A day in the life of a DG Approver

In my first post of the year, I mentioned that I will have many exciting new articles for you this year..

In line with my promise, I have decided to start a new series of posts titled “A day in the life of…..”.. In this series I will cover what happens in a typical day in the life of someone in the shipping and freight industry..

The first post in this series is about A day in the life of a DG Approver (DG Desk)..

This post will explain the activities of the person handling the DG (Dangerous Goods) Desk in the shipping lines office..

image for DITLO

  1. It all starts with a DG Request which a customer sends to the booking desk of the shipping line..
  2. The booking desk will then send this request to the centralised DG Desk of the shipping line where a DG Approver will receive this DG Request..
  3. The DG Approver will verify the DG cargo details against the IMDG Code,  the rules for acceptance of this cargo at the various ports..
  4. For this verification process to be completed effectively and quickly, ALL details in the DG Request must be filled, otherwise it will just be sent back to the shipper to fill up and this will waste everyone’s time..
  5. If he/she is satisfied with the verification, then the request is further passed onto the ship, transit ports, transshipment ports (as required)..
  6. If the booking shipping line is part of a VSA and the intended ship is not operated by the them, then the DG Request is sent to the DG Approval desk of the line operating the ship..
  7. For certain commodities, vessels and routes, the DG Approver might also check the acceptance with the stowage planners..
  8. The DG Approver will record each acceptance or rejection received ( from ports, vessel partners, transit ports and stowage planners)..
  9. Only after an acceptance is received from all of the above, the DG Approver will approve the DG cargo to be booked..
  10. This approval or rejection is sent to the booking desk who will in turn advise the client of the acceptance or rejection..
  11. Only after this approval is received, the shipping line will confirm the booking and release empty container to the shipper for packing..
flow map of DG
Image from http://shashikallada.com/2014/07/03/shipping-lines-acceptance-process-dangerous-goods/

As you may imagine, given the various time zones around the world and regional desks responsible for various trade routes and services (Example Asia DG desk in Singapore or Hong Kong, Europe DG Desk in London, Hamburg or Marseille, America DG desk in New York or Charleston), this approval may take a bit of time..

Apart from the time differences, the recent spate of accidents at sea purportedly due to improper declaration of hazardous cargoes also has a bit of an adverse effect in the turn around time of DG acceptance resulting in the DG Approver also having to check

  • Type of packaging ( drums, boxes, bags, jerrycan, IBCs, tanks, cylinders, MEGCs)
  • Material of packaging ( Plastics, Steel, Aluminium, Wooden, etc)
  • Quantity per package and how much is allowed per ship
  • Some lines look into inner packing details too ( though not mandatory by IMDG Code on declaration)
  • Type of container ( Example: Reefer for flammable liquids, flashpoint, reefer setting, temperature controlled cargo control and emergency temperatures)

So the next time you meet or come across a DG Approver give him/her a hug for all the diligent and hard work they do in order to maintain the IMO regulations bearing in mind the safety and security of the seafarers and all the cargo on board the ship..

Would you like to be featured in the “A day in the life of” series..?? Feel free to send me your details..


This particular post is inspired and based on Shashi Kallada’s (Shipping Lines’ Acceptance Process – DANGEROUS GOODS) post..

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5 thoughts on “A day in the life of a DG Approver”

  1. I am regular reader.

    Your article are very helpful,it give a lot of practical knowledge.

    My suggestion is that “Why dont you make mobile application of this website.”?

    It will be more easy to assess website.

  2. I think that this is a very useful post. Thanks Hariesh. I look forward to more posts of the various roles of people in the freight and shipping industry.



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