General information - dangerous goods

A substance or a product can be dangerous or not dangerous. A substance or a product that is not dangerous per se may become dangerous, depending on the means of transportation and if the substance or the product is transported together with other substances.

In transport situations, the concept of dangerous goods includes a variety of different substances and products that in one way or the other may imply risks for health, safety, property, or the environment when transported or used. There are substances and products that are so dangerous that they cannot be transported by air under any circumstance.

In general, a transport means varying strains on the goods because of variations in temperature and pressure but also vibrations. It means that the risk for damages increases in proportion to the risk when the goods are handled on one location. The reason transportation is allowed is because the modern industry society cannot function without the dangerous goods, and thereby cannot do without transporting it. Most types of goods are dangerous. That means that they have deleterious characteristics, depending on disadvantageous external factors. Some risks and dangers may be predicted in some types of goods, while others cannot be predicted without special knowledge of the characteristics of the goods. Some dangerous goods are forbidden for airtransport.

Dangerous goods are categorized in different classes depending on their specific characteristics, and with that, their level of dangerousness. Every class has a number of subcategories. The content of the subcategories is not exhaustive, but it covers the main part of the commercially most significant substances with dangerous characteristics.

  • Class 1: Explosive substances and objects

    Ammunition, explosives, ignition substances and pyrotechnical products. The most common pyrotechnical products are fireworks and pyrotechnical safety equipment. Explosive products are used in a large number of situations. The big users are explosive and ammunition manufacturers, the Armed Forces, mining companies, construction companies and firework importers. Pyrotechnical safety equipment is mostly used in vehicles, especially in airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners. Explosive substances can exist in a solid or liquid form.

  • Class 2: Gases

    Flammable and non inflammable gases, toxic gases such as hair spray, bottled gas, cigarette lighters, spray paint, insecticides in spray form, diving tubes, oxygen, welding gases etc.

  • Class 3: Flammable liquids

    Fuel (petrol, diesel, ethyl alcohol), certain perfumes, alcoholic beverages (70%), fire-lighting fluids etc.

  • Class 4: Flammable solid

    Flammable solid substances such as matches and metal powder, self-ignition substances such as carbon and fishmeal, and substances that generate flammable gas when in contact with water, such as potassium and magnesium powder.

  • Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

    Bleaching agents, certain hair products and acids etc. 

  • Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances

    Toxic substances such as mercurial combinations and cyanides, but also contagious substances such as bacteria, living viruses and laboratory samples.

  • Class 7: Radioactive material

    Certain measuring instruments and certain pacemakers.

  • Class 8: Corrosive substances

    Corrosive substances such as batteries and acetic acid.

  • Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

    Vehicles, power saws, batteries, battery-powered equipment, asbestos, dry ice and certain first aid kit products.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the Dangerous Goods Group at the Swedish Transport Agency by e-mail: