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UN/D.O.T. Hazardous Materials FAQ
How do I know if I need UN/D.O.T. Testing?
If you ship a material that is regulated by the UN/D.O.T., chances are that you will need UN/D.O.T. certification. In other cases, the testing may be limited or not needed at all. Please call for help in determining if you need UN/D.O.T. certification.
I have a great number of packs that require UN/D.O.T. certification. Do I have to test every single one?
Maybe not. There are provisions within CFR 49 that allow groups of like packages to be covered by a single certification in order to prevent certification of every single package. These provisions are outlined in CFR 49 § 178.601(g)(1-6).
There are “Variations” in the regulations that depending on how similar your packs are would allow you to group your packages together under a single certification. These “Variations” are listed in CFR 49 § 178.601.
How often do I need to do UN/D.O.T. Testing?
Single Packagings and IBC’s (Intermediate Bulk Containers) must be retested annually, while combination packagings must be retested every 2 years.
What is the difference between an original and a re-certification?
As far as the testing required and number of test samples needed, there essentially is no difference. However a package can only be called a re-certification if it is NOT “different” from a previously tested design type. See CFR 49 § 178.601(c)(4). By definition, a “different” packaging is one that differs (i.e. is not identical) from a previously produced packaging in structural design, size, material of construction, wall thickness or manner of construction. For exceptions to this rule see § 178.601(c)(4)(i-vi).
If I UPGRADE the materials of my corrugated box (shipper), do I have to re-test (recertify) my package?
Yes. An upgraded box meets the definition of a “different” packaging as per CFR 49 and would in fact require a re-test (re-certification).
What is required to get a package UN/D.O.T. certified?
The following is a list of required items that must be obtained before Pro-Pack can issue a certification:
- A completed set of our Test request Forms AND specs on every component of the package including outer container, inner container, product (MSDS sheet), any interior packaging and all closures for the outer container and inner containers.
- Complete packing and closing instructions for the outer and inner containers including taping or glue patterns, cap torque and orientation within the outer container.
- Enough packaging materials to make up the required number of test samples. This includes enough outer and inner containers, closures for the inner and outer container(s) and any inner or intermediate packaging components.
- A purchase order number for all testing needed for certification.
Is it really necessary to submit all of this information?
Absolutely. The level of detail in any UN/D.O.T. report should be such that the tested design type could be recreated using only the report as a guide.
Is the Cobb Test necessary for UN Certification?
Yes. As per § 178.516 of CFR 49 (Standards for Fiberboard Boxes) the water resistance of the outer surface must be such that the increase in mass is not greater than 155 g per square meter over a 30 minute time period. NOTE: Pro-Pack Testing Laboratory does not have to perform this test as long as the following information is provided from the supplier of the corrugated material: A letter on company letterhead showing 30 minute Cobb Test results on COMBINED board as well as materials analysis results on the corrugated on which the Cobb Test was performed.
Is the Vibration Test required for UN/D.O.T. Certification?
No. The Vibration Test is a capability requirement only. We recommend that our customers, at the very least, do this test on the initial certification so that there are no future issues with their certification regarding the Vibration Test. On subsequent re-certifications, the Vibration Test is performed at the customer’s discretion.
How many samples must I submit to complete the UN Testing sequence?
The number of samples required for testing varies depending upon the type of packaging being tested. Each “Test Request Form” will include the number of samples that are needed.
Should I submit packages already filled and prepared as for shipment or can I submit all of the packaging materials (inner and outer containers) along with packing instructions and proper closing instructions (including taping methods and cap torques where applicable) and have Pro-Pack prepare the samples as they are for shipment?
The only requirement we have is that if you decide to provide “ready to test” samples that the actual product be replaced with simulated material of the same density or specific gravity as the actual product (so your package weighs as much as it does with the actual product when shipped). We do not work with actual HAZMAT as we are not equipped to deal with a spillage of such materials.
REMINDER: If you submit ready to test samples, the inner containers must be filled to 98% capacity for liquids and 95% for solids, even if they ship at a somewhat lesser capacity in reality. This is a UN/D.O.T. requirement.
If you choose to submit all of the necessary packaging materials so that we may prepare the package for testing, please note that there is a per man-hour charge in addition to any testing that is done. Please call for current rates.
What does a UN Certification Test Series Cost?
Each project is quoted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for a formal quote.
Learn more about UN/DOT Hazardous Materials Testing
Get Started with ProPack Test Lab:
2385 Amann Drive
Belleville, Illinois 62220
Pro-Pack is one of the premier package testing laboratories in North America. With more than 30 years of experience, we are trusted for high standards, accuracy and our commitment to excellence. Pro-Pack is owned and managed by a team of people who are dedicated to the profession and the firm.
2385 Amann Drive
Belleville, Illinois 62220