UN Markings Guide

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: November 11, 2019

UN-Rated Packaging

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

Character Description  

Type of Package

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

Packaging Group

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 Manufacture

The last two digits of data indicate the year the packaging was manufactured.


Location of Manufacture

Country where the item was manufactured


Manufacturer Code

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.