Transporting Hazardous Materials: a UN/HAZMAT Markings Guide

The storage and transportation of hazardous materials (HAZMAT) is regulated be federal and international law. A standardized marking system has been developed for HAZMAT packaging that indicates what type and how much of a material may be contained within a package.

Reading a UN Marking

A sample UN/HAZMAT packaging mark appears below with an explanation of each part’s significance:

UN 1A2 / Y2.0 / 100 / 12 / USA / M4460

UN United Nations Symbol can be displayed in one of two methods:

  1. A lower-case “u” over a lower case “n” in a circle
  2. Upper-case “UN”

Either signifies that a container is UN performance packaging.

1 Type of Container

  1. Drums/Pails                        3. Jerricans          5. Bags               7. Pressure Recepticles
  2. Wooden Barrels                  4. Boxes              6. Composite Packagings
A Material of Construction

A. Steel
B. Aluminum
C. Natural Wood
D. Plywood
F. Reconstituted Wood
G. Fiberboard
H. Plastic
L. Textile
M. Paper, Multi-wall
N. Metal (not Steel or Aluminum)
P. Glass, Porcelain or Stoneware
2 Packaging Head

  1. Tighthead/Closedhead (non-removable head)     2. Openhead (head can be removed)
Y Performance Level

  1. High Hazard Level – Can be used for Groups I, II and III
  2. Medium Hazard Level – Can be used for Groups II and III
  3. Low Hazard Level – Can be used for Group III
2.0 Specific Gravity (maximum) for liquids or Gross Mass (maximum) in kilograms for solids
100 Hydrostatic Pressure (maximum) in kilopascals for liquids or “S” (without quotes) to indicate the packaged material is a solid
12 Year of Manufacture
USA Country of Manufacture
MXXX or +AAXXX Code for Manufacturer or UN Certifying Agency

Product Compatibility Disclaimer

As stated in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, §173.22, Product and Container compatibility is the sole responsibility of the shipper. Pipeline Packaging assumes no responsibility for product compatibility testing and selection of a proper container, and makes no representations as to product and container compatibility upon sampling or sale. Also, proper compliance with pail closing instructions as provided by Pipeline Packaging is the sole responsibility of the shipper.

People at the Core of UN/HAZMAT Markings

With 25+ years of experience, we understand that people make products, services, companies and brands successful. Let our proactive approach, timely communication and genuine concern for your success be a part of a winning strategy for you and your company.

Contact us today with your UN/HAZMAT packaging inquiries.