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UN Approved Containers - Quick Guide

June 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

UN_approval.jpgWithin your own business you may well find that you are asked to deliver or store goods in “UN containers”, especially if you work with chemicals or water based paints, or operate as a business such as a dispersion manufacture, or flooring compounds company.  You may already have containers that carry a “un” mark – the lowercase “u” over the “n” within a circle, with a series of numbers afterwards - and wondered what they refer to.

Put simply, UN approved Containers are especially secure containers, usually carrying a 20-30-litre capacity, built to meet the requirements of chapter 6.1 of the U.N. Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, as well as further regulations within the UK. 

If you find you need UN Containers, there are various things you need to be aware of, which is why we have put together this simple overview.

UN markings

Firstly, UN Containers need to carry the relevant marks, and also be used in tandem with the necessary documentation, such as a test report and certificate.  Even if the containers are technically UN Containers, a failure to include the relevant documentation might, in any case, invalidate the UN approval status.  So what should the marks on the containers look like?

Well, to make sure you have the right container, for single containers, the mark will be the UN logo, within a circle, along with the code “1A1/Y 1.4/200/06/GB883466”.  This mark has nothing to do with the either the method of closing the container, or the torque at which it was closed, or even the type of liquid within.  If such information is needed that will included with the test report.  However, it does provide certain other information about both the containers, and its contents.  The “1A1” code, for instance, indicates that the container is a non-removable head steel drum. “Y1.4” indicates the container can be used for storing group two liquid with a relative density of 1.4.  200kPa indicates the vapour pressure of the material stored can run to 140kPa.

In terms of combination packaging, the mark will also feature the same “u” over “n”, however the code will now read 4G/X 20/SGB94767.  With this mark the “4G’ refers to a fibreboard box; the “S” denotes inner packaging, solids or other articles; “X20” means the packaging is suitable for packing up to three groups, with a gross mass of 20kg.

 In Accordance With EU Rules

Once again this information will not inform you as how the container was closed; whether the container required any special fittings, such as cushioning, or whether any the inner packaging was tested, although information about the contents will be held on the test report.  These regulations do, however, give the reassurance that packaging has been prepared in accordance with EU rules, with the report carrying information as to the method of assembly and closing.

At H&O our range of UN Approved containers are plastic injection moulded from high impact polypropylene, for strength and durability, with grip handles and a rubber seal that makes the container completely leak proof, with an extra metal locking band, ensuring materials can be safely transported.  Choose from a range of white, blue, black or natural colours, and feel assured your goods can be transported safely, and securely and to the appropriate UN standard that may be required by your customers.

Tags: un containers un certification
Category: plastic food containers

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