What Is UN Approved Packaging?

What Is UN Approved Packaging?

What Is UN Approved Packaging? />

You may see the terms ‘UN approved’ or ‘UN certified in many descriptions for packaging items – but what does this actually mean?

Simply put, it is packaging that has been built, tested and certified to be able to carry liquid or solid dangerous materials, to ensure that they can be transported safely. You can tell if a container is UN Approved by looking out for the distinctive marking that must be part of every UN Approved item. This marking consists of the UN symbol, followed by a unique code that tells you all about the packaging.

To beginners, it does look quite confusing, so let’s break it down. The code consists of the following information: yype of container, material used, category within packaging type, packaging group, density or specific gravity, hydraulic pressure, year of manufacture, country of manufacture and manufacturer certifying code. Take a look at the example code below to see how this is shown on packaging.

Types of Container:

  • 1 – Drums/Pails
  • 2 – Barrels
  • 3 – Jerrycans
  • 4 – Box
  • 5 – Bag
  • 6 – Composite Packaging


  • A – Steel
  • B – Aluminium
  • C – Natural Wood
  • D – Plywood
  • F – Reconstituted Wood
  • G – Fibreboard
  • H – Plastic Material
  • L – Textile
  • M – Paper
  • N – Metal (other than steel or aluminium)
  • P – Glass, Porcelain or Stoneware

Category Within Type:

  • 1 – Closed Head
  • 2 – Open Head

Packaging Group:

  • X – Groups I, II, and III
  • Y – Groups II and III
  • Z – Group III

Density or Specific Gravity: The density must be the maximum gross mass in kilograms that the packaging has been tested for. Packaging intended to hold liquids must be marked with the specific gravity rounded down to the first decimal.

Hydraulic Pressure: Shown in kilopascals rounded down to the nearest 10 kPa. Packaging intended for solids must be marked with an ‘S’.

Year Of Manufacture: The year (or the last 2 digits of the year) that the packaging was manufactured.

Country Of Manufacture: Initials for the country where the packaging was manufactured.

Manufacturer Code: Represents the manufacturing plant or testing facility for the packaging.

UN Approved Plastic Buckets

We’ve got a great selection of UN Approved Plastic Buckets that are available in a range of sizes from 5 litres up to 25 litres!

Found our guide to UN Approved packaging useful? Then we think that you’ll also like our coloured glass jar and bottles