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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 19 Apr 2016
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Originally Posted by kawazoki View Post
Not all of them have this book...
By law, any organization that accepts cargo for transport by air not only must have a copy of this book on hand at the cargo acceptance point, but every single employee who accepts cargo for shipment by air must be trained on how to use the book.

So, if you are dealing with a person (perhaps a consolidator, or a third party way down the line who is far removed from the actual air carrier) who does not have a copy of this book handy - or in electronic format on their computer - and/or does not know how to use it, drop them like a hot rock and go find someone who does know what they are doing.

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Old 2 May 2016
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When I was still planning on airshipping the bike from Sydney to Vancouver my shipper said that taping off the battery terminals and emptying the tank would do. Not sure about the flushing as I've postponed going to North America.
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Old 2 May 2016
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See post #16 above. It's not necessary to tape off battery terminals, or to empty or flush the fuel tank. The rules are contained in packing instruction 900 in the DGR book. Whatever your shipping agent told you is just hearsay that he probably got from his grandmother or a friend of a friend of a friend who read it on the internet.

If you want to ship from Sidney to Vancouver by Air Canada, go to Air Canada's web-page where they fully explain the process for shipping motorcycles. Here's a direct link to a PDF Air Canada produces to provide motorcycle shippers with correct guidance about how to prepare the motorcycle for air shipment:

Air Canada - Fly Your Bike.

Note that Air Canada's policies exactly follow the rules set out in the DGR book packing instruction 900.


PS: That Air Canada document only mentions a few destinations (not including Australia) because Air Canada only offers special low prices for motorcycle shipping - basically a summer sale - to a few destinations. They will fly motos between any two points that Air Canada serves (e.g. Vancouver - Sidney or Vancouver - Brisbane), but sale prices don't apply to those other destinations.
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Old 2 May 2016
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Could it be that that book merely specifies the minimum preparation required to comply with international DG requirements but there is nothing to stop any agent further removed from the actual shipping company from imposing more stringent requirements. Whether this is because of ignorance or excessive caution is irrelevant so if you don't like it then just find another agent.
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Old 2 May 2016
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Originally Posted by Tony LEE View Post
Could it be that that book merely specifies the minimum preparation required to comply with international DG requirements...
Hi Tony:

I don't think it is correct to say that the DG regulations specify the 'minimum' preparation required - it would be more appropriate to say that the rules specify the necessary and appropriate preparation required. In other words, it is unlikely that any further preparation would yield a higher level of safety.

Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGRs) are put together by a multidisciplinary international team that consists of specialists at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations, as well as representatives from various airlines and the regulators from various nations. The whole objective of DGRs is to present a consistent, easily understood set of guidelines to shippers, cargo acceptance personnel, and air carriers in all countries of the world.

Individual air carriers and individual nations have the option of publishing variations to the DGR that are more onerous than what is set out in the book, however, it is relatively uncommon for carriers or nations to publish variations. When variations are published, they usually consist simply of prohibitions - for example, ABC Airlines will not accept certain commodities for shipment, period, or carriers in such-and-such a country are prohibited by their regulator from accepting certain commodities for shipment.

What concerns me - and what pisses me off the most - is that cargo acceptance agents who spew uneducated and incorrect information such as "you have to disconnect the battery" or "you have to flush the fuel tank" are not saying these things out of an abundance of caution, they're saying these things because they are ignorant about how to properly research the regulations governing shipment of DGs, and this presents a huge hazard to the industry.

A cargo acceptance agent who is properly educated (and, as I mentioned earlier, cargo acceptance agents must, by law, be properly trained on how to use the DGR book) will not spout nonsense off the top of their head. Instead, they will determine what classification the shipment belongs to, and what packing instruction applies to that classification. Then, they will make sure that the packing instruction is complied with. They will "read the black ink" in the DGR manual.

A cargo acceptance agent who does not know how to follow the international rules and practices set out in the DGRs, who does not know how to look things up in the book (or who is too lazy to look things up in the book) and instead tries to rely on their own 'abundance of caution' is in fact a danger to shippers, air carriers, and passengers.

