49 CFR Part 172; IATA Section 4
Properly describing a hazardous material is a fundamental requirement for communicating the presence of a potential hazard to representatives of the shipper, carrier, consignee, or regulatory agency who may come in contact with the shipment. The description not only communicates the presence of a hazardous material, but also establishes the specific emergency actions to take in the event of an incident involving that material.
This requirement includes using the basic description assigned by DOT or IATA regulations, as appropriate, together with any other required information found in the DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations or IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
The basic description includes the following information:
- The identification number, when assigned
- The proper shipping name
- The hazard class or division number
- The packing group number, if applicable