What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

Part of the Key Freight Documents Guide


A Material Safety Data Sheet is a document that contains information about the physical, chemical, explosive, and radioactive data of hazardous materials in a shipment.

It is usually provided by the exporter (via the manufacturer) along with a UN Number and only is only necessary when shipping hazardous goods.

Why do I need an MSDS?

An MSDS is used to determine additional shipping costs associated with sending hazardous materials. It is also used to ensure that proper safety measures are taken in the handling of the goods and that vessel safety limits are not breached.

Most freight forwarders require that the MSDS is provided with the Shipper’s Letter of Instruction.

Other Key Documents

Shipping Quote | Commercial Invoice | Certificate of Origin | Shipper’s Letter of Instruction | Booking Confirmation | Bill of Lading/Air Waybill | Packing List | Letter of Credit