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Hazardous Classes

Inco Terms 2000

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Hazard Classification System

You've seen the diamond shaped signs on tankers and trucks but do you know what they mean?  The signs are called placards and indicate a hazard classification.

A placard is a warning sign measuring 10.8 inches on each side and standing on one point (like a diamond), that is placed on the four vertical sides of the truck, rail car, intermodal container or two sides of an intermediate bulk container containing hazardous materials. Placards are required by regulatory agencies around the world when shipping hazardous materials by water, air, highway or rail.

Class 1 - Explosives

Division 1.1
Division 1.2
Division 1.3
Division 1.4
Division 1.5
Division 1.6

Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
Explosives with a projection hazard
Explosives with predominantly a fire hazard
Explosives with no significant blast hazard
Very insensitive explosives; blasting agents
Extremely insensitive detonating articles

Class 2 - Gases  

Division 2.1

Division 2.2

Division 2.3

Division 2.4

Flammable gases

Non-flammable, non-toxic compressed gases

Gases toxic* by inhalation

Corrosive gases ( Canada only)

Class 3 - Flammable Liquids

Class 4 - Flammable Solids, Spontaneously Combustible Materials, and Dangerous When Wet Materials

Division 4.1


Division 4.2


Division 4.3

Flammable solids


Spontaneously combustible materials


Dangerous when wet materials

Class 5 - Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides

Division 5.1


Division 5.2



Organic peroxides

Class 6 - Toxic* Materials and Infectious Substances

Division 6.1

Division 6.2

Toxic* materials

Infectious substances

Class 7 - Radioactive Materials

Class 8 - Corrosive Materials

Class 9 - Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Division 9.1

Division 9.2

Division 9.3

Miscellaneous dangerous goods (Canada only)

Environmentally hazardous substances (Canada only)
Dangerous Wastes ( Canada only)

* The words "poison" or "poisonous" are synonymous with the word "toxic".


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