Dangerous goods

Here you'll find everything you need to know regarding the carriage of Dangerous Goods across Cook Strait. Our staff have been extensively trained in this area and will be more than happy to further explain the legal requirements so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


We've compiled the following information to assist you in ensuring that all Dangerous Goods (DG's) are loaded in a manner that complies with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) for carriage of DG's by sea. There may be variations between the land and maritime regulations, but whenever DG's are loaded on to a Cook Strait ferry the IMDG Code requirements must be fully satisfied. 

To assist you in the loading of vehicles to the IMDG Code we have included the segregation tables, stowage Categories, Limited Quantity information and an explanation of our requirements for pre notification of DG shipments (DG Load Notification) below.


Placarding: All vehicles carrying DG's must be correctly placarded, which requires a placard for each class carried, to be displayed at both the front and rear of each vehicle.

Cargo Transport Unit: Cargo Transport Unit means a road freight vehicle (Combined Truck and trailer, b-train or Semi), a railway wagon, a freight container, a road tank vehicle, a railway wagon or a portable tank.

All sailings are DG sailings: all sailings are able to carry less restricted DG’s (Category A). The Term “dangerous goods/freight only sailing” means sailings where the number of passengers carried is limited to allow for the shipment of more restricted DG’s. 

 Which sailing can my DG go on?

This is determined by the Stowage Category – refer to column 5 (Cat) of the UN Number list.

Category Vessel Stowage
A Can be shipped on all sailings
B Can be shipped on all sailings – Must be loaded on the top deck for passenger sailings.
C Can be shipped on all sailings – Must be loaded on the top deck
D Must be shipped on freight only sailings – Must be loaded on the top deck
E Must be shipped on freight only sailings

* Check our current sailing schedule for details of freight only/dangerous goods sailings. Some Semi trailers may not be compatible with our vessels top decks, please contact us for assistance.

 Can my DG be carried in the same cargo transport unit as other DG’s?

This is determined using the segregation table.  We've created the following quick guide to IMDG - segregation on Cook Strait to assist you.

Segregation Check Procedures

Compatibility must be checked between classes, including Sub-risks. If the two classes and/or subrisk line up with a 1, 2, 3 or 4 then the substances cannot be shipped in the same Cargo Transport unit. An X generally means the substances are compatible. However, individual UN numbers may not be compatible. The only way to check this is to compare UN Numbers in column 16 of the actual IMDG code.  If you do not have a copy handy, please contact us and we can do this for you.  

What the numbers mean:

 Limited quantities

The IMDG provides for DG’s that are being shipped in Limited Quantities. Substances transported in Limited Quantities are allocated stowage category ‘A’ (can be loaded in the same transport unit as other non-compatible DG’s and can be shipped on all sailings).

The quantities for “Limited Quantities” are found in Column 10 (Ltd Q’s) of the UN Number list at the rear of this guide.

On the Dangerous Goods Declaration/ Load Notification the words “Limited Quantity” or “LTD QTY” shall be clearly included. Cargo Transport Units containing dangerous goods only in limited quantities shall be marked on the exterior as “LIMITED QUANTITIES” or “LTD QTY”. The total gross mass of an Outer Package shall not exceed 30 kgs, unless the Outer Package is shrink- or stretch-wrapped, in which case it shall not exceed 20 kgs. There is no limit to the number of Outer Packages or total weight that can be loaded in a Cargo Transport Unit.

Not to be shipped without prior consultation with Strait Shipping

  • Class 1 Explosives
  • Class 2.3 Toxic Gases
  • Class 7 Radioactive material

If in doubt please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.


 New Placarding Information

A placard is required for each class of Dangerous Goods being transported including subsidiary risks - unless in Limited Quantities (DGLQ).

If only DGLQ's are being shipped a "Limited Quantities" placard only must be used. 

For Drop / Swap units the placards are required on the front wall of the unit, as well as the rear due to these being shipped on Trestles. 

Use of mixed class placards is not permitted on the Cook Strait "Bumble Bee". 

Please download our placarding document for further information. 


 Our load notification procedures

A DG load notification form must be submitted to us prior to shipment to enable IMDG compliance to be verified and vessel stowage planned.

The truck driver, or another authorised person, responsible for the loading of the truck that is booked for carriage, must submit a load notification form. This should be submitted at the earliest opportunity to allow for processing and any adjustments of the vehicle if errors are noted. Ideally we should recieve this no less than four hours prior to sailing. Download a copy of the Strait Shipping Load Notification Form here.

Important information to include

The notification form must contain the following information: 

  • UN Number
  • Class and any sub-class 
  • Proper Shipping Name  
  • Packing Group ( Flash point for farmable items) 
  • Weight 
  • Number of packages
  • Limited Quantities (If applicable) 
  • Packaging size e.g. 500ml bottles, must be specified in the additional information field 
  • Vehicle stowage plan 
  • Be signed and dated the authorised person responsible for the loading.

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