IATA Posts 2018 Dangerous Goods Acceptance Checklists for Air Shipments

Posted on December 5,2017 by Joel Gregier

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently posted new 2018 acceptance checklists for airline operators to use before accepting dangerous goods for air transport. These new acceptance checklists supplement the 59th Edition IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), which takes effect January 1, 2018.

The new checklists are available now on IATA’s website.

IATA Dangerous Goods Checklist for a Non-Radioactive Shipment
IATA Dangerous Goods Checklist for a Radioactive Shipment
IATA Dangerous Goods Checklist for Dry Ice

Using an Acceptance Checklist for Dangerous Goods Shipments by Air

Plane_Packages_On_LoadingBelt_3.gifThe process an operator/airline goes through to accept dangerous goods air shipments is significantly more complicated than the process for accepting similar types of ground shipments. This is due to the fact that there is a higher level of risk associated with shipping dangerous goods by air and less room for error than when these packages are shipped by ground.

One of the additional requirements for accepting dangerous goods air shipments is to utilize an acceptance checklist to verify the shipper properly prepared the DG shipment.

Using an Acceptance Checklist Is the Operator’s Responsibility

The IATA DGR regulations prohibit operators from accepting packages of dangerous goods UNLESS the operator has verified that the shipment is in full compliance with the applicable IATA requirements. Operators are required to document the process of accepting packages of dangerous goods using a standard acceptance checklist.

As such, the shipper of the dangerous goods package does not have to use an acceptance checklist. That responsibility is put on the carrier/airline. But a shipper may find it useful to go through an acceptance checklist anyway.

Why Shippers May Want to Use an Acceptance Checklist

Plane_Landing_Taking_off_98922308.jpgEven though they are not required to use an acceptance checklist, shippers may find it useful to utilize one. The main advantage is that it will confirm to the shipper that the package will not be rejected. If the shipper can get all the way through the checklist, then he knows that the operator will also make it through, and thus will not reject the shipment.

This is particularly useful for shipments that a shipper may not offer frequently or may not be as comfortable shipping. For these situations, it might be reassuring to double-check that everything was done correctly.

There are many things that can be confirmed through the use of a checklist before a shipment, including, but not limited to, that:
  • The packages are in good condition;
  • The number of packages in the shipment and the quantity of goods match what the shipping paper says should be there;
  • The packaging specification rating (e.g., the X, Y, or Z that appears on the UN certification mark) is appropriate for the dangerous goods that are in the package;
  • The type of packaging used is actually permitted by the applicable packing instruction for the material; and
  • The marks and labels on the package are accurate.

Where Can I Find a Copy of the Acceptance Checklist?

59th-Edition-IATA-DGR.jpgThe IATA regulations have a sample acceptance checklist that can be found at the back of the DGR in the “Index” section. There are three types of checklists: one for “non-radioactive” shipments, one for “radioactive” shipments, and one for “dry ice” shipments. You can simply make a photocopy of these.

You can find the 2018 checklists under “Checklists for the 59th Edition” on this page.

Another helpful place to look is the operator websites. Most operators create their own unique checklists that are similar to the generic IATA form. If you are using a particular airline, it may be best to use its checklist, because that will be the one the operator will be using to verify your shipment. If you cannot find a checklist on the operator’s website, simply use a search engine with a keyword search such as “OPERATOR NAME acceptance checklist.” They are usually not difficult to find.

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