Shipping dangerous goods in the United States and internationally

When you ship dangerous goods, also called hazardous materials or hazmat, you need to comply with the laws and regulations that might apply to your business. The laws and regulations depend on the region where you transport your goods.

You're required to follow all international, federal, state, and local laws in any jurisdiction where your products are transported. You must be familiar with the laws and regulations that apply to your business. If you violate any law in any jurisdiction where you conduct business, then Shopify might remove products from, or terminate your online store.

Product eligibility

Most items can be shipped without any further consideration. However, international, federal, and state regulations might restrict or prohibit you from transporting some items. To comply with local laws and carrier limitations, you must follow these regulations.

Review the Hazardous Materials Regulations to find information about how dangerous goods in the United States are:

  • classified
  • documented and communicated
  • handled
  • prepared and packaged
  • stowed

Review the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAOs) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air to find information about how dangerous goods are shipped internationally.

Shipping restricted or prohibited items using Shopify services

You can find specific information about Shopify Shipping with DHL or shipping products through the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN), such as the following resources: * Restricted items and commodities using DHL Express * SFN product eligibility

Shipping dangerous goods in the United States and internationally

A dangerous good is any substance or material that can pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when it's transported.

Examples of dangerous goods include the following items:

  • Backyard products such as gasoline-powered lawnmowers, pest control products, drones, or other battery-operated products.
  • Bathroom products such as perfume, nail polish, deodorant spray, or mouthwash.
  • Garage products such as tire cleaner, butane canisters, or spray paint.
  • Kitchen products such as oven cleaner, cooking sprays, vanilla extract, or dry ice.
  • Office products such as laptops with lithium batteries, printer cartridges and toners, or chargers.

If these products are transported without being properly classified, marked, labeled, documented, packaged, or otherwise handled correctly, then these items can become dangerous during transportation. Vibrations, static electricity, temperature, or pressure variations that can cause these goods to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or explode if not handled properly.

After your products have been identified as a dangerous good, make sure that you provide the proper training for anyone involved in the packaging or transportation of dangerous goods.

You can find specific training information online, such as the following resources:

Preparing dangerous goods to be shipped in the United States and internationally

  • You can obtain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) from your manufacturer to check the Transportation Information section for information about transport risks related to the product that you want to ship.
  • You can use the SDS to check for information about whether the product that you want to ship is restricted or prohibited for transportation by road, air, rail, or sea.
  • When you package the product, consider the following:
    • Follow any packaging instructions identified by the manufacturer.
    • Select the appropriate packaging depending on the type, class, and quantity of hazardous materials that you're shipping.
    • Fill in any space with the appropriate materials identified by the manufacturer.
    • Make sure that you close the package properly by following the manufacturer's closing instructions.
    • Include the correct markings and labels on the package to identify potential hazards.
    • Complete the shipping papers so that the carrier knows what you're shipping.

Resources

You can find specific information about the markings and labels required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations online, such as:

You can find information about dangerous goods online, such as:

You can also find information about shipping dangerous goods with a specific carrier, such as:

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