The rules about carrying ‘dangerous goods’ by air are the strictest across all types of transport. That’s because those goods can react badly with the conditions they are exposed to during a flight, and in the most serious case, could kill or injure people.

Common household products that could be dangerous in the air include matches, aerosols, flammable liquids, paints or solvents, poison, pesticides, batteries, power banks, and gas cylinders. They are specifically listed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. Civil Aviation Rules in New Zealand require compliance with that document.

Some dangerous goods can be carried safely by air, if they are packed and transported in a certain way. Other articles and substances are prohibited on aircraft due to the risk they pose, and airlines may refuse to carry them, or impose their own additional requirements.

If you want to transport such goods by air, you must make sure they are correctly prepared and identified to the airline. Failing to comply with these requirements could be an offence and may result in prosecution.

Information for passengers

Refer to the conditions of carriage of your airline, as they may impose special requirements or prohibit certain dangerous goods.

For general information on what you can take on the aeroplane, and where it can be carried, refer to dangerous goods.

Related rules and advisory circulars

Part 92 Carriage of Dangerous Goods

AC92-1 Dangerous goods training programmes

AC92-2 Carriage of dangerous goods on domestic VFR flights in unpressurised aircraft not exceeding 5700 kg MCTOW

AC92-3 Dangerous goods packaging approval

AC92-4 Dangerous goods manuals


Carriage of dangerous goods – LPG bottles

Batteries poster

Dangerous goods poster

Lithium Battery Fires do Happen Here [PDF 170 KB] - article from Vector magazine

Lithium batteries – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [PDF 259 KB] - article from Vector magazine

ICAO store(external link) - Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air (Doc 9284)

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations(external link)

IATA 2023 Lithium Battery Guidance Document(external link)

IATA 2022 Carriage of Cargo, Mail and Baggage Guidance for Operators(external link) - Safety Risk Management and Dangerous Goods

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