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Ensuring Compliance of UN4G Containers and Packaging

Transportation of hazardous goods is a very risky affair, which is regulated by some global packaging and handling standards to prevent any accidents to people who handle it and to environment. Irrespective of whether the shipping is done through air or sea, dangerous goods materials require to be packed using UN4G boxes by meeting comprehensive UN4G packaging standards.

The packaging materials need to meet international standards to ensure safety. The shipping providers also need to ensure compliance to all requirements set by the regulators like International Aviation Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) and International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) etc. to do shipping of such goods legally.

Meeting UN 4G standards

In general cases, packaging meeting UN 4G standards will consist of relevant documents including a test certificate with all information about the method of packaging, assembly and closing etc. These standards are applicable to single packages as well as combination packages, which will bear specific notes indicating;

  • Type of the package
  • Packing group
  • Material of construction
  • Weight
  • Year of manufacturing
  • Manufacturer address
  • Manufacture code etc.

As these codes were fine tuned over years, UN4G packaging is now admired as the best solution to transport hazardous goods. However, there are various regulations in different countries and the mode of transportation also may defer, so the sender needs to ensure that the packaging service provider is equipped with adequate certifications to handle such materials.

Industries like petroleum, gas, pesticides, paint, and acids etc. come under the UN4G packaging regulations. Without proper handling of such goods and packaging, trade and transaction of dangerous products cannot be done.

Testing of UN4G containers and packaging

In real, the UN 4G compliance marking cannot be added to the UN4G containers and packaging by the fiberboard manufacturers alone as it requires specific testing and compliance check. This can be done only on completed packages, which is not within the capabilities of the case or box manufacturers.

So, as a manufacturer or supplier, you cannot expect off-the-shelf items for UN4G packaging. For this, there are certified organizations, which specializes in testing and marking dangerous goods packing for UN4G compliance.

The major components of combination packaging include;

  • Inner packaging
  • Outer fiberboard box
  • Cushioning materials
  • Gaskets
  • Seals
  • Caps
  • Tape for closing
  • Etceteras etc.

These can be purchased from various suppliers and at the end, one who is responsible for packaging need to assemble all these components by strictly adhering to the guidelines to form it to a complete UN4G compliant packaging to send for test.

The manufacturers’ role

One major element of UN4G marking, which is mandatory on the outer packaging is complete details of the manufacturer. So, regardless of who did the assembling, packaging, and testing, the authorities will basically look at the name of the manufacturer, which appears on the UN4G markings. If there is any noncompliance found on packaging, the company identified by these credentials will be asked for at least at the initial stages of the enquiry.