/place of loading

First port of loading to be filled here

12 Port/place of discharge

Last port of discharge to be filled here

13 Destination

Final destination to be filled here.

Box 14

This is the most important field where dangerous goods information need to be filled in.

Any additional information provided in this filed or any other field, refer box no.9, must not

  • divert attention from the safety information required by IMDG Code or by the competent authority;
  • contradict the safety information required by IMDG Code or by the competent authority; or
  • duplicate information already provided.


Description of Dangerous Goods must only be entered in below sequence without any change.

  1. the UN number preceded by the letters “UN”;
  2. the proper shipping name, including the technical name enclosed in parenthesis, when special provision 274 or 318 is assigned in column 6
  3. the primary hazard class or, when assigned, the division of the goods, including, for class 1, the compatibility group letter. The words “Class” or “Division” may be included preceding the primary hazard class or division numbers;
  4. subsidiary hazard class or division number(s) corresponding to the subsidiary risk label(s) required to be applied, when assigned, shall be entered following the primary hazard class or division and shall be enclosed in parenthesis. The words “Class” or “Division” may be included preceding the subsidiary hazard class or division numbers;
  5. where assigned, the packing group for the substance or article, which may be preceded by “PG” (e.g.“PG II”).

Always remember “dangerous goods description means points 1 to 5 mentioned above.

Examples of dangerous goods descriptions:

UN 1098, ALLYL ALCOHOL 6.1 (3) I (21°C c.c.)

UN 1098, ALLYL ALCOHOL, class 6.1, (class 3), PG I, (21°C c.c.)

UN 1092, Acrolein, stabilized, class 6.1 (3), PG I, (-24°C c.c.), MARINE POLLUTANT/ENVIRONMENTALLY


UN 2761, Organochlorine pesticide, solid, toxic, (Aldrin 19%), class 6.1, PG III, MARINE POLLUTANT

In above examples flashpoint within brackets, word marine pollutant and technical name within bracket (Aldrin 19%) are information which supplement the proper shipping name.

After above description, other details such as details of package and quantities need to be entered.

Empty Uncleaned Package

If the package is uncleaned and returning with residue then the words “EMPTY UNCLEANED” or “RESIDUE LAST CONTAINED must be entered before or after the dangerous goods description.


EMPTY UNCLEANED UN 1098, ALLYL ALCOHOL 6.1 (3) I (21°C c.c.)


UN 1098, ALLYL ALCOHOL 6.1 (3) I (21°C c.c.) EMPTY UNCLEANED

Quantity of dangerous goods

 Total quantity of dangerous goods must be entered for each item of dangerous goods bearing a different proper shipping name, UN number or packing group.

Example 10 steel drums 100 KG or 100 fibreboard boxes 1000 kg.

No need to declare net weight or details of inner packing however most carriers insist for this information as well as full description of package hence it be better to declare as below

10 steel non-removable head drums 100 kg gross weight 75 kg net weight


100 fibre board boxes, 2000 glass bottles 1000 kg gross weight 800 kg net weight.

For class 1 explosives the quantity must be net explosive mass, for empty uncleaned packages such as empty uncleaned IBCs or Tanks no need to declare the quantity.

Limited Quantities and Excepted Quantities

If the shipment is in limited quantities the words “limited quantity”

or “LTD QTY” must be included.

If the shipment is in excepted quantities words “dangerous goods in excepted quantities” must be included.

There may be various other requirements for specific information depending on the goods being transported.

Continuation page

If there are more goods which cannot be fitted into box 14 of the first page then continuation page must be used where boxes 1 to 5 must be same as in page 1 and box 3 must have page numbers entered consecutively.

Additional document

Some of the goods may require additional document to be attached with DGD such as a weathering certificate; as required in the individual entries of the Dangerous Goods List.

Boxes 15 to 22

15 Container identification No./ vehicle registration No.

Entre the container number here

16 Seal number(s)

Entre the seal number here

17 Container/vehicle size & type

Entre the size and type of container here

18 Tare mass (kg)

Empty container or empty tank weight to be entered here

19 Total gross mass (including tare) (kg)

This box must be filled with total weight of cargo + weight of dunnage + empty container weight.

20 Name of company

This is the box where the details of the company who packs the container need to be filled in. Packer of the container may be the shipper himself of a consolidator.  The container packing certificate is not
required for tanks.


Receiver to fill in this box as acknowledgement


Here fill in the shipper’s details.

If the DGD is prepared electronically then the signature may be replaced with by the name(s) (in capitals) of the person authorized to sign.

Shippers who sign the DGD is undertaking the declaration written just below box 7 which reads

I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described below by the proper shipping name, and are classified, packaged, marked and labelled/placarded and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to the applicable international and national governmental regulations.

 For full details for how to fill in DGD correctly please refer to chapter 5.4 of IMDG Code and do not forget to refer special provisions which may have additional requirement with respect to additional documents or marks.


Further reading

IMDG Code 38-16 Training, -May 2017 – Mumbai

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