The handling of dangerous goods is part of the day-to-day business of ports. While some ports or terminals are specialised in handling dangerous goods in bulk quantities, the majority of ports and terminals may handle dangerous goods in packaged quantities.
The transportation of dangerous goods is legislated by international and national regulations. The supervision of the adherence to these regulations often rests with the Harbour Master as the so-called ‘competent authority’. The safe stowage of dangerous goods on board ships as well as on terminal premises has to be controlled. Risk assessments have to be conducted and proper response strategies have to be developed in co-operation with, for instance, the fire brigade and handling terminals.