Explosives are materials or items which have the ability to rapidly catch fire or detonate as a consequence of chemical reaction. Explosives are capable by chemical reaction of producing gases at temperatures, pressures and speeds as to cause catastrophic damage through force and/or of producing otherwise hazardous amounts of heat, light, sound, gas or smoke. Class 1 explosives are assigned to UN Packing Group II.



Division 1.1: Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard. Examples are nitroglycerin, gunpowder, detonators, demolition charges, grenades, mines, bombs, etc. 

Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard. Examples are bullets, explosive sounding devices, aerial flares, etc.


Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard. Examples include flares, flash powder, igniters, etc. 


Division 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard. These are substances with effects that in the event of ignition or initiation during transport are largely confined to the package and no projection of fragments of appreciable size or range is to be expected. Examples include cap type primers, ship distress signals, fireworks. 


Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard. These are substances which are so insensitive that there is very little probability of initiation or of transition from burning to detonation under normal conditions of transport. There are only three entries in the list under Division 1.5.  


Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard. These are articles which demonstrate a negligible probability of accidental initiation or propagation. There is only one entry in the list for Division 1.6: UN 0486 "Articles, Explosive, Extremely Insensitive (Articles EEI)."

Explosives are further divided into three risk categories for the purposes of transportation:

  • Category 1: low risk

  • Category 2: moderate risk

  • Category 3: high risk. 


Note: A separate licence is required to transport Class 1 Explosives in Australia. In New South Wales the Regulator is SafeWork NSW. Dangerous Goods Transport NSW is not at this time licensed to transport Class 1 items. 

Commonly Transported Explosives

  1. Ammunition / cartridges

  2. Fireworks / pyrotechnics

  3. Flares

  4. Blasting caps / detonators

  5. Fuse

  6. Primers

  7. Explosive charges (blasting, demolition etc)

  8. Detonating cord

  9. Air bag inflators

  10. Igniters

  11. Rockets

  12. TNT / TNT compositions

  13. RDX / RDX compositions

  14. PETN / PETN compositions