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.

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What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

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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.

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What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

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Do I need an MSDS?

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

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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.

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What are dangerous goods?

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🙋 Why do I need an MSDS?

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For 2 reasons:

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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.

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Who provides it?

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

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

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How do you prepare an MSDS report?

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Who pays for the MSDS report?

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The manufacturer.

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What if I cannot acquire an MSDS?

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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.

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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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