Identification and Labeling Standards for UN Bulk Bags

Identification and Labeling Standards for UN Bulk Bags

If you’re currently using FIBCs to transport/store hazardous materials, chances are you’re already using UN bulk bags. If you’re not, then read this blog and find out if UN bags are a good fit for you.

UN bags are specifically designed to store/transport hazardous materials. In order to safely use the bags, the UN has outlined specific criteria for identifying the bags and their contents.


UN FIBC Bulk Bag Standards

It’s easy to visually identify a UN bag because of the strict labeling and ID requirements. Part of these strict labeling requirements relate to the contents of the bag. Because UN bags are designed specifically to carry hazardous materials, it’s paramount to proper safety that the bag is labeled with a specific hazardous materials label that pertains to what’s in the bag.

There are 8 different classes of hazardous labels on UN bulk bags:

  1. Class 4.1: Flammable solids, self reactive substances and desensitized explosives
    1. Class 4.1 flammable solids, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  2. Class 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
    1. Class 4.1 spontaneous combustion, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  3. Class 4.3: Substances that emit flammable gases when they come in contact with water
    1. Class 4.3 flammable gases/water, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  4. Class 5.1: Substances that oxidize
    1. Class 5.1 substances that oxidize, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  5. Class 5.2: Organic peroxides
    1. Class 5.2 organic peroxides, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  6. Class 6.1: Toxic substances
    1. Class 6.1 toxic substances, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  7. Class 8: Corrosive substances
    1. Class 8 corrosive substances, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag
  8. Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles
    1. Class 9 misc substances, UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag


ID Break Down

On top of specific labeling identifying the contents of the UN bulk bag, UN bags use a unique bag labeling system that allows the user to track the origin, materials, manufacturer, coating, and other important attributes of the individual UN bag. This labeling system is extremely important to safe handling, filling, and use of a UN bag given the hazardous nature of a UN bag’s contents.

Below is a breakdown of what the bag label looks like as well as the significance of each individual tag:

UN IDs, diagram of labeling on UN Bulk Bags, FIBCs, National Bulk Bag

  1. United Nations Packaging Logo - 178.503(e)(1)(ii)
  2. Code number designating FIBC design type - 178.702(a)
  3. Capital letter identifying the performance standard under which the design type has been successfully tested
  4. The numerical month and year of manufacture
  5. Country authorizing allocation of the mark - 178.503(e)(1)(ii)
  6. The name and address or symbol of the manufacturer or the approval agency certifying compliance with subpart N and subpart O of 178
  7. The stacking test load in kilograms
  8. Maximum gross mass


Thanks for reading!

Download A Buyer's Guide to UN Bulk Bags - National Bulk BagThanks for reading all about UN bags! We hope you found this both useful and informative.

Download our Buyer's Guide to UN Bulk Bags and learn all you need to know about purchasing UN Certified Bulk Bags. By downloading, you'll get access to: 

  1. What makes a UN certified bulk bag different? 
  2. UN Bulk Bag ID tag break down
  3. UN Bulk Bag rigorous testing procedures
  4. Access to a comprehensive Hazardous Materials Chart

Be sure to read this guide before purchasing UN bulk bags! 


July 11, 2017

Categories: UN Certified Bulk Bags

About the Author: Nick Neal

Nick is an account manager for the industrial bag division at Rapid Packaging and National Bulk Bag. Nick received his Bachelor's degree at New Mexico State University and Metropolitan State University.

In the past, Nick spent time in construction sales and was a business development rep in packaging for about two years.

Nick is a big Minnesota sports fan and spends his free time fishing and waterfowl hunting.

Nick is National Bulk Bag's resident hemp expert. As the hemp industry explodes in the United States following recent changes to the laws regulating the plan, Nick has helped many hemp farmers find FIBCs that are perfect for their various applications and hemp products.

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