Transporting dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use

An overview of the requirements that apply to all people who transport dangerous goods for domestic or recreational purposes. Many common household products are classified as dangerous goods for transport. These must be packaged and identified so that they can be stored, transported and used safely. When you transport these products, you have responsibilities under Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005.

Who should use this information

The information applies to all people who transport dangerous goods, but how it affects you will depend on:

  • the type of dangerous goods
  • how much you're transporting
  • whether you're transporting the dangerous goods for your own domestic or recreational use, or for a business purpose.

This page applies to people who carry dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use.

Read the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005
More information about transport operators carrying dangerous goods

More information about transporting dangerous goods as tools-of-trade

This information provides an overview only – you must refer directly to the rule for details, especially if you're transporting large quantities of dangerous goods. (Printed copies of the rule are available from bookshops that sell legislation and some libraries.)

What are dangerous goods?

For transport on land, dangerous goods include substances that have explosive, flammable, toxic, infectious, corrosive or environmentally hazardous properties. It also includes containers that have held dangerous goods. 

More information about dangerous goods and how to recognise them

Transporting small quantities of dangerous goods

If you carry dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use, but not for hire or direct reward, and the quantity is within the limits in schedule 1 of the rule, then you are responsible for:

  • making sure the goods are properly packaged and identified
  • segregating incompatible dangerous goods
  • securing the load on your vehicle.


Packaging must not contaminate or react with the goods, and must be strong enough to transport the goods safely and without leaking under normal conditions.

Many dangerous goods available to the public are supplied in small containers. These are dangerous goods in limited quantities or dangerous goods in excepted quantities.  Dangerous goods packaged in this way present a relatively low risk and are suitable for domestic or recreational use. The rule also allows them to be carried by commercial transport operators with fewer controls than for larger containers of dangerous goods.

However, dangerous goods transported for domestic or recreational purposes are not restricted to dangerous goods in limited quantities or dangerous goods in excepted quantities. For domestic or recreational transport, the size of the packaging or the quantity per container is not specifically controlled, provided it is within the quantity limits in schedule 1 of the rule. The container must also be safe and appropriate for the nature of the goods and comply with any requirements of other New Zealand authorities.

When you buy dangerous goods, they are contained in packaging that meets the requirements for transport, and are marked or labelled to identify the danger of the goods.

There are, however, two common situations when you supply the container for dangerous goods. They are when you:

  • fill a container of your own with petrol or diesel (this doesn't include filling your vehicle's fuel tank), or
  • have a portable LPG cylinder refilled.

In these circumstances, both you and the person selling the goods have a responsibility to ensure the container meets the requirements of the rule and, in the case of the LPG cylinder, has passed a test inspection within the last 10 years.


Your container must show that it contains dangerous goods. You need the UN number, proper shipping name and class of dangerous goods. For high flash point diesel containers bigger than five litres, you also need the environmentally hazardous substance mark (see the diesel information document [PDF, 110 KB] for more details and examples of labels and marks for diesel containers).

If your container does not have a diamond-shaped warning label to identify the class of dangerous goods, write the class number on it, together with the UN number and proper shipping name. For example the identification for:

  • petrol is UN 1203, PETROL, class 3
  • LPG is UN 1075, LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GASES, class 2.1
  • high flash point diesel is UN 3082, ENVIRONMENTALLY HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE, LIQUID, N.O.S. (Diesel), class 9 and if the container is over 5 litres, the environmentally hazardous substance mark.

These details can be written clearly on the container or on a tag attached to the container. You could also ask the person selling the goods for a class warning label to identify the danger.

Alternatively, the labels or markings required by any other law (eg the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996), which clearly identify the contents of the package, are also acceptable.

Segregate dangerous goods

To prevent serious reactions between different dangerous goods, they should be kept apart from each other. Small quantities of goods, such as aerosols (class 2.1 or 2.2), flammable liquids (class 3), toxic substances (class 6.1), corrosive substances (class 8) and environmentally hazardous substances (class 9) can be carried together.

Explosives (class 1), oxidising substances (class 5.1) and organic peroxides (class 5.2) should be kept apart as much as possible, and preferably not be carried together in the same vehicle or with other dangerous goods. Class 6 or class 8 substances should also be kept apart from food items, to prevent the food being contaminated.

Secure your load

All loads must be carried securely, so they don't fall from the vehicle or cause any harm to people, property or the environment. This is especially important with dangerous goods. If the packages are damaged they could either spill (and put people, property or the environment in danger) or react dangerously with other goods.

Transporting large quantities of dangerous goods

If you transport more than the quantity permitted in schedule 1 of the rule, you must comply with more transport controls. These include additional requirements for packaging, labelling and marking, segregation, and transport procedures:

  • Table 1 shows which sections of the rule you must read depending on the nature and quantity of dangerous goods you are transporting.
  • Schedule 1 shows the maximum amount of different dangerous goods that you can transport for domestic or recreational use before you must comply with more requirements of the rule.

Table 1: Dangerous goods transported for domestic or recreational use

Nature and quantity Packaging Labelling and marking Documents Segregation Placards Transport procedures Training
DGLQ1 and con comsand other dangerous goodswithin the limit in schedule 1 of the rule GSR4 (3.1) and as required by the relevant regulatory authority5 4.4(1)(a), 4.4(2) not required 5.3(1)(a) GSR4 section 6.1(1) 7.46 GSR4 8.1(1) not required
Above the limit in schedule 1 of the rule section 3 section 4 not required 5.3(1)(a) section 6 7.46 section 8 not required

1 DGLQ: dangerous goods in limited quantities. These are dangerous goods of low to moderate danger, packaged in small quantities as listed in schedule 2 and complying with requirements in clause 2.3.

2 Con coms: consumer commodities. These are DGLQ packaged for retail sale for personal care, recreational or domestic use.

3 Other dangerous goods includes those packaged in the types and sizes of packaging permitted in subclause 3.2(8) and dangerous goods in excepted quantities or excepted packages of radioactive material transported in accordance with clause 2.9.

4 GSR: general safety requirements set out at the beginning of each section of the rule.

5 The relevant regulatory authority for the different classes of dangerous goods is listed in the table below.

6 Placards are not generally required for transporting dangerous goods for domestic or recreational use. However, placards must be permanently displayed on bulk containers for environmentally hazardous substances (UN 3077 or UN 3082). This includes tank trailers and portable tanks for high flash point diesel and some agrichemical products that may be transported in bulk for domestic or recreational use. (See the diesel information document for details about labelling, placarding and marking containers for high flash point diesel and other environmentally hazardous substances.)

Download Factsheet 69: Dangerous goods transported for domestic or recreational use [PDF, 313 KB]