UN Markings Guide

Posted by davis.rousseau@berlinpackaging.com BigCommerce on Oct 5th 2018

UN Markings Guide

It is important to select the correct package for materials that require UN-Rated packaging.

The marking that is applied to a UN package indicates the type of package and the levels to which the packaging has been approved. The following describes the sequence of numbers and letters that appear in a UN marking and what they designate.


The number on top in the figure above is an example of combination packaging or single packaging for solid hazardous materials.
Example of UN Marking for Solid Hazardous Materials in single or composite packaging or combination packaging for all materials.

The number on bottom in the figure above is an example of liquid hazardous materials.
Example of UN Marking for Liquid Hazardous Materials in single or composite packaging.


How to Read UN Markings
Type of
1 - Drums
2 - Barrels
3 - Jerricans
4 - Boxes
5 - Bags
6 - Composite Packagings
A - Steel
B - Aluminum
C - Natural Wood
D - Plywood
F - Reconstituted Wood
G - Fiberboard
H - Plastic
L - Textile
M - Paper, Multiwall
N - Metal other than Steel or Aluminum
P - Glass, Porcelain or Stoneware
1 - Closed Head
2 - Open Head
X - Packaging Groups I, II, and III
Y - Packaging Groups II, and, III
Z - Packaging Group III only
Density or
Specific Gravity
Density -
Solids or packagings that have inner packagings must be marked with the maximum gross mass (weight) in kilograms.
Specific Gravity -
Stand alone packagings intended to contain liquids must be marked with the specific gravity rounded down to the first decimal.
Solids or
Inner Packaging
Solids -
An "S" in upper case should follow the density.
Liquids -
Liquids should reflect the Hydrostatic test pressure in kPa (kilopascals), rounded down to the nearest 10 kPa.
Year of
The last two digits of data indicate the year the packaging was manufactured.
Location of
Country where the item was manufactured
Code for UN certifying agency or manufacturer


If you have questions with selecting a packaging system for the shipment of hazardous materials, please contact Berlin Packaging’s Dangerous Goods Division at 1.800.413.8867 or visit BerlinDangerousGoods.com.