Global Transport and Logistics
Select country/region

Select country/region


Login Sign up
Class 1: Explosives

Why are explosives defined as dangerous goods?

(1) Explosive substances (a substance which is not itself an explosive, but which can form an explosive atmosphere of gas, vapour or dust is not included in Class 1), except those that are too dangerous to transport or those where the predominant hazard is appropriate to anther class

(2) Explosive articles, except devices containing explosive substances in such quantity or of such a character that their inadvertent or accidental ignition or initiation, during transport, will not cause any effect external to the device either by projection, fire, smoke, heat or load noise

(3) Articles and substances not mentioned under (1) and (2) above which are manufactured with a view to producing a practical explosive or pyrotechnic effect

Transporting explosives

Although explosives can behave in a violent way when suitably initiated, they are designed to be quite stable and insensitive under normal surface conditions. This means that they can be handled and transported by land and sea quite safely, so long as they are not subjected to violent shock, as in a high-speed traffic accident, or worse, allowed to get hot in a fire. 

There are 6 divisions in Class 1, the divisions show how the explosives will react and behave when initiated. The items are also assigned one of 13 Compatibility Group letters, basically to indicate which types may travel safely with which.

Explosives are declared as NEQ (Net Explosive Quantity) when described in the transport document, separate to the gross weight.

Table of dangerous goods: class 1




Articles and substances have a Mass explosion hazard (A mass explosion is one which affects almost the entire load virtually instantaneously). 



Articles and substances having a Projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard.



Articles and substances having a Fire hazard and either minor blast or minor projection hazard or both. This division comprises articles and substances that: give rise to considerable radiant heat or burn one after another, producing minor blast and/or projection effects.



Articles and substances that present no significant hazard. This division comprises articles and substances which present only a small hazard in the event of ignition or initiation during transport. The effects are largely confined to the package and no projection of fragments of appreciable size or range is to be expected. An external fire must not cause virtually instantaneous explosion of almost the entire contents of the package.



Very insensitive substances, having a mass explosion hazard, which are so insensitive that there is very little probability of initiation or of transition from burning to detonation under normal conditions of transport.



Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard. This division comprises articles which predominantly contain extremely insensitive substances, and which demonstrate a negligible probability of accidental initiation or propagation. The hazard from articles of Division 1.6 is limited to the explosion of a single article.


Disclaimer: this information is provided for convenience only. Please consult International Associations and Local Authorities for more details and latest information.

Any questions?

Our experts are ready to help. Get in touch and we'll find the solution you need.

Contact us