Limited Quantities – The Popular Misconception

Aug 21, 2020

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When non-declared or mis-declared dangerous goods enter the international supply chain, there is a significantly  greater risk to property, the environment and the safety, and lives, of the people handling goods.
While there have been a spate of incidents involving dangerous goods during the past eighteen months, such as containership fires, ro-ro vessel fires, vehicle spillages and not least the incident in Beirut, dangerous goods continue to be improperly labelled or documented.
One of the areas where this is frequently prevalent, and probably the most misunderstood area of dangerous goods logistics, is the rules surrounding limited quantities.
Some goods can be shipped as ‘limited quantities’ (LQ), which excludes them from certain regulatory requirements and can in some cases attract a lower hazardous surcharge, or no surcharge, for international transport.
However, it is important to understand that this does not exclude them from all dangerous goods regulations and it is vitally important they are still declared and documented properly as dangerous goods.
To demonstrate LQ: In the example that we had 500ml bottles of bleach, packed in boxes of 10;  in the event that the cargo transport unit, the pallet or even the outer packaging becomes damaged, there is a low probability that all of the inner packages would leak.
Under the LQ regulations, the total gross mass of each package shall not exceed 30kg (or 20kgs for those shipped in shrink-wrapped trays). By way of illustration, the exact same substance, when shipped in 20l packages, would not be permitted to ship under the LQ provisions.
Following there recent global incidents, dangerous goods regulations and the penalties for mis-declaring them are likely to be becoming more stringent – now would be a good time to ensure your compliance is in order.



Evolution Forwarding specialise in the movement of dangerous goods internationally, by air, ocean and road. We provide a complete solution which includes packing, documentation, compliance and training for dangerous goods products. For further information please email or call 0800 4346244.


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