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Dangerous Goods


Dangerous Goods are Articles or substances which are capable of posing a hazard to health, safety, property or the environment and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in the ICAO Technical Instructions or which are classified according to those Instructions.

Dangerous goods are routinely carried as cargo on aircraft and international provisions are in place which, when complied with, ensure that they can be carried safely.

Anyone involved in the process of sending dangerous goods by air, whether the originator of the goods, the company that packs them or delivers them to the airport, the handling agent and the aircraft operator, has a legal responsibility to ensure that the applicable requirements have been met.

Failure to do so may endanger the aircraft, its occupants or staff handling the dangerous goods and may result in prosecution of those responsible for the incident or the accident.

Development of the Regulations for the safe transportation of Dangerous Goods

Annex 18 to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation entitled "The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air" was developed in response to a need expressed by Contracting States for an internationally agreed set of provisions governing the safe transport of dangerous goods by air. The broad provisions of Annex 18 are elaborated in the International Civil Aviation Organizations Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (DOC 9284).

Limitations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods  

Some dangerous goods have been identified as being too dangerous to be carried on any aircraft under any circumstances; others are forbidden under normal circumstances but may be carried with specific approvals from the States concerned; some are restricted to carriage on all-cargo aircraft; most however, can be safely carried on passenger aircraft as well, provided certain requirements are met.

Functions and Services  

The Dangerous Goods section provide dangerous goods technical expertise to the aviation industry and their key responsibilities include the regulatory oversight in terms of the orderly and safe transportation of dangerous goods by air and the regulatory oversight of the aviation industry to ensure the safe, secure and orderly transport of dangerous goods by air.

Dangerous Goods Training

Requirement for training 

Civil Aviation Regulation 92.00.8 requires the following persons to receive and remain current in dangerous goods training: 

Any shipper of dangerous goods, including a packer and shipper's agent;

Operator of any aircraft used:

  • in a commercial air transport operation; or
  • in a service as defined in paragraph (b) of the definition of "air service" in section 1 of the Air Services Licensing Act, 1990 (Act No. 115 of 1990); or

Any person

which performs the act of accepting, handling, loading, unloading, transferring or other processing of cargo, on behalf of an operator:

  • located at an aerodrome, which performs the act of processing passengers on behalf of an operator;
  • not located at an aerodrome, which performs the act of checking in passengers on behalf of an operator;

other than an operator, involved in processing cargo; or

engaged in the security screening of passengers, their baggage and cargo,

shall ensure that the following categories of personnel in his, her or its employ successfully complete initial dangerous goods training and refresher dangerous goods training:

  • cargo personnel, i.e. any person who has access to a cargo warehouse;
  • personnel engaged in the ground handling, storage and loading of dangerous goods;
  • passenger handling personnel;
  • security personnel who deal with the screening of passengers, their baggage and cargo;
  • flight crew members;
  • packers;
  • shippers;
  • shipper's agents;
  • any person who has unescorted access to a cargo warehouse who is not responsible for the handling, storage, loading or transportation of cargo; and
  • cabin crew members;
  • mail personnel engaged in the acceptance, handling, storage, loading or transportation of mail intended to be transported by air.

All training must be in accordance with the Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) 92.00.8, the provisions of which are detailed in Civil Aviation Technical Standards (SA-CATS-92) and the ICAO Technical Instructions (DOC 9284). 

Dangerous Goods Training Organisations  

Only training organizations that are approved by the Director of Civil Aviation may provide dangerous goods training (Dangerous Goods by air) in terms of the Regulations. 

The approval process ensures that the training provided meets regulatory requirements.

How to apply for approval

The following documentation is required:  

  1. Application form with the relevant payment
  2. Learner Manuals
  3. Examination and Answer Sheets
  4. Copy of Instructor's CV including Certificates
  5. Manual of Procedures (Listing Standards, Criteria and Quality Control)
  6. Description of training aids to be used and Lesson Plans  

In addition to the documentation requirements, the premises must be conducive to training and has to be inspected by the SACAA.

For more information on approved training providers, or to apply for approval to provide dangerous goods training, contact the Dangerous Goods Section at

Educational Projects on the safe transportation of Dangerous Goods

The Dangerous Goods section also participates in safety awareness campaigns to communicate and disseminate safety promotional material relating to dangerous goods.   

Dangerous goods accident and incident reporting

The operator of an aircraft, cargo warehouse personnel, aerodrome manager, ramp and ground handlers involved in a dangerous goods accident or dangerous goods incident within the Republic, shall within 48 hours after such accident or incident has occurred, notify—

  1. in the case of an accident, the Director, any ATSU or the nearest police station; or
  2. in the case of an incident, any ATSU,

of such accident or incident, and such ATSU or police station, as the case may be, shall immediately on receipt of the notification, notify—

  1. the Director; and
  2. where such accident or incident occurs at an aerodrome, the aerodrome manager.

The operator of a South African aircraft involved in a dangerous goods accident or dangerous goods incident outside the Republic, must, as soon as practicable, notify—

  1. the appropriate authority of the State in territory where the accident or incident has occurred, directly or through any ATSU; and
  2. the Director,

of such accident or incident.

Notification of Undeclared or Misdeclared dangerous goods

The operator of an aircraft in which dangerous goods are conveyed within the Republic or outside the Republic shall, within 48 hours after the discovery of—

  1. any undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods; or
  2. dangerous goods not permitted in terms of regulation 92.00.27, on board the aircraft or in the baggage of a passenger or flight crew member, notify the Director or the appropriate authority thereof, as the case may be.

In order to prevent the occurrence of instances of undeclared and misdeclared dangerous goods in cargo each operator shall establish procedures for investigating and compiling information concerning such occurrences in the territory and which involve the transport of dangerous goods originating in, or destined for, another territory, and those procedures must be clearly stated in the Manual of Procedures (MOP).

Reports of occurrences of instances shall be made available to the Director, or the appropriate authority of the State in which this occurred, within 48 hours.

Report undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods to:

Dangerous Goods Enforcement

Where necessary, Dangerous Goods Inspectors may follow enforcement procedures with a view to enforcing compliance. 

Granting of Exemptions and Approvals

The Director may grant an exemption to enable the transport by air of dangerous goods which may not be permitted in normal circumstances or in conditions which are different to those prescribed in the regulations.

Such exemptions may only be granted in instances of extreme urgency, when other forms of transport are inappropriate or when full compliance with the regulations is contrary to the public interest.

For more information to apply for an exemption or approval contact


More Information... 

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