What is a placard load for dangerous goods transport?

hazardous chemicals

A placard load refers to a vehicle carrying over a certain amount of dangerous goods (other than explosives, infectious and radioactive substances) that is required to display placards (i.e. Class label or Emergency Information Panel) during transport.

A vehicle must be placarded if it is carrying:

  • dangerous goods in a receptacle, other than an article, with a capacity of more than 500 L or more than 500 kg,


  • an aggregate quantity of dangerous goods of 250 or more of:
    • UN Division 2.1 goods (other than aerosols), for example LP Gas or acetylene cylinders or
    • UN Division 2.3 goods, for example ammonia or chlorine gas, or
    • Packing Group I dangerous goods, for example, sodium cyanide, carbon disulfide.


  • an aggregate quantity of dangerous goods of 1,000 or more.


An aggregate quantity of dangerous goods of less than 2 000 that consists only of the following dangerous goods is not a placard load:

  • dangerous goods that are packed in limited quantities, and
  • dangerous goods that are:
    • fireworks that are bon bons, party poppers or sparklers with a classification code of 1.4S
    • domestic smoke detectors containing radioactive material
    • lighters or lighter refills containing flammable gas
    • fire extinguishers with compressed or liquefied gas, up to a net mass of 23 kg.


Aggregate quantity means the total of:

  • the number of kilograms of:
    • solid dangerous goods; and
    • articles (including aerosols), in the load; and
  • the number of litres or kilograms, whichever is used in the transport documentation for the load to describe the goods, of liquid dangerous goods in the load; and
  • the total capacity in litres of the receptacles in the load containing dangerous goods of UN Class 2 (other than aerosols)

Dangerous goods packed in limited quantities mean:

  • the goods are packed in accordance with the ADG Code (7.5 edition) Chapter 3.4
  • the quantity of dangerous goods in each inner packaging or in each article does not exceed the quantity specified, or referred to, in column 7 of the Dangerous Goods List for those goods.

Typically, these are small packages.

Copies of dangerous goods class labels are available from the National Transport Commission.