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National and international shipping authorities define all specialty gases that are shipped in gas cylinders as “hazardous materials.”

Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of those transporting gas cylinders as well as the safety of the public at large, certain government restrictions and regulations apply whenever gas cylinders are shipped from one location to another.

The following steps will assist you in returning empty Air Liquide refillable cylinders and will help ensure adherence to all applicable laws. Consult shipping regulations for your country prior to offering materials for shipment. For further information, please contact our customer service team.

Shipping responsibilities

Once you have determined the original Air Liquide shipping location, you can return empty cylinders to us via common carrier or an Air Liquide truck. Your customer service representative can assist you in determining the best carrier for shipping the cylinders.

Empty, refillable cylinders from Air Liquide should be returned to the original shipping location (identified by the tag or label affixed to the cylinder). Contact your customer service representative to schedule a cylinder pick-up via common carrier or an Air Liquide truck. To expedite your pick up schedule, please communicate the following information to customer service:

  • Customer contact: name, phone number and email address
  • Hours of operation (if necessary, for a pick-up window)
  • How many cylinders to be returned
  • Cylinder serial numbers
  • Required date of pick-up window

Gas cylinders must be returned freight pre-pay and charge, or via your own carrier account. An Air Liquide facility cannot accept return cylinders freight collect without prior authorization.

  • Common carrier pre-pay and charge: Air Liquide will contact one of our approved freight forwarders and the freight charges will be added to customer invoices at the time a returned cylinder is received.
  • Common carrier pre-paid: customer supplies Air Liquide with their freight forwarding account information or arrange the cylinder pick-up via their own forwarding account. The freight forwarder will bill customer directly.

Air Liquide does not offer partial credit for unused gas in an Air Liquide cylinder per our strict quality and safety procedures. Contact your account manager for more information.

Electronic and poisonous gases

For semiconductor or poisonous labeled cylinders, contact the Air Liquide shipping manager at the facility nearest you for details on proper shipping procedures.

Mini-Mix Transportables (nonreturnable and lecture bottles)

Air Liquide does not accept the return of these types of cylinders.

Preparing for shipment

Before returning, check your cylinders for the following:

  • Be sure CGA outlet dust caps (if supplied) are in place before securely screwing valve caps onto top of cylinders. Please note that all cylinder caps are not interchangeable. You are responsible for the care and condition of refillable and returnable cylinders while at your facility, as well as damage to the cylinders themselves, cylinder caps and fittings that occur while in your care.
  • All labeling or markings on the cylinders must be legible. The shoulder labels on the cylinder provided by Air Liquide should NOT be removed from the cylinder as they identify the cylinder gas contents.
  • All cylinders should be returned with at least 50 psig (3 bar) positive pressure to avoid contamination of the cylinder. Ensure the valve is closed during shipping.
  • It is important to treat empty cylinders the same as you would if they were full and use all precautionary measures practiced when handling full cylinders.

Preparing documentation

A bill of lading needs to be prepared for the cylinders being returned. Contact your Air Liquide customer service representative if you would like us to schedule your return. In the event that you would like to schedule your cylinder return via your own freight account and choice of carrier, the following information must be present in a Bill of Lading. This Bill of Lading that is created must be presented to the carrier at the time of pick-up. The following is required by the U.S. DOT or the shipping authority in your country. As a follow-up, please email this Bill of Lading to your region’s customer service team as notification for a scheduled cylinder pick-up.

  • Quantity of cylinders shipped: list cylinders of gas mixtures separately if the components are different.
  • Type of container: place “CYL” below your quantity amount.
  • Hazardous Material: check off the hazardous material column with an “X.” All Air Liquide gases are considered hazardous materials.
  • Description of contents: for gas mixtures, begin your description with last contained, followed by compressed gas, n.o.s. and hazard class or division. For proper shipping names ending in n.o.s., a minimum of the two most hazardous chemicals must be listed. List the cylinder contents, starting with the concentration range first (i.e. 500 ppm SO2, 5% CO2, balance N2). For pure gases, the proper shipping name is usually the gas name.
  • An accurate UN number: all cylinders require a UN number when being shipped (placed on the cylinder by Air Liquide). If you cannot locate this number on the cylinder, please contact your Air Liquide shipping representative to assist in determining the correct UN number.
  • Weight: Click here for specifications and sizes of cylinders offered by Air Liquide.
  • Shipper’s declaration: the fine print located near the bottom of the bill of lading must be reviewed and signed.