Ignorant cargo acceptance agents greatly annoy me, not simply because I spent decades teaching DGRs to pilots, shippers, and cargo acceptance agents, and not just because I spent years working as the Aviation Safety Manager of a large aircraft manufacturer, but because I have personally experienced significant dangers on aircraft I have commanded because some ignorant or lazy cargo acceptance agent has loaded prohibited or improperly packaged or improperly documented DGs onto aircraft I have commanded.

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Old 3 May 2016
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Just to ad couple off thinks as I shipped (Lufthansa cargo ) my motorcycle from Rio de Jainero ,Brazil to Frankfurt ,Germany ..local company ( IMRA ) provided DG certificate, cost 250 Rials .. bike head to be strapped on the pallet in my case was wooden and it has to be fumigated wood or stamped which prufe the same,battery disconnected,fuel at minimum and tyers deflated..not all the way. On Air Canada rules is no personal belongings on the bike..all my personal belongings ..helmet,boots,
sleeping bag,tent...soft panniers,tank bag..was on and I walked to passenger terminal with my backpack only.

Ride safe.......kawazoki
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Old 3 May 2016
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We just freighted our bikes to San Francisco via Qantas as roll on roll off. Had a DRG certificate so we could leave a quarter of a tank of fuel on board. Disconnect the battery was the only requirement. $2800 for both bikes, so relatively cheap, no freight forwarders involved.
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Old 3 May 2016
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About the Dangerous Goods (DG) declaration...

In the two posts directly above, Simon and kawazoki have referred to a 'DG certificate'. Before any further confusion arises about this subject, I want to explain exactly what a Dangerous Good Declaration (not 'certificate') is.

First of all, it's not some kind of inspection or authorization of any kind. It is nothing more than a declaration (a statement, a description) that states exactly what the shipment consists of, how the shipment is classified, and what packing instruction has been followed to enable the shipment to be safely transported by aircraft.

No-one should ever have to pay money to have a Dangerous Goods Declaration filled out. You can do it yourself in 5 minutes, it is not at all difficult.

The problem - I would go so far as to call it a scam - that gives rise to people paying to have the DG declaration filled out arises from a very sensible rule in the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGRs) that states that the air carrier or the air carrier's cargo acceptance agent (which includes brokers, freight forwarders, etc.) is not permitted to fill out the DG declaration themselves - the shipper (meaning, the person who is shipping the motorcycle, which in our case means the person who owns the motorcycle) must fill out the DG declaration themselves.

This rule makes sense, because in the case of DGs in general (for example, chemicals packed in boxes), only the shipper knows what's inside the box. Although that's not the case with motorcycles - it's pretty easy to tell by looking that the object is a motorcycle - the rule applies to all DG shipments.

So, what to do?

Simple. Ask the cargo acceptance agent to give you a blank DG declaration form. Then, fill the form out EXACTLY as I have explained (10 years ago) at this post: Rules for shipping motorcycles by air freight. See post #2 in that discussion, which includes a photo of a correctly completed DG declaration for a motorcycle.

Although the cargo acceptance agent is forbidden from filling in the declaration for you, it is perfectly OK for the cargo acceptance agent to assist you to fill out the declaration yourself, by answering any questions you may have and then reviewing the completed declaration to confirm that you have correctly completed it. In fact, they are required by law to inspect your completed DG declaration and make sure it is properly filled out before they accept your shipment.

Below is a photo of a DG declaration for a motorcycle (happens to be my motorcycle). As you can see, it's not rocket science to complete this form, and there is no reason at all that anyone should have to pay money to have another person complete the form.


Example of a DG declaration for a motorcycle
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Old 12 Nov 2017
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Hi Micheal,

I'd love to use your information that you have generously provided as I am so much difficulty trying to fly my bike from BNE to Denpasar but I can zoom on any of you document links that you have provided.
I keep ringing CT freight here in Brisbane and they are less than helpful. They tell me they want a purge declaration and I cant find any other company willing to help me that doesnt to bullshit me.
Any suggestions from anyone?
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dangerous goods, freight, turpentine

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