Consequences in Carrying Dangerous Goods in Freights

Dangerous Goods (DG), as its name implies, can lead to serious consequences if mismanaged. Hence, there is a need to have a sound regulating system in order to safeguard the handling of DG.

What are Dangerous Goods?

Dangerous goods are items or materials that have corrosive, infectious, toxic, flammable, or explosive properties. These goods are harmful in nature, and they may pose a potential threat to the safety and health of humans and the environment when not properly controlled. These goods should be transported in a very safe way to reduce any probable risks. Passengers are therefore forbidden to carry these goods either on their baggage or in the aircraft cabin. The transportation of this type of goods is governed and controlled by various regulatory laws operating on both international and national levels. These regimes mandate the safe methods of transporting dangerous goods. They give directives on how the goods should be labeled, packaged, handled, and transported.

In Singapore, a number of international and national rules and regulations have been implemented. In addition, supportive initiatives have also been launched by a number of DG agencies to improve the DG regulation system in Singapore.

Common Dangerous Goods Imported/Exported to and from Singapore

  • Paints
  • Mercury
  • Biological specimen
  • Bleach
  • Car batteries
  • Pesticides
  • Flares
  • Lighter liquid
  • Fireworks
  • Camping gas

The present research shows that there exist incongruous opinions between industry companies and regulating agencies concerning Singapore’s dangerous goods regulation system. While industry companies aspired for a unified system with a single dangerous goods agency in charge to reduce the confusions that exist in the current system. The regulatory bodies, on the other hand, had their own well-founded reasons to retain the multiagency system in Singapore as they continued to improve and delegate responsibilities clearly among key dangerous goods agencies.

First of all, Singapore has an established dangerous goods regulation system encompassing different initiatives and agencies. However, as compared with European system, there is still space for Singapore to improve further. One major finding is that the industry’s claims of overly-many dangerous goods agencies in Singapore to regulate the system which lead to confusion and time consumption. The industry aspired for an integrated system to make transactions more effective and efficient such as when applying for various licenses.

Moreover, this can also help companies to reduce consultation times with different agencies when inquiring about dangerous goods issues. Contrarily, dangerous goods agencies stated that they had recognized the benefit of such a system to industry and had discussions on this issue for the past few years. The agencies have decided to maintain a multi-agency framework whereby each agency has dangerous goods professionals to deal with specific kind of dangerous goods matters.

Secondly, one important and urgent demand from the industry is effective communication with the authorities. Updates on the web portals or regulations may not be timely communicated to the industry thereby causing inconvenience and delay.


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