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UN Packaging Explainer

The carriage of Dangerous Goods poses inherent risk to environment and the public and is regulated by relevant carriage regulations.

In order to ensure safe transport of Dangerous Goods the United Nations have established a universal system for the classification, packaging, marking and labelling of Dangerous Goods. National and international regulations relating to road, rail, sea and air transport are all based on the UN classification system.

Under UN regulations, all packaging used for Dangerous Goods must meet or exceed minimum standards, before it can be used legally for the carriage of dangerous goods. UN packaging certification is issued by approved test centres, which establish packaging suitability and performance by conducting tests as described in Chapter 6.1 of the UN Model Regulations.

If containers pass the tests, all design-types manufactured to the same specification may be marked accordingly with the relevant UN code. Containers can be certified as free standing or in combination with outer packaging such as a cardboard box.

A UN code consists of several components, which each have particular meaning:

Example: UN 3H1/Y1.6/150/18/GB/6840

The mark is for:

3H1: A jerry can (3) – made from plastic material (H) – with a non-removable head (1).

Types of Packaging

Materials of Construction

Y1.6: Suitable for  packing group II and III (Y) substances with a relative density of 1.6  (1.6).

X — for packing groups I, II and III
Y — for packing groups II and III
Z — for packing group III

150: With a vapour pressure of (150) kPa including a safety factor.

18: Year the mark was issued (18).

GB: Country of issue (GB).

6840: Certificate number (6840).

The UN packaging code does not indicate the type of liquid (viscosity), closure method or closing torque.

Plastic Bottle Supplies offer a number of different UN approved bottles and packs. For more information – contact us on 01902 397 397 or email