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How to Understand Packing Instructions

Little Pro on 2016-06-20

Packaging is essential for the safe transport of dangerous goods. The UN Model Dangerous Goods Regulations provide packing instructions for various classes of dangerous goods. The packaging instructions normally require the use of UN performance-tested packagings, however these are not required when dangerous goods are shipped under the provisions of Limited Quantities or Excepted Quantities.

Packing instructions is listed in the column 8 of the Dangerous Goods list  (see example below). Column 9 lists special packing provisions specific to substances and articles. In this article, we will give you a few examples of packing instructions.

dangerous goods list packing instructions

Types of Packing Instructions

Packing instructions are specified for the following types of packages. A code starting with P, IBC, or LP will be assigned for the each type of packages.

  • Packages other than IBCs and large packagings (Pxxx).
  • Intermediate bulk containers (IBCxx)
  • Large packagings (LPxx).

For each type of package, it is also very important to know the special provisions. The code for special provisions start with PP, B or L.

  • Packages other than IBCs and large packagings (PPx).
  • Intermediate bulk containers (Bxx)
  • Large packagings (Lxx).

Example: For UN 1549, the packing instructions are P002 for single/combination packages, IBC08 for intermediate bulk containers and LP02 for large packagings. The special provisions are B3. I will show you where to find the meaning of those codes (such as P002) later.

How to Understand Packing Instructions

Each packing instruction shows the acceptable single and combination packagings. For combination packing instructions, the acceptable outer packagings, inner packagings and when applicable, the maximum permitted quantity in each inner or outer packaging are shown. Maximum mass or maximum net quantity of each package is also defined.

The table below is part of the packing instruction P002. It means that if we use combination packages for UN1549 Antimony compound and use glass as inner packaing materials, the maximum permitted weight per inner package is 10kg and the maximum permitted weight per outer package is 400kg if we use steel drums as outer packaging materials. 

Packing Instruction

The meanings of all packing instruction codes including special provisions can be found in the part 4 of the UN model regulations.

Notes to Packing Instructions

General packing instructions do not provide guidance on compatibility. A user should ensure that selected packaging materials do not react with substances contained.

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 Tags: Topics - TDGDangerous Goods