DGM Network

Since 1987 taking the danger out of dangerous goods

From packing to storage through transport, dangerous goods activities are regulated by different laws all over the world such as:

  • ICAO Technical Instructions for air transport
  • IMO IMDG regulations for sea transport
  • Local or regional regulations (ADR or CFR 49)
    07 dangerous goods audits

Many companies establish procedures to guarantee that they are complying with all legal requirements in a continuous basis. A key element of these procedures is to carry out dangerous goods transport audits.

A dangerous goods audit is an independent, objective, and systematic assessment of how a company is managing its activities, responsibilities, and resources in order to determine the level of conformity with specific standards.

In general, there are two types of dangerous goods audits; Internal -performed by skilled employees of the organization- and external audits, carried out by independent professionals of the entity being audited

In both cases, a qualified auditor should follow these guidelines:

  • Establish the audit objective and the audit criteria. The audit criteria refers to how conditions should be. It can be specified in local laws, regulations, internal policies or standards.
  • Gather audit evidences. Audit evidence is any information collected by the auditor in order to determine whether the information being audited is stated in accordance with the established criteria. Examples of audit evidences are: photographs, records or confirmations.
  • Determine audit findings. Audits findings result from the compare audit evidences against the audit criteria.
  • Report positive and negative findings
  • Conclude against the established audit objective.

In order to guarantee independence and professionalism, outsourcing the audit process to external auditors is very a common practice.


The importance of considering this process in a serious way comes from the responsibilities and accountabilities assumed by shippers. Any mistake in the classification, identification, packing, labelling, marking or documentation of dangerous goods could be the cause of an incident or accident and/or a fine for shipper companies.

Fines and sanctions could reach quantities of millions of dollars and if a manager is not sure that the company is complying with regulations this is really not a nice feeling to have.

In summary, dangerous goods audits are a key element of a safety management culture and they have to be carried out by qualified, skilled and independent professionals with expertise in dangerous goods and audit technics.

DGM can perform dangerous goods audits in order ensure that all dangerous goods requirements are met by your organization. For further details please contact us.

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