Dangerous Goods (DG) and Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

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Please always declare the description of your items and provide MSDS for items that can be mistaken, perceived, or can be related to dangerous goods to have them validated and authorized by us.

We aim to deliver all your shipments in the quickest way possible – your accurate declarations will play a significant part to speed up delivery and prevent delays in shipments due to security and customs.

Dangerous goods (DG) are items that when transported pose a risk to health, safety, property or the environment. Many common items found at home may be classified as dangerous goods for the purpose of air transport. Shipping Dangerous Goods poses a risk when they are not correctly packed or handled. If the dangerous goods are hidden, undeclared, declared incorrectly, labeled or packed incorrectly, health and safety are compromised.

The U.S. Department of Transportation  and the international regulatory agencies recognize nine classes of dangerous goods:

Class 1: Explosives – Fireworks, airbag inflators, ammunition, etc.
Class 2: Gases – Aerosols, fire extinguishers, propane cylinders, etc.
Class 3: Flammable liquids – Paints, lacquers, alcohols, etc.
Class 4: Flammables, combustibles, and “dangerous when wet” materials – Matches, carbon, sodium batteries, etc.
Class 5: Oxidizers – Hydrogen peroxide, ammonium nitrate fertilizers, pool chlorine, etc.
Class 6: Toxic or infectious substances – Medical waste, dyes, pesticides, etc.
Class 7: Radioactive materials – Medical treatment products, uranium, etc.
Class 8: Corrosives – Acids/acid solutions, batteries, iodine, etc.
Class 9: Miscellaneous – Dry ice, internal combustion engines, first aid kits, etc.

Shipping DG has certain limitations, requirements, and may incur additional surcharges. It is important for you to provide us a Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) if the contents of your shipments might be mistaken, perceived, or can be related to dangerous goods. 

After you provide us with an MSDS we will check and confirm whether we are indeed able to send your item as a regular generic cargo or if your item has been classified as a Dangerous Good. If so, we will still be able to ship your item but that will incur extra charges and may prolong delivery time.


As a general guideline, any item that might pose a fire hazard should have an MSDS to warrant their eligibility to be transported as a generic cargo.

The 3 most common categories that would require MSDSs:

An MSDS should be provided if you are sending any form of liquid. For example, if the liquid is flammable, it will be classified as a dangerous good and will be rejected. However, if the liquid is safe and acceptable for shipping the MSDS should back it up.

Common liquid commodities that require MSDSs include perfumes, essential oils, nail polish, liquid soap, paint, hand sanitizers, glue, etc.

An MSDS is required if you are sending electronics. Most electronics have a battery component. Batteries are a restricted commodity and can be shipped by approved customers under the correct circumstances. Buy2Africa can ship batteries of any kind but they must be declared in advance, authorized by us and may incur extra charges and longer delivery time. Whether or not the battery has been removed, you should have an MSDS ready for us to determine and verify its eligibility for transportation

Common electronic commodities that require MSDSs include smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras.

Similar to liquids, powders may pose a risk when being transported. An MSDS is required to show the breakdown of the contents. 

Common powder commodities that require MSDSs include talcum powder, makeup (loose powder, blush, eye shadow), chlorine, etc.


In most circumstances, MSDSs are readily obtainable online – especially if they are commercialized/readily available products in the market. It is also possible to request the MSDS directly from the seller/ vendor.


Please let us know if you were unable to obtain the MSDS – we can try to assist in obtaining it.

If you cannot provide an MSDS and we were unable to obtain it, this will affect the overall transit time of your shipment. Most DG shipments must be sent on cargo-only flights which are not as frequent as the daily flight schedules. On top of that, DG shipments are subject to more stringent security and customs inspections. We aim to deliver all your shipments in the quickest way possible – your accurate declarations will play a significant part to speed up delivery.

In most situations, your items will be held back on processing your shipment until we receive the correct documentation. In the most extreme situations, we will reject the shipment and/or return it to you.

Please always declare the description of your items and provide MSDS for items that can be mistaken, perceived, or can be related to dangerous goods to have them validated and authorized by us.

We aim to deliver all your shipments in the quickest way possible – your accurate declarations will play a significant part to speed up delivery and prevent delays in shipments due to security and customs.

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