Marking & Labelling of Dangerous Goods

Aside of transport, with so many other regulatory requirements for marking and labelling, this is another of those aspects of transporting dangerous goods, both to Europe and beyond, that is often done wrong.

Focusing on the main two modes of transport of Road and Sea, whilst they are similar, there are differences nonetheless. The most stringent of these regulations is IMDG (sea) and I would always recommend that if you mark and label for IMDG (as long as the journey is not a mainland movement only which would be subject to ADR (road) only), then you would meet all requirements. So, as a general rule of thumb, excluding any special marking and/or labelling that may be required for specific chemicals, here is a brief summary of the key requirements.


  1. The UN Number, preceded by the letters “UN” (IMDG & ADR)
    – for IBCs and packages of more than 450 L capacity, this should be on two opposing sides
  2. The Proper Shipping Name (PSN) supplemented, when applicable, with the technical name in brackets when special provision 274 or 318 is mentioned in column 6 of the dangerous goods lists, generic entries, and normally required when the PSN is an ‘N.O.S’ entry. Note that trade names alone are not acceptable (IMDG only).
    – for IBCs and packages of more than 450 L capacity, this should be on two opposing sides
  3. Except for single or combination packages of 5 L or less (liquids) or 5 kg or less (solids), when applicable, the Marine Pollutant mark (IMDG)/Environmentally Hazardous Substance mark (ADR)
    – for IBCs and packages of more than 450 L capacity, this should be on two opposing sides
  4. When required, orientation arrows which should always appear on two opposite vertical sides (for combination packagings having inner packagings containing liquids, single packagings fitted with vents, and cryogenic receptacles intended for the carriage of refrigerated liquefied gases) (IMDG & ADR)

The markings referred to in sections ‘a’ and ‘b’ above should be at least 12mm in height.

Danger label(s) (commonly referred to as ‘hazard diamonds’) for each class/subclass
– for IBCs and packages of more than 450 L capacity, these should be on two opposing sides (IMDG & ADR)
Whilst IMDG and ADR don’t request shippers name or consignee’s name and address, it is prudent to provide these also. After all, you wouldn’t put an envelope in the post without an address of where it’s going would you!




Proactive, flexible & transparent

ITAL logistics support our business through European Outbound and Reverse Logistics to support a number of our clients, especially on multiple palletised loads and also non standard palletised consignments. There have also been times where we have asked them to respond to short lead times for important collections of engineering palletised consignments, with a recent […]

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At Ital Logistics we take the matter of transporting goods which are hazardous very seriously indeed, and do our utmost to ensure that they are carried in compliance with the rules of ADR & IMDG. Around 25% of our total business is made up of the transport of dangerous goods. Many companies shy away from […]