Guidelines for the Shipment of Excepted Quantities of Flammable Liquids

International and domestic hazardous material shipping regulations protect individuals and property involved in the shipment of hazardous materials. Shipments of flammable liquids may be made according to the Excepted Quantity provision of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Shipments made under this exception must only be made by a person trained to use IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and/or U.S. DOT Hazardous Material Regulations.

Note: flammable liquids are not permitted in checked baggage, carry-on baggage or airmail.


Packaging for excepted quantities of flammable liquids must have three basic components:

  1. Inner packaging such as a vial, tube, jar, etc. Do not completely fill inner packagings; allow space for liquid expansion. Liquids must not completely fill inner packagings at a temperature of 55oC (130oF). Closures of inner packagings must be held securely in place with tape, wire, metal crimps or other positive means.
  2. Intermediate packaging such as a ziplock or other plastic bag. Intermediate packaging must contain enough absorbent material to absorb all contents.
  3. Outer packaging such as a cardboard (fibreboard) box. Flammable liquids may not be shipped in envelopes, Tyvek® sleeves, or other non-rigid mailers. The dimensions of the outer box must be at least 100 mm on two of three sides.

Quantity Limits

95% ethanol is a flammable liquid in hazard class 3, packing group II. As such, each inner packaging may contain not more than 30 mL. Each outer package may contain not more than 500 mL.

Example: If you are shipping 10 mL vials of 95% ethanol, you may put up to 50 vials in one box.


The "Nature and Quantity of Goods" box of the air waybill must include the words "Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities." See attached DHL air waybill.


An Excepted Quantities of Dangerous Goods Label must be completely filled out and affixed to the outer container. For 95% ethanol check the box for Class 3 material and write the UN number UN 1170. The label below may be used, but it must be printed in color. Consider printing it on an adhesive backed label. Its overall dimensions must be at least 100mm X 100mm.

Click on the labels below for full sized image, then print in color:

shiplabel.jpg (373255 bytes)

shiplabel_dangerousgoods.jpg (86307 bytes)