How to Read UN Packaging Markings
To meet UN packaging requirements, you will need to have an understanding of UN packaging markings and what they mean. These markings are in place to ensure that those involved in shipping materials are following regulations and transporting materials safely. These requirements enable easy packaging marking lookup and tracking of packages.
WHAT IS A UN PACKAGING MARKING?
A UN packaging marking indicates a variety of characteristics of the packaging being transported. It also shows that the packaging has passed UN packaging testing. The various test levels identify the chemical and physical characteristics of the materials in the packages. The markings corresponding to these test results alert the handler to the materials in the container and what sort of container it is.
WHAT DOES THE UN SYMBOL MEAN?
The United Nations (UN) symbol means that the packaging has gone through UN testing and certification.
The United Nations Coding System
Type Of Package
Material Of Construction
- Steel = A
- Aluminum = B
- Wood = C
- Fiber (corrugated) = G
- Plastic = H
Category Within Type
Packaging Group for Which Container Was Tested
- X. for Packaging Group I, II, III
- Y. for Packaging Group II and III
- Z. for Packaging Group I
Packaging Group I: Great Danger (high hazard level)
Packaging Group II: Medium Danger (medium hazard level)
Packaging Group III: Minor Danger (low hazard level)
Density or Specific Gravity of Material Packed
(single packagings for liquids) or
For packaging intended for Solids or for combination packagings, this marking will indicate the maximum gross mass (weight) in kilograms (for pounds multiply times 2.2)
Hydraulic Pressure In Kilo-Pascal (kPa)
(applies to liquid) OR
For packaging intended for Solids or for combination packagings, an “S” in upper case will follow the gross mass.
Example: UN4G/Y25/S/04/USA/M5586 (this is an example marking for a fiber board box rated for a gross mass of 25kg/55lb).
Year of Manufacture
The last two digits of data indicate the year the packaging was manufactured.
Location of Manufacture
Country where the item was manufactured.
Code for UN certifying agency or manufacturer.
UN/HAZMAT MARKINGS GUIDE
Download our UN Marking Guide, detailing everything from packaging type, material of construction, and the year and country of manufacture.