Goods which are classified as dangerous for transport, range from those which are highly dangerous (such as explosives and fuming acids) to everyday products such as paints, solvents and pesticides found in the home and at work. Dangerous goods, which can also be called “Hazardous Materials” (mainly in the US), may be substances or products.

The transport of such goods is regulated to ensure the safety of life, of the ship, aircraft or vehicle, and of other goods (such as foodstuffs) being transported. For example, solvents must be in sealed airtight containers otherwise the fumes could affect people in the close vicinity. Other substances may not be harmful unless they come into contact with fire or water, but for safety purposes these are also classified as dangerous goods.

When transporting “Hazardous Materials”, in most cases, the packaging has to be certified to UN standards. The international agreements for the carriage of dangerous goods require packaging to be of a design-type certified by a national competent authority. This involves testing the packaging against the appropriate UN specification to ensure its suitability for the carriage of certain dangerous goods. Such packaging is often referred to as “type-approved”, “UN Approved” or “UN certified” and marked in a particular way, prefixed by the UN logo and followed by codes.

At Macfarlane Packaging we offer UN certified packaging for hazardous cargo. To speak to a packaging expert please call 0845 770 1435 or email

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