Shipping Terms Glossary

Shipping Terms Glossary
Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)

Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)

According to transportation regulations, if you are shipping goods classified as "Dangerous Goods", you will need a DGN.

What is a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)?

Also referred to as Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD), it's a document that outlines what the dangers of the transported goods are.


DGN or DGD provide details on how to best handle and transport the goods, especially in the case of an emergency.


Dangerous goods note example

Who prepares the Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)?

The shipper prepares it!

You can get a blank template form of DGN from your freight forwarder - just make sure it’s aligned with the mode of transportation’s requirements.

Download free template
Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)

When is a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN) needed?

You need a DGN if you’re sending goods that classify as “Dangerous Goods” according to the transportation regulations.

If you’re shipping Dangerous Goods by:

• Road, Rail - you require a Dangerous Goods Note

Ocean - you require an IMO Dangerous Goods Declaration form

Air - you require a IATA Dangerous Goods Declaration form

A DGN must accompany the goods, so make sure to attach a copy.

Common goods that require a DGN or DGD: Whiskey, some wines, and spirits, i.e. goods that have an alcoholic component, pose an explosive risk.

How do you prepare a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)?

Here is a quick guide on how to fill in a DGN. Please keep in mind that the form itself may look different depending on the freight forwarder or carrier and the different transport methods, but the information is essentially the same.

1.  Exporter - This can be the shipper, consignor, or sender’s name and company address

2. Transport Document Number - This can be the Bill of Lading or Air Waybill number

(or) Customs Reference/Status - (Applicable for UK DGN) with the mention that the Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) for the exports is required by the HMRC in the UK.

3. Booking Number - The booking reference number of the carrier

4. Exporter’s Reference - The reference number assigned by the exporter

5. Forwarder’s Reference - The reference number assigned by the freight forwarder (if any)

6. Consignee - The name and address of the consignee

DSHA Notification - This is a requirement under DSHA regulations (Dangerous Substances in Harbor Areas) to pre-notify that dangerous goods are moving into harbor areas.

A cross ("X") should be placed in the box of the person responsible for the pre-notification.

7. Freight Forwarder - The name and address of the freight forwarder’s company

8. International Carrier - The name of the airline or shipping line company

9. Other Transportation Details - Fill in the delivery address, ICD terminal, vehicle booking reference, receiving dates, name of the receiving authority, and hauler's collection instructions.

10. Vessel and Port of Loading - Vessel name and the port of loading (e.g. Orient - Port of Shenzhen)

11. Port of Discharge and Destination - Name of the port of discharge and the ultimate destination (e.g. Port of Los Angeles, ABC San Jose)

12. Shipping Marks - Fill in the details of the dangerous goods.

• the United NationsNumber

• the Proper Shipping Name (trade names alone are not acceptable)

• the Hazardous Class of the goods.

• the Packing Group of the goods with the letters "PG" (e.g. PG II)

• the Sequence of the Information

You can find the above information for your goods on the United Nations' Dangerous Goods List.

Example: UN 1098 ALLYL ALCOHOL, 6.1 (3), PG I

The Quantity and kind of Packages (e.g. 2 x 250 L steel drums; 3 x fibreboard)

• Additional Information - any supplementary information that might be important, such as the Emergency Response Procedures Code.

13. Net Weight of Goods - The net weight (kg) for each separate dangerous goods description.

• Gross Weight of Goods (kg) - the weight of each separate goods listed on the DGN in its export packaging

• Total Gross Weight of Goods - the total gross weight of goods listed on the DGN in its export packaging (excluding the weight of the container for containerized goods)

14. Cubic Meters of Goods - Cubic meters for each separate goods listed on the DGN

• Total Cubic Meters: total cubic meters for each separate goods listed on the DGN

15. Container/Vehicle Packing Certificate -  This is ONLY required for Ocean freight and it should be completed by the company responsible for loading the goods into the containers.

Competent staff members have to sign it, declaring that the goods have been packed according to IMDG rules.

16-16D will normally need to be completed by the hauler or carrier.

16. Container Identification Number - The container or vehicle number

Seal Number - the number shown on the exporter's and/or Customs' seals used to secure the container

Container/Vehicle Size and Type - the container or the vehicle size (e.g. 20ft standard height container)

Tare Weight (kg) - the empty container or empty tank weight, in kg

Total Gross Weight (kg) (including Tare) - Gross Weight (see point #13 above) + Tare Weight

17. Shipper’s Details - You should include two things:

• The name and contact details of the shipper preparing the DGN.

• The name and signature of the declarant - the declarant is a person who is familiar with the danger(s) of the goods, their legal requirements and the liabilities of shipping them.

If you’re shipping by air, you’ll also be asked for the following (in addition to the information mentioned above):

Aircraft Type - choose between Cargo Aircraft or Passenger Aircraft, based on what the dangerous goods are allowed to be transported in.

Why do you need a Dangerous Goods Note (DGN)?

A DGN’s purpose is to:

• Enable the logistics staff to prepare for the proper handling, storage and transportation the goods

• Notify the customs or port authorities of the hazardous nature of the goods to ensure their correct handling during routine checks

• Prepare emergency services for correct intervention in the event of an accident

Daisy Jiang

Proud Co-Founder and CEO of Bookairfreight. Shortly after starting to work in the world of logistics, I was astonished at how difficult and time consuming it was for businesses to get their hands on a simple air freight quote. I saw this as an opportunity to really make a difference in people’s lives, and felt like I had to do something. It was the spark that lit the fire of Bookairfreight’s creation.

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