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Description

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 any employee 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 DOT hazardous materials basic description, along with any other DOT required information found in the Hazardous Materials Table (49 CFR) or List of Dangerous Goods (IATA).

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


This information is used to complete the documentation, labeling, certification, and package marking requirements.

The UPS Chemical Table also includes the following:

  • Required hazard labels
  • Quantity limitations, if any
  • Mandatory exemption packaging, if required
  • Special provisions, if applicable
  • Packaging exceptions, if authorized
  • Packaging authorizations


Other information may also be required on the Shipping Paper or Shipper's Declaration and packaging markings. Refer to the remainder of this online guide for further information.

If you have any questions about shipping hazardous materials with UPS, please call the UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center 1-800-554-9964.