Understanding Dangerous Goods Compliance and Why It Matters

As of late 2017, there were 1.4 million dangerous goods shipments being made per day in the United States. This makes dangerous goods compliance an even more important topic than it has been before. Of course, it helps to understand what dangerous goods (DG) compliance is, and how it impacts not just your business, but others.

What Is DG Compliance?

Dangerous goods compliance is nothing more or less than ensuring that goods labeled as being potentially dangerous or hazardous are packaged, shipped, stored and delivered appropriately. This is vital for a number of reasons, including:

  • Protecting the item(s) from exposure or threats
  • Protecting other items in shipment from exposure to dangerous/hazardous goods
  • Protecting shipping and warehousing personnel from exposure or threats
  • Protecting consignees from exposure or threats

What Does DG Compliance Apply To?

Dangerous goods compliance can apply to any products or goods that are deemed dangerous or potentially hazardous. This includes some relatively common threats, such as the danger of explosion with pure oxygen, or the danger of shipping combustible fluids or gases. However, there are other potential threats here, such as shipping chemicals used to create products like printer toner, or shipping pharmaceuticals.

Who Owns DG Compliance?

One of the single largest challenges with dangerous goods compliance is determining who owns those compliance steps, and who is held accountable should compliance requirements not be met. Obviously, a company’s compliance department is ultimately responsible here, but what if a corporation has a siloed structure in which there are multiple facilities with their own compliance requirements? Is compliance only part of the shipping and logistics area for the company, or is there a full EHS department involved?

New Regulations

Further muddying the waters is the fact that dangerous goods compliance requirements continue to change and evolve. Simply keeping track of relevant requirements can be a daunting prospect for many businesses. This is particularly true for companies that still rely on manual compliance processes, or the need to scale back personnel to reduce costs, which often impacts compliance teams.

Working with a third-party to ensure compliance of dangerous goods shipments can help. It ensures that you are able to work with an expert who understands the requirements that pertain to your industry and product intrinsically, removes the burden of staffing your own compliance experts, and removes the risk of failure to comply with regulations.

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