Shipping Terms Glossary
Shipping Terms Glossary
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

The MSDS is a necessary document if you are shipping dangerous goods.

What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

It is a document containing information about hazardous materials in a shipment. It contains a UN Number, - a four-digit number identifying dangerous or hazardous substances and goods.

What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

Do I need an MSDS?

Only if you are shipping Dangerous Goods. Common goods that require MSDS include:

Liquids Electronics Powders
• Lighter fluid
• Hand sanitizers
• Nail polish
• Perfumes
Batteries Aluminium powder
Certain liquids are
flammable because of its
chemical components
Have a battery component which is explosive. Certain powders may
react differently when
exposed to water, heat or other situations.

What are dangerous goods?

🙋 Why do I need an MSDS?

For 2 reasons:

1. To make sure proper safety measures were taken to ship such goods and that vessel safety rules are not breached.

2. To determine additional shipping costs associated with sending hazardous materials.

Who provides it?

The manufacturer. It's their responsibility to provide the tested results in the required format.

They may later provide it to the freight forwarder who will submit it to Customs.

How do you prepare an MSDS report?

As a buyer, if you’re shipping commercialized/readily available products in the market, MSDSs are mostly readily obtainable online.

If your goods are unique, you must ask your manufacturer to prepare one.

Quality-wise, the best way (but also more expensive) is to get a professional lab testing company like SGS to prepare one for your goods.

💰 Does it cost to prepare an MSDS? If so, how much?

It depends on the type of lab or testing company you hire - there is no standard rate.

Who pays for the MSDS report?

The manufacturer.

What if I cannot acquire an MSDS?

Your shipment could get delayed because the rules for shipping Dangerous Goods are strict. Most Dangerous Goods shipments can only be sent on cargo-only flights which are less frequent than daily passenger flights.

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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