A 4G box is only one single component of an approved combination package and is not approved as a stand alone package. The UN markings printed on an outer box applies to the combination package that has been tested in accordance with the ADG Code and the UN Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods; that is, "prepared exactly as to be used in transport'.
This includes the inner package(s), plastic liner bag, any stabilising inserts and the actual size and configuration of the inners. Any changes, omissions, to the types, size, material of the inners in the fibreboard constitute a design change and must be retested and a new UN approval issued by the Competent Authority. The exception is that only less of the exact same inner packages can be placed inside the fibreboard box, providing that any void space is packed with cushioning material so that no movement of the inner packages can occur during transport.
Inner packages must also be tested separately and an approval issued by the Competent Authority. A UN approval for a combination package will not be issued unless the inner packaged have been separately approved.
Any package supplier who says that they can supply an outer box with UN markings on it is in breach of dangerous goods legislation, as is the shipper who purchases them, unless that box has been tested with the shipper's inner packages and a UN approval issued for that packages as tested and approved.
As well as a the nine different ‘Class’ designators indicating the type of hazard a dangerous goods presents, a ‘Packing Group’ is assigned to dangerous goods according to the degree of hazard they present. These are as follows:
- Packing Group I = Great danger
- Packing Group II = Medium danger
- Packing Group III = Minor danger
Classes 3 and 4, Divisions 5.1 and 6.1 and Class 8 and some Class 9 substances have Packaging Groups assigned to them. Packing Groups are not assigned to Class 1 ‘explosives’; Class 2 ‘gases’ and ‘gas mixtures’; Class 6.2 ‘infectious substances’ or Class 7 ‘radioactives.’ Packaging Group designators are always written in Roman numerals.
When performance testing a dangerous goods package in order to determine that the design of the package meets the minimum performance criteria required by the UN, and to attain the mandatory UN approval, the Packaging Group of the product to be transported in the package is one of the factors that determines the test protocol. Testing conducted on a package for a P.G. I product is considerably more stringent than the testing requirements for a P.G. III product.
In the design requirements, there is no major difference between Class 6.2 and 650 packaging systems. The two main differences are:
- The test regime for 650 packaging is less stringent than for Class 6.2. The inner packagings of 650 systems must be tested separately with the same conditioning and test requirements as Class 6.2 design types but the packaging system “prepared as to be used in transport” needs only to undergo a Drop Test from 1.2 metres.
- 650 packaging systems need to be laboratory certified and meet the IATA specified design and package marking requirements and must be tested in accordance with the Regulations, but they do not need to bear UN approval markings and therefore do not require Competent Authority approval.
‘Limited Quantity’ packages are a packaging type designated by the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as being acceptable for some products of some hazardous goods ‘Classes’ and some ‘Packing Groups’ that contain very small quantities of dangerous goods.IATA Packing Instructions for these products are always preceded by ‘Y###’ .
When choosing packaging to air freight your products in Limited Quantity packages, ensure that the airline operator and the country of destination accept Limited Quantity packages Some airlines and some countries do not. Some airlines and some countries may accept them for some products and not for others. Some countries may not allow such packaging’ to “pass through” even if that country is a transit stopover and not the final destination. Some countries may accept limited quantity packages but they will not allow on-forwarding by air on domestic airlines. They will be on-forwarded only by road.
The minimum legal requirements for Limited Quantity packages is that they must meet “the general packaging requirements of Division 5.1. In particular:
Inner packagings of Limited Quantity packages must have been separately tested in accordance with Clause 18.104.22.168 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations; that is, an internal pressure test to not less than 95 kPa but to not less that the pressure differential at 500C of the product to be transported, or whichever is the greater.
- Packages must be packed in compliance with the specific ‘Y’ packing instruction.
- Packages must be compliant with Subsection 6.1 and 6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
- Packaging’ must comply with the test requirements of 6.6 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
The design type package must be prepared exactly as to be used in transport and must survive without any loss of contents, leakage or breakage:
- A Drop Test of 1.2 metres onto the most vulnerable point of the package
- A Stacking Test equivalent to a 3 M high stack of similar packaging’ for 24 hours
The main difference between a ‘UN approved’ combination package and a ‘Limited Quantity’ packaging is that the limited quantity package test requirement is less stringent.
The Limited Quantity package in its combination format, with inner packaging(s), and outer and any other components, does not have to be approved by the Competent Authority and therefore does not need to carry UN package specification and approval markings on the outer package.
Excepted Quantity packages may be used to transport some chemicals of some Packing Groups. Inner packagings of Excepted Quantity Packages do not have to be approved or performance tested provided that all the provisions of Subsection 2.7 are met and that the following requirements are also met:
- The training requirements of 1.5
- The definitions in Appendix A
- The classification provisions in Section 3
- The loading restrictions in 9.3.1
- The reporting of accidents and incidents in 9.5
The packaging requirements are as follows:
- Inner packaging must not contain more than the hazardous Class and Packaging Group limitations on the product and may NOT be mixed with inner packaging’ of a Class or P.G. not covered by the exceptions as per Table 2.7.A of the IATA D.G. Regs.
- Outer packages must not contain more than the hazardous Class and Packaging Group limitations on the product.
- Incompatible products may not be packed together in one package.
- Entire liquid contents of the inner packaging.
- The intermediate packaging containing the inner packagings must be packed into a rigid outer packaging of strong material.
- At least two of the sides of the outer packaging may not be less that 100 mm in width and length and cylindrical packages may not be less than 100 mm in diameter or less than 100 mm in height.
- All packaging component materials must be compatible with the product.
- Plastic inner packagings must have a minimum thickness of 0.2 mm. Closures of inner packagings must be held securely in place with wire, tape, or other positive means.
- Inner packagings with screw closures must have “leak-proof” closures, that is, closures which will pass a 95 kPa inner pressure test without leakage at 550C.
- Inner packagings must not be filled to more than 95% of brimful capacity.
- Inner packagings must be packed in an intermediate packaging with absorbent cushioning material sufficient to absorb the package prepared as for transport must be capable of withstanding without breakage and leakage:
- Drop tests in six different orientation for boxes and 3 orientations for cylindrical packages from a height of 1.8 metres
- An applied force to the top of the package equivalent to a 3 metre stack height for a duration of 24 hours stack test.
PROVIDED THAT ALL OF THE ABOVE PROVISIONS ARE MET, SHIPPERS DECLARATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS NEED NOT ACCOMPANY THE PACKAGE.