In Part 5, Table 5.3, of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG): 


A placard load is defined as: a load in a cargo transport unit with either:

(a) Any amount of dangerous goods in a single receptacle with a capacity of more than 500 litres or net mass of more than 500 kg.

(b) An aggregate quantity (total of all) of all dangerous goods in the cargo transport unit equal to or greater than 250 kg / 250 litres of Division 2.1 (excluding aerosols), Division 2.3, or any Packing Group I substances of any Class or Division.

(c) Any quantity of Division 6.2 Category A Infectious Substances.

(d) An aggregate quantity equal or greater than 10 kg or 10 litres of Category B Division 6.2 infectious substances. 

(e) Limited quantities dangerous goods and/or domestic consumer commodities equal to or greater than 2000 kg / 2000 litres.

(f) Loads where (a) to (e) do not apply of dangerous goods with an aggregate quantity equal to or greater than 1000 kg / 1000 litres.

  • Note 1. Placard quantities for Class 1 substances and articles are covered under the "Australian Code For The Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail." Placard quantities for Class 7 material are covered under the "Safe Transport of Radioactive Substances Code of Practice."

  • Note 2: Unless free from dangerous goods, nominally empty portable tanks, bulk containers, road tank vehicles and rail tank vehicles are always placard loads and must comply with all relevant provisions of the ADG Code.

  • Note 3: Where a load of dangerous goods meets all of the requirements of Chapter 7.3 "Retail Distribution Loads" of the ADG Code, it is not considered a placard load.

Vehicle Requirements


Any vehicle carrying a placard load of dangerous goods requires:


  • A Class/Division label (diamond) including any subsidiary risk labels affixed to the front and rear of the vehicle. Where there is more than one class of dangerous goods on the vehicle during the journey, the front and rear placards can be either a mixed class label, all class and division labels for each primary and subsidiary risk, or both. 


NOTE. Emergency Information Panels (see below) are required to be displayed on a placardable unit, portable tank or bulk container and may be used in place of the rear Class/Division label so long as the EIP faces the rear of the vehicle and is clearly visible.

  • AUSTRALIAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDE BOOK (available from the NSW EPA website) or a DANGEROUS GOODS INITIAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDE (Australian Standard HB76-2010), or an emergency procedure guide plus a vehicle fire guide that are both substantially the same as the Standards Australia guides.  


  • These guides must be located in a properly labelled, visible and accessible emergency information holder marked with the words EMERGENCY PROCEDURE GUIDES or EMERGENCY INFORMATION in red letters at least 10mm high on a white background, and attached to the inside of a door of the cabin, or immediately adjacent to a door of the cabin. If this is not possible, then the holder may be located elsewhere inside the cabin, with its location identified on a notice affixed to the inside of the driver’s side door. Note: A safety data sheet (SDS) is not the same as emergency information and is not acceptable.

  • Appropriate fire extinguishers for the vehicle and Classes and/or Divisions of dangerous goods being transported, specifically (a) one 30B dry powder fire extinguisher located in the cabin of the vehicle, near the driver’s door (b) other fire extinguishers, as appropriate for the type of vehicle and dangerous goods Classes/Divisions as per Table 12.1 of the ADG Code. Note. All fire extinguishers must be mounted in quick release brackets and must be located so as to be readily accessible for use.

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  • Three double-sided reflector signals, clean and in good condition, that comply with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3790 "Portable Warning Triangles For Motor Vehicles."

  • Vehicle must be licensed with the NSW EPA as a vehicle registered for the transportation of dangerous goods.

  • The vehicle to be free of any defects and suitable to carry the Classes and Divisions of dangerous goods being transported.


Personal Protective Equipment and Emergency Equipment

A road vehicle transporting a placard load of dangerous goods must carry personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety equipment specified in Table 12.2 of the ADG Code for all the dangerous goods in the load, based on their primary hazards and any subsidiary risks, i.e:


  • Respiratory protection equipment for escape purposes:  2.3,  6.2,  8

  • Gas tight goggles or full face shield as appropriate:  2.3,  5.1,  8

  • Eye-wash kit (min 250 L):  2.3,  3,  4.1,  4.2,  4.3,  5.1,  5.2,  6.1,  8,  9

  • Chemically resistant gloves or gauntlets:  3,  4.1,  4.2,  4.3,  5.1,  5.2,  6.1,  6.2,  8,  9

  • Thermally insulated gloves or gauntlets:  2.1,  2.2,  2.3,  (9 - if dry ice or elevated temperature substances)

  • Chemically resistant suit or coveralls:  5.1,  5.2,  6.1,  8

  • Chemically resistant boots:  5.1,  5.2,  6.1,  8

  • Any electric torch:  2.2,  2.3,  5.1,  6.1,  6.2,  8,  9

  • AS/NZS 60079.11 compliant electric torch:  3,  4.1,  4.2,  4.3,  5.2



Required Transport Documents

As per Part 11 of the ADG Code, transport documents must be readily available and located in the cabin of the vehicle in an emergency information holder and include the following:


  • Consignor’s name and telephone number. Note. If the dangerous goods are in bulk containers, portable tanks, tank vehicles, or receptacles with a capacity of more than 500 kg or 500 L, it must include the number of a "telephone advisory service", i.e. Police, and Fire & Rescue. 

  • United Nations (UN) number of the dangerous goods

  • Proper shipping name of the goods, or name that appears on the packaging or receptacle

  • Class or Division of the goods

  • Each Subsidiary Risk (if any) of the goods

  • Each Packing Group (if any) of the goods

  • Description of each type of package or receptacle e.g. bottle, cylinder, drum, IBC, etc.

  • Number of each type of package or receptacles

  • Aggregate quantity of the dangerous goods. This is the total quantity in litres or kilograms of each separate type of dangerous good being transported. The aggregate quantities shown must always reflect the actual quantities currently in the vehicle. It must be updated as dangerous goods are unloaded from the vehicle during the journey.

Note: Transport documentation may be transmitted to the prime contractor or driver by email, but documentation must always be carried in the vehicle in hard copy form.

Note. A generic transport document template is available for download from the NSW EPA website.




A vehicle carrying a placard load of dangerous goods is required to be covered by insurance, or another form of indemnity, for at least five million dollars for an incident involving fire, explosion, leakage or spillage of dangerous goods in, on, or from the vehicle.