Disclaimer: The terms defined here are written to simplify their practical understanding and are for guidance purposes only. These descriptions are not the regulatory definitions and customer should consult the regulations to ensure compliance.
CAO: Cargo Aircraft Only. Some dangerous goods are only allowed to be transported on cargo aircraft for safety reasons. If a specific dangerous good is designated as CAO it is identified as such in the ICAO Technical instructions, and other air regulations, along with the quantity allowed.
Consumer Commodity: An alternate description used to identify a Limited Quantity shipment (see Limited Quantity). Consumer Commodity shipments are dangerous goods.
Excepted Quantity: An exemption in the regulations that allows for very small amounts and/or very low risk dangerous goods to be prepared for transport without meeting all the requirements for fully regulated shipments. The TDGR has this exemption only for low risk radioactive shipments (Section 1.43). The ICAO Technical Instructions has this exemption for many dangerous goods with the maximum amounts allowable shown in the reference table of UN numbers.
Fully Regulated: Fully Regulated substances and materials offered for transport require full marking, labeling, specification packaging (where applicable) and dangerous goods documentation.
Handling label: A label that identifies specific features or requirements for the proper handling of a shipment. These are distinct from hazard labels and are square or rectangular in shape. Some examples are shown below.
Hazard label: A label that defines the class/division of dangerous goods contained in a shipment. Hazard labels must always be displayed “square on point” (diamond shaped). Some examples are shown below.
ICAO TI: International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions
Limited Quantity: An exemption in the regulations that allows for small quantities of dangerous goods to be prepared for transport without meeting all the requirements for fully regulated shipments. (Section 1.17 in TDGR). Limited Quantity shipments are dangerous goods and are marked with the words “Limited Quantity” or “Ltd. Qty.” or “Consumer Commodity” or the Limited Quantity mark. Purolator accepts Limited Quantity shipments for ground transport only.
Means of containment: A container or packaging that is used to contain goods. For most small parcel shipments there will be the container that holds the dangerous goods (inner means of containment) which is placed into the package, usually a fibreboard box (outer means of containment).
ORM-D: Other Regulated Material-Domestic. An alternate description used in the United States only to identify Limited Quantity type shipments (see Limited Quantity). ORM-D shipments may contain dangerous goods.
Packing Group: Some classes of dangerous goods have differing levels of risk which are identified as Packing Groups. There are three levels known as Packing Group I, Packing Group II and Packing Group III with PG I having the highest risk, PG II medium risk and PG III the lowest risk.
Placards: Large diamond-shaped signs that are placed on all four sides of a vehicle that is carrying dangerous goods. Placards are not required for most dangerous goods in small parcel shipments.
Proper Shipping Name: Each individual dangerous good listed by UN number has a specific description known as the Proper Shipping Name. Similar to the unique UN number, there is a unique Proper Shipping Name which is different than a technical name or common name. As an example, the Proper Shipping Name for UN 1170 is “Ethanol” or “Ethyl Alcohol” or “Ethyl Alcohol Solution”.
Safety mark: Any identifier on a dangerous goods shipment used to show compliance with the regulations or the type of dangerous goods contained in the shipment. These identifiers can include a design, symbol, device, sign, label, placard, letter, word, number or abbreviation, or any combination of these things. An example of the first type (compliance) would be the United Nations mark placed on a fiberboard box to show the box conforms to the UN Performance Standards. Examples of the second type are UN numbers, Proper shipping names, and hazard labels.
TDGA: Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (Canada)
TDGR: Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Canada)
UN number: The official number assigned by the United Nations dangerous goods regulatory body to individual chemicals, materials or products. These are 4-digit numbers preceded by “UN” and are recognized internationally for dangerous goods. An example is UN1170, Ethanol. The list of recognized UN numbers is provided in the TDG regulations (Schedule 1) and in the ICAO Technical Instructions.