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UN Certified Bulk Bags and Transporting Dangerous Goods

Posted by Sonoco Conitex Team on September 28,2022

Are you transporting Dangerous Goods?

According to the United Nations, Dangerous Goods (or hazardous materials, HAZMAT) include any product, ingredient or substance that poses a health, safety or property risk when transported by aircraft. Dangerous Goods include things that are explosive, radioactive, flammable, dangerous, volatile and poisonous.

There are nine classes of dangerous goods:

  1. Explosives
  2. Gases
  3. Flammable Liquids
  4. Flammable Solids
  5. Oxidizing Substances
  6. Toxic & Infectious Substances
  7. Radioactive Material
  8. Corrosives
  9. Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Learn more about these Dangerous Goods here in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Safely Transport Dangerous Goods

Different countries have different processes and regulatory systems for handling hazardous materials to protect people and prevent property damaging accidents related to transporting dangerous goods. In an effort to guarantee safe and consistent handling of goods the United Nations Economic and Social Council created the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

This committee of experts has created regulations surrounding the legal responsibilities of packers, loaders, vehicle owners and drivers. These regulations are part of the UN Model Regulations called UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The committee’s goal is to ensure the safety of the people handling the hazardous materials, protect the environment from pollution and prevent hazards to public health.

The UN Recommendations do not regulate manufacturing, use or disposal of these dangerous goods, but do cover transportation.

If you are transporting a substance or item that falls into one of the UN’s Dangerous Goods classes, it must be packed and shipped in UN certified packaging. This is true regardless of your transportation method by land or sea or air.

UN certified packaging must go through a series of rigorous tests to ensure it is strong and safe enough to ship dangerous goods internationally, similar to 49 CFR compliance.

When choosing your packaging products for storing and transporting hazardous materials make sure you use the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods - Model Regulations to find your fill material’s:

  • UN Number
  • Appropriate chemical name
  • Class or Division
  • UN Packing Group

UN Certified Bulk Bags for Hazardous Materials

FIBC products are highly important to manufacturers and distributors of dangerous goods. Bulk bags are universally used packaging products because of their durability, size, customization options, affordability and greenness.

Learn the specifics about the testing and rigors that go into UN certified  bulk bags by downloading our eBook:What You Should Know When Purchasing the UN  Certified FIBC Bulk Bag ➤

But transporting and storing dangerous goods using bulk bags adds a new set of unique requirements for testing and safety.

These specialty FIBCs are called UN Certified Bulk Bags.

UN Certified Bulk Bags are made specifically to pass UN certifications for transporting and storing hazardous materials with a rigorous testing regiment to ensure each bag can protect users from fire, explosion, chemical burns, toxic contamination or environmental damage.

Tests include:

  1. Top Lift Test
  2. Stacking Test
  3. Drop Test
  4. Topple Test
  5. Righting Test
  6. Tear Test
  7. Vibration Test

Once a bag is UN certified, certification documentation will provide the UN Certified Bag with a “Periodic Design Recertification Date” which is typically a year out from the certification date. The manufacturer and/or the supplier of the bag will keep up with these records to file for recertification. You may want to ask your vendor how they manage and ensure the currency of their UN certifications, or to recommend hazard classes.

Finding the right bag for your product is important to keep your product dafe, people safe, and up to Department of Transportation standards. It’s always a good idea to work with your trusted vendor to find the right bag.

“The most impressive testing we do is a UN Certification for a bag. That is the most in-depth and the most strenuous set of testing that bulk bags go through. It’s a top notch set of testing.”

- Dwayne Ezekiel, Inside Sales Manager, Conitex Sonoco

Let us know if you have any questions, and check out our guide to everything there is to know about UN Certified Bulk Bags and how to find the right one for your product and materials.

Click to get your free copy of "What You Should Know When Purchasing the UN Certified FIBC Bulk Bag"

Tags: Flexible Packaging

Sonoco Conitex Team

Sonoco Conitex Team