What are UN Numbers?
The three major points of information needed to compliantly ship dangerous goods are:
- What is the identity of the material?
- What is the quantity of the material?
- What transport mode is being used to ship the material?
It is necessary above all to correctly identify the material to all participants in the logistics chain. This is accomplished both through labels or placards as well as markings placed on the package(s), and corresponding identification information noted on the accompanying shipping papers. The most basic component of this identification system is the four digit United Nations or UN number (UN#). The UN number system is administered by the United Nations under its Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (The "Orange Book" or UNMR) and is accepted generally worldwide via its incorporation in the Dangerous Goods Lists (DGL's) present in all in-force modal regulations (ICAO TI, IMDG Code, US 49 CFR, EU ADR, etc). This has been the case since the harmonized worldwide system began implementation as long ago as 1956.
UN#'s are assigned to both generic chemical categories, like "Flammable Liquids N.O.S." (UN 1993) and much more specific chemicals, like "Gasoline" (UN1203). Rules of use call for a chemical to be assigned the most specific such number, and corresponding proper shipping name, possible. Thus, although gasoline is indeed a flammable liquid, it is more correct and thus required to identify it by its specific UN number and proper shipping name. At present, a little over thirty-five hundred UN numbers exist; these are assigned on as required basis by the UN, with input from all the countries that participate in the system. Explosives occupy their own sequence beginning with "0" and currently ranging to UN0512; all other chemicals in the system are listed beginning with UN1001 and ranging at time of writing to UN3534, at least in the United States. A smaller list of similar "NA" or "North American" numbers serve to identify a group of chemicals in the US and Canada that either have no UN# assigned, or have a UN# but may be treated differently in those two countries when being transported on the ground. Perhaps the most well-known of these is NA1993, for "Combustible Liquids N.O.S.," which have no corresponding UN# and are not treated by the international system.
UN numbers govern everything from finding the correct proper shipping name (and vice versa) to determining what kind of packaging may be used to ship the material, what modes of transport it is eligible to be shipped by, how much may be transported per package and in some cases per consignment, and the specific rules that apply to transporting the material via each different mode (ground, air, maritime). They are used to cross-reference emergency response information in publications like the Emergency Response Guidebook, Canadian ERAPS, and other similar publications. As indicated above they must be marked on packages and noted on shipping papers. The UN# for any chemical can be found in Section 14 of the material's Safety Data Sheet (SDS), assuming the SDS is compliant with current regulations. Identity, packaging, quantity, modal instructions; the UN# is your first needed key to unlock it all for shippers of dangerous goods
— The United Nations Number: Key to the Dangerous Goods World, Nikki Burgess, DGSA, CDGP, March 19th, 2018
Labelmaster's UN Number Information
Labelmaster is publishing the most indepth information pages about the top UN numbers. These UN number information pages have excerpts from 49 CFR, product results from Labelmaster's industry leading tools Placard Finder and Label Finder, the UN number as presented in Labelmaster's exculsive Emergency Guidebook info table, excerpt from the DOT hazmat table, and Labelmaster's presentation of the DOT Segregation Table for Hazardous Materials.
UN Number: 1267
Hazard Class Number: 3
Shipping Name: Petroleum Crude Oil
More UN Numbers coming soon.
UN Number Labels and Placards
When it comes to hazard labels, there's simply no room for cutting corners or taking chances. Available for Hazard Classes 1 through 9 in Worded, Personalized, Blank, International Wordless and more, our Hazmat labels feature outstanding durability to withstand even the most abrasive elements and harsh environments. Labelmaster's durable, reliable DOT placards stand up to the elements as they are printed with long-life UV inks that resist peeling, chipping and fading. Rest assured that once your Dangerous Goods hit the road with Labelmaster placards and placarding systems, you've taken the necessary steps to keep them and your business in full compliance.
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