UN Approved Outer Packaging for Dangerous Goods
What is outer packaging? Outer packaging simply put is the outer protection of a composite or combination packaging. Placed inside the outer packaging would be the inner receptacles or inner packaging for example glass bottles, as well as any absorbent or cushioning material needed to contain and protect the inner(s). When fully assembled (the outer, inner and accessories) this is referred to as combination packaging.
There are various dangerous goods outer packaging materials and types available. At Air Sea Containers we have a range of UN Approved Outer Packaging, 4G, 4GV & 4DV, our inners can be found on our Inner Packaging page.
Our 4G fibreboard outer packaging range are robust fibreboard boxes which have been tested with the use of specific inners. The 4G outer packagings have therefore been certified to be used with the tested inners only. You will find a list of all approved inners on the specific 4G product page.
Weight allowance explained. Our 4G outer packaging weight allowance is stipulated on the UN box within the UN Mark, this is the gross package weight, meaning your inners, accessories and the weight of the fibreboard box must not be more than the weight stipulated on the UN box.
Each of the products in our 4G range come with assembly instructions to guide you through the packing process. The 4G packaging must be packed and assembled in the same way as it was during the testing process, otherwise you will invalidate the UN certification.
Our 4GV fibreboard outer packaging range are again robust fibreboard boxes, yet, these can be used with ‘non-specific inner containers’, meaning you are free to choose your preferred suitable inner for use in the 4GV outer packaging in accordance to the relevant transport regulations.
Again, as with the 4G range, the printed weight on the 4GV fibreboard box is the gross package weight, there are additional weight stipulations relating to the maximum weight of contents (product and containers) allowed in the 4GV outer package. For ease, we have stipulated the gross weight allowance and the content weight allowance on each of the individual product pages.
To make it even easier, we have produced assembly sheets for each of the 4GV boxes which you can download from the product page. These stipulate weights and assembly instructions for packaging the dangerous goods compliantly. The 4GV packaging must be packed and assembled in the same way as it was during the testing process, otherwise you will invalidate the UN certification.
Our 4DV plywood outer packaging allows you to ship up to a maximum gross weight of 280Kg. Like our 4GV range, when using our 4DV plywood UN boxes as your chosen outer packaging, you can choose the most suitable inner for your substance in accordance with dangerous goods regulations applicable for your chosen mode(s) of transportation.
The printed weight on the 4DV Plywood box is the gross package weight, there is also a maximum weight of contents (product and containers) allowed in the outer package. You can find the gross weight allowance and the content weight allowance on each of the 4DV product pages and the assembly sheet.
What is an example of outer packaging?
4G and 4GV packaging are examples of outer packaging. These are fibreboard boxes that are specially designed to conform to regulations for the transport of certain dangerous goods classes.
Other examples of outer packaging are 4DV plywood boxes. These are sturdier than fibreboard and can be used for certain classes of dangerous goods including large, heavy items for example, lithium batteries.
Why is outer packaging important?
Outer packaging is important because it provides a physical barrier that protects the inners and substance from damage, moisture, and other external factors that could compromise the integrity of the dangerous goods being shipped.
As well as this, outer packaging prevents any accidental release of dangerous goods while in transit. If the inner packaging fails, then the outer packaging is there to ensure that none of the material is able to damage people or the environment.
Finally, and most importantly, compliant outer packaging is required by law when transporting dangerous goods requiring combination packaging. If you do not use the correct type of outer packaging as stipulated in the relevant transport regulations, you or your business may be subject to penalties such as fines and potentially even prosecution.
What is considered strong outer packaging?
The UN considers strong outer packaging to be materials that can safely and reliably transport goods and inner packaging, withstanding normal conditions of transport by air, sea, and road.
Adequately strong outer packing for one substance being shipped may be a fibreboard box. For another item being shipped, 4DV plywood boxes may be the required outer packaging. Shippers must refer to the packing instructions for the dangerous goods in question to see permitted packaging types. Of course, it is also the shipper’s responsibility to ensure the compatibility of the goods and the chosen packaging material.
Packaging designed to carry dangerous goods must be capable of passing a number of performance tests as specified in the relevant transport regulations. The complete package (outer packaging and inner packaging) is assembled as it would be for transport and is then subject to performance test, such as drop tests, stack tests etc. [link]
What is a fibreboard box?
Fibreboard is a material which can be used as an outer packaging when shipping dangerous goods. It is made out of layers of corrugated fibreboard which gives the material additional strength and sturdiness than traditional cardboard.
The fibreboard used in 4G and 4GV packaging materials is rigorously tested to UN standards so that they can be relied on to withstand bumps and knocks during transport.
What is combination packaging for dangerous goods?
Combination packaging for dangerous goods is required when transporting certain classifications of items. This is when a specific type of inner(s) packaging must be used in conjunction with a specific outer packaging. The packaging chosen must be in accordance with the provisions set out in the relevant transport regulations.
An example of combination packaging for dangerous goods is when using a 4G/X11/S box with a 500ml ISO reagent bottle that it has been pre-approved for.
What is the difference between an outer package and an overpack?
An overpack is a term used to refer to one handling unit that is made up of several distinct packages that feature their own outer packaging. These may be individual packages that are housed together on a pallet or other platform using banding.