Dangerous Goods

Sometimes it's necessary to ship dangerous goods. These goods can pose a significant risk to health, safety or property, especially when they're being transported by air. This is not a problem for most dangerous goods if they are in approved quantities and properly packaged and handled.

That's why we make sure that our guidelines for accepting Restricted Articles are in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, and all other applicable domestic and international rules and regulations as well.

Please review our policies around shipping dangerous goods and get started shipping today.

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We have decades of experience moving dangerous goods, so please contact us with any questions or concerns at 800-227-4622.

The more we know

When shipping dangerous goods, please give as complete and accurate a description as possible. If your items do not have complete descriptions, they may be subject to additional screenings. Such items include, but are not limited to, consolidation, household goods, chemicals, cylinders, fuels, laboratory testing equipment, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and personal effects.

Below are some examples of dangerous goods that must be declared:

  • Oil-based paint and thinners (flammable liquids)
  • Industrial solvents
  • Insecticides, garden chemicals (fertilizers, poisons)
  • Lithium batteries
  • Magnetized materials
  • Machinery (chain saws, outboard engines containing fuel or that have contained fuel)
  • Fuel for camp stoves, lanterns, torches or heating elements
  • Automobile batteries
  • Infectious substances
  • Any compound, liquid or gas that has toxic characteristics
  • Bleach
  • Flammable adhesives

A complete description of the dangerous goods being shipped is necessary to ensure the safety of our passengers and aircraft. If there is any possibility that your shipment contains undeclared or improperly prepared dangerous goods, it may not be allowed onboard.

Put a label on it

To be sure your shipment arrives on time, please complete all the documentation, packaging and labeling required and double-check it for accuracy.

Let's break it down. You should:

  • Provide two signed copies of a Shipper's Declaration of Dangerous Goods.
  • Ensure proper labeling of all Dangerous Goods shipments at the time of tender. All labels should be the appropriate size, durable and in good condition, and unobscured by any packaging

For more, see http://www.iata.org/cargo.

If you have any doubt that you may be transporting dangerous goods, please contact the IATA Dangerous Goods hotline at 1-514-390-6770 or email dangood@iata.org.

Keep things chill with dry ice

Dry ice (Carbon Dioxide, Solid), widely used as a refrigerant, is considered a dangerous good and must be treated as such. But there's a difference: A Shipper's Declaration of Dangerous Goods is not required when dry ice is used to cool non-dangerous goods. Check out the following guidelines that apply to dry ice. Remember, it's always your responsibility to comply with all IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

How to pack it

For dry ice, use packaging designed and constructed to permit the release of carbon dioxide gas. This prevents a build up of pressure - which could cause a rupture.

Make sure the following information is fully visible on the outside:

  • Name of the shipper and consignee
  • Name of the contents being cooled
  • Words "Dry Ice" or "Carbon Dioxide Solid"
  • UN number for Carbon Dioxide Solid (UN1845)
  • Net weight of the dry ice within the pieces
  • A Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods Label affixed on the same surface of the package near the proper shipping name and adjacent to the shipper's or consignee's address appearing on the package

How to document it

When dry ice is cooling non-dangerous goods, be specific about that on the air waybill in the "Nature and Quantity of Goods" or "Content" section. Provide this information in the following order:

  • Name of the contents being cooled
  • Proper shipping name (Dry Ice or Carbon Dioxide, Solid)
  • Class (9)
  • UN number (UN1845)
  • Number of pieces
  • Net weight of dry ice per piece

Example: Diagnostic Specimens, Dry Ice, 9, UN1845, 1 piece at 2 Kg

When documenting, please remember to comply with all IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

How to ship it

Priority Parcel ServiceSM. The maximum amount of dry ice allowed per piece is 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), except when refrigerating medical, diagnostic or treatment items. In such cases the net weight of the dry ice may exceed 2.5 kilograms, but the total gross weight of the piece may not exceed 22.5 kilograms.

ExpediteFSSM and ConfirmedFSSM. The maximum limit for shipping dry ice depends on the aircraft type. A sales representative can advise you of applicable restrictions, when making your booking at 1-800-CARGOAA (1-800-227-4622).

Limitations per aircraft

Each aircraft type has as maximum amount of allowable dry ice within the cargo holds. Please refer to the aircraft compatibility page to find the specific amounts for each aircraft.

Lithium batteries

Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) introduced new regulations for lithium batteries. If you are interested in shipping lithium batteries, either by themselves or within other packages, we ask that you review the new regulations and how they may impact your shipment.

Access the official IATA Lithium Battery Guidelines

American Airlines Cargo has made a change to the acceptance and carriage of Class 9, UN3480, Lithium ion batteries:

  • We will no longer accept for carriage UN3480 Section IA, IB and Section II lithium ion batteries, Packing Instructions 965.
  • We do accept UN3481 or UN3091 lithium ion batteries packed with or contained in equipment.