When is it applicable to use the limited quantity provision when transporting dangerous goods?

In the three most used dangerous goods regulations (ADR/IMDG/IATA) there are provisions for sending materials in small quantities (LQ). If you are able to send goods in small quantities then there are some exemptions within the Dangerous Goods rules. Note, these are only exemptions within those rules, not completely from the rules.

Detailed information can be found in ADR Chapter 3.4, IMDG Chapter 3.4 and IATA Chapter 2.7

The main criteria revolve around the size of the inner packaging which contains the material and then the overall gross weight of the outer package.  Smaller quantities of Packing Groups II and III material can usually be sent by LQ, but not all hazardous classes can utilize these exemptions. Materials that can’t include; Class 1 explosives, (except small arms ammunition), Class 6.2 Infectious substances, and Class 7 Radioactives. 

In all regulations UN certified packages are not required, but packages still need to meet general packaging standards, and combination packages must be used. For ADR (road) and IMDG (sea), the UN Number, Proper Shipping Name and hazard class labels are also not required.  However reference to the regulations is required as there may be variations due to the nature of the product. 

Label for Road and SeaLabel for road and sea 


http://www.strongandherd.co.uk/images/images/air%281%29.JPGLabel for air freight



For road and sea, the inner packaging size can range up to 5 kg/ltrs, but the outer package must not be more than 30 kgs gross.  For items on shrink-wrapped trays, such as aerosols, this maximum package size reduces to 20 kgs gross. 

Air transport has differing overall package sizes depending on material.

A simple road/sea example would be; if the LQ provision said the maximum allowable weight per inner packaging was 5 kg, then you could place 5 x 5 kg inners, inside the outer package, allowing 5 kg for the weight of packaging material.  Equally you could place 25 x 1 kg/ltr inners within the outer package. A larger inner packaging (above 5kg/ltr) takes you out of the LQ exemption. 

For sea and air freight a Dangerous Goods Note is still required to accompany the shipment even though it is being forwarded under the LQ provisions. The note must contain information about the use of the LQ provision. 

For road, vehicles over 12t gross, carrying more than 8t of LQ packages, LQ placards are required front and rear, and have tunnel restrictions. Under LQ, vehicles still require fire-fighting equipment. By sea, vehicles and containers must display the LQ placards, as per normal IMDG requirements.

Reference should always be made to the regulations to ensure compliance.


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