How To Complete a Dangerous Goods Note

The amount of incorrectly completed Dangerous Goods Notes is quite alarming. Moreover, from many large companies who, quite frankly, shouldn’t have ignorance on their side as an excuse. But honestly, it really isn’t that difficult.

I appreciate that, as a DGSA, it is easy for me to say that, but people over complicate matters and in doing so often mess it up. Firstly, it is actually called a ‘Dangerous Goods Transport Document’, but referred to as a Dangerous Goods Note, or ‘DGN’ as it’s common acronym. All I will deal with here is Sea (IMDG) and Road (ADR), as these are the primary modes which concern our core services. Below is a simple guide on how to complete a Dangerous Goods Note, but before I start you should be aware that there are some differences and precedents depending on the mode.

Both IMDG and ADR require a ‘Dangerous Goods Transport Document’, whereas ADR also requires ‘Instructions in Writing’ (commonly, and erroneously known as a Tremcard). IMDG and ADR can use the same Dangerous Goods Transport Document as this can be in any form, provided it contains all of the information required by the provisions of the relevant Codes (5.4.1 ADR and IMDG). So, what do we need to put in the ‘DGN’? Below is the basic data required for both modes, unless stated otherwise.

How to complete a Dangerous Goods Note:

The particulars to be entered in the document shall be drafted in an official language of the forwarding country, and also, if that language is not English, French, or German, in English, French or German, unless international road carriage tariffs, if any, or agreements concluded between the countries concerned in the transport operation, provide otherwise.

  1. The UN Number, preceded by the letters “UN”
  2. The Proper Shipping Name (PSN) supplemented, when applicable, with the technical name in brackets when special provision 274 or 318 is mentioned in column 6 of the dangerous goods lists, generic entries, and normally required when the PSN is an ‘N.O.S’ entry. Note that trade names alone are not acceptable
  3. The Hazard Class followed by any subsidiary hazard shown in brackets
  4. The Packing Group, where assigned, for the substance which may be preceded with the letters “PG” (e.g. PG II)
  5. The number and kind of packages e.g. 2 x 250 L steel drums; 3 x fibreboard boxes each containing 48 kg. (There is no need to specify details of inner receptacles or inner packagings, although when shipping as Limited Quantities it is advisable to do so)
  6. The total quantity of each item of dangerous goods bearing a different UN number, proper shipping name, or, when applicable, packing group (as a volume or as a gross mass, or as a net mass as appropriate)
  7. The name and address of the consignor
  8. The name and address of the consignee(s)
  9. A declaration as required by the terms of any special agreement
  10. (reserved)
  11. ADR only requirement, but as most movements involve both modes, advisable to input as standard: Where assigned, the tunnel restriction code which should be in capitals enclosed within brackets

Most common additional information:

  1. Flashpoint: If the goods being transported have a flashpoint of 60°C or below, the minimum flashpoint shall be indicated (in °C closed-cup (c.c.))
  2. Marine Pollutant: If the goods are known marine pollutants the words “MARINE POLLUTANT” shall be inscribed on the document

The order of the data formulating the transport document description should be a, b, c, d, k with no information interspersed, except as provided for in ADR or IMDG as relevant. For example:

“UN 1098, ALLYL ALCOHOL, 6.1 (3), I, (C/D), Flashpoint 18°C c.c.”
“UN 1993, FLAMMABLE LIQUID, N.O.S. (Toluene), 3, II, (D/E), Flashpoint 21°C c.c.”

This is by no means definitive as there are many other requirements depending on UN number, class, etc. The links on the previous page will provide assistance, and as invited, if anyone has any specific questions, simply emails us at and we will be pleased to assist.




Proactive, flexible & transparent

ITAL logistics support our business through European Outbound and Reverse Logistics to support a number of our clients, especially on multiple palletised loads and also non standard palletised consignments. There have also been times where we have asked them to respond to short lead times for important collections of engineering palletised consignments, with a recent […]

Dangerous Goods

At Ital Logistics we take the matter of transporting goods which are hazardous very seriously indeed, and do our utmost to ensure that they are carried in compliance with the rules of ADR & IMDG. Around 25% of our total business is made up of the transport of dangerous goods. Many companies shy away from […]