UN Packaging Description

UN Approval Description

If you transport any goods by air, sea, road, rail or inland waterway that are classified as potentially dangerous, they must be packed and transported according to international regulations. Substances and materials, which are dangerous for transport range from those which present obvious risks, such as explosives and acids, through to more frequently encountered products such as paints, solvents and pesticides.

The UN Model Regulations cover the rules on the various methods of transportation and put them into a classification system in which each dangerous substance or article is assigned to a class defining the type of danger which that substance presents. The packing group (PG) then further classifies the level of danger according to packing group (PG) PG l, PG ll, or PG lll. There are three packing groups; PG l is the most dangerous, PG ll represents a moderate danger and PG lll is the least dangerous.

Packing Groups are always written in Roman numerals to differentiate them from the class numbers. It is possible for a substance to appear in more than one packing group, depending on its concentration. For example, concentrated sulphuric acid is Class 8, PG ll. A mild solution of the same acid, which might be marketed as a domestic drain cleaner, is still allocated to Class 8, but because of its lesser corrosivity could be PG lll. Together the class and PG dictate how you must package, label and carry dangerous goods, including inner and outer packaging, the suitability of packaging materials, and the marks and label they must bear.

The packaging used has to be designed and constructed to United Nations (UN) specification standards and must meet practical transport related tests such as being dropped, stacked and subjected to pressure demands. It must also meet the needs of the substance it is to contain.

To avoid invalidating the UN approval, certified packaging should be used strictly in accordance with the relevant approval documents (the test report and certificate).

It is always the responsibility of the packer/filler to ensure that the packaging they use is compatible with the product being packed and meets the requirements for the safe transportation of the consignment.