Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-3SP & BX-17SP

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-3SP & BX-17SP.

  1. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48 mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48 mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: What is a Special Permit?

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

If you ever navigate our packaging section on our website, you will notice a section for U.S. Special Permit Kits.

You may ask yourself, what is a special permit and how does it apply to packaging? Well, basically special permits allow a shipper to perform a function that is not currently authorized by the regulations, or not perform a function currently required under the PHMSA regulations. Below are answers to questions regarding special permits.

Q. Why would someone need a special permit?

A. Special permits can provide relief from specific regulations when shipping dangerous goods. For example, it can allow a shipper to transport their dangerous goods in a specific UN-rated package without having to use hazard labels, as long as they adhere to the required provisions stated within the Special Permit.

Q. How do you apply for a special permit?

A. An application has to be completed and submitted to the US DOT along with specific documentation including written descriptions, drawings, flow charts, plans and other supporting documents.

Q. Do special permits expire?

A. Yes. Special permits expire after a period of time and the manufacturer must re-apply with the Department of Transportation.

Q. Does the Department of Transportation reject applications for a special permit?

A. The application must demonstrate that the special permit achieves a level of safety at least equal to that required by regulation, or if a required safety level does not exist, is consistent with the public interest.

Q. How long does it take for the DOT to process your special permit application?

A. Generally speaking, the DOT will attempt to process the application within 120 days. However this process can take months longer depending on the circumstances.

Q. What are some helpful tips when applying for a special permit?


  1. Read the regulatory requirements very carefully. Familiarize yourself with the applicable provisions of the US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and the international standards that may apply.
  2. Carefully review the US DOT PHMSA website for letters of interpretation that may exist. You may find that a DOT special permit is not required because there might have been a previous ruling issued on the subject.
  3. Read the requirements for completing and submitting an application for permit and/or approval very carefully. If any piece of information is missing, chances are you will be denied and have to start the process all over again.

For more information on special permits reference 49 CFR 190.341, or visit PHMSA’s website.

An as always if you wish to purchase special permit packaging from ICC Compliance Center visit our website.

Hydrostatic Pressure and Shipping Liquids by Air

Pressure at High Altitudes

As the video above shows, you never know how the pressure change on an airplane will affect our sealed containers. From exploding shaving cream cans in checked luggage, to scattered potato chips at our feet on the floor of an airplane, the unpredictability of a high altitude can certainly cause its share of messes. Aside from having to do laundry while on your vacation, these examples are relatively mild. In the world of shipping dangerous goods, the consequences can be far more severe. For this reason when shipping hazardous liquids by air, our single and inner packaging must pass a hydrostatic pressure test that essentially ensures the pressure differential at high altitudes will not cause a disaster mid-air. You may ask, what is hydrostatic pressure and how is it measured?

What is Hydrostatic Pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. For the purpose of shipping dangerous goods, this is measured in kPa or Kilopascal.  When you see a UN Marking on a single package it usually looks something like this 1H1/Y1.8/100. The “100” is referencing the maximum hydrostatic pressure this container was tested at in kPa.

PK-KH6005 Plastic Container

Why is it relevant to shipping by air?

According to the ICAO DGP-WG/09-WP/67: When packages reach high altitudes during transport, they experience low pressure on the exterior of the package. This results in a pressure differential between the interior and exterior of the package, since the pressure inside the package remains at the higher ground-level pressure. Higher altitudes create lower external pressures, and therefore, larger pressure differentials. This condition is especially problematic for combination packaging containing liquids. When an inner packaging, such as a glass bottle or plastic receptacle, is initially filled and sealed, the cap must be tightened to a certain torque to obtain sealing forces sufficient to contain the liquids in the packaging. This will require certain forces to be placed upon the bottle and cap threads as well as the sealing surface of the cap or cap liner to ensure the packaging remains sealed. Once at altitude, due to the internal pressure of the liquid acting upon the closure combined with the reduced external air pressure, the forces acting on the threads and the forces acting on the sealing surfaces will not be the same as when the packaging was initially closed. Under normal conditions encountered in air transport (26 kPa @ 8000 ft), conditions are not overly severe. However, if the compartment is depressurized at altitude or if the compartment is not pressurized at all (e.g., feeder aircraft), the pressure differential may be severe enough to cause package failure and release of the dangerous goods in the aircraft.

What are the rules for shipping liquids by air?

For inner containers within combination packaging, a minimum of 95 kPa must be achieved during testing for most hazardous liquids, and 75 kPa must be achieved for class 3 and 6.1 hazardous liquids. 49 CFR 173.27

PK-G1600F 16 oz leakproof flint bottle    BI-BSS3 Plastic 95kPa pressure bag    MT-USPCGAL 1 gallon metal can

For Single Packaging, a 95 kPa test result must be achieved when shipping most substances, 75 kPa for class 3 and 6.1, and 250 kPa for Packing Group I liquids. IATA,, TP14850 7.6. In the example below, the 250 kPa hydrostatic pressure rating along with the Group I rating means that it would be suitable to ship Packing Group I liquids by air.

Steel Drum MT0M502


From a regulatory perspective, Single Packaging’s must be tested every year, and contains a UN marking on the outside based on the test results. The inner containers within a combination package like glass bottles, plastic bottles, metal cans, or bags just need to be tested one time to verify the pressure rating as long as the design doesn’t change. 49 CFR 178.605

The Lab

When hydrostatic testing is performed at the lab, a valve is installed on the side of the container (clear of seams or closures) on three inner packages. A hydraulic pressure regulator and gauges are used to apply pressure and monitor the pressures. The containers are filled with water just below the container opening. The valves and gauges are checked for leaks and the cap is secured closed as specified in the closure instructions. A package passes the hydrostatic test if, for each test sample, there is no leakage seeping out of the container. TP14850 7.6.4. 49 CFR 178.605

ICC Compliance Center sells a variety of single packaging and inner packaging that meets the requirement to ship liquids by air. Feel free to contact us at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

IATA Expresses Concerns Over Laptop Ban

Laptop on wood table

Rethinking the Laptop Ban

Back in March, The United States Government implemented a ban on carry-on electronic devices on certain airlines from the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. due to security fears of a potential bomb threat. However, IATA recently called for the government to re-think this current policy as it has opened up an array of financial concerns for the affected airlines.

Financial Concerns

Since the ban on laptops in carry-on baggage was initiated in March, airlines are finding implementation of the ban has been a financial burden. In addition, governments did not consult with IATA, which gave airlines little time to implement the ban. As passengers are now forced to check their laptop computers, the affected airlines had to increase the training of the current staff as well deploy extra staff due to the increased handling of cargo hold baggage. In addition, the affected airlines fear that companies will cancel trips rather than risk losing confidential information in checked laptops, causing a potential decrease in business customers.

It is estimated that the ban affects more than 18,000 daily passengers, in particular Gulf carriers and airports have noted a drop in passenger traffic between their hubs and the United States. There is certainly a risk of affected airlines losing frustrated passengers to other carriers not affected by the ban. From a systematic point of view, the ban has caused slower moving security lines at the airports due to more thorough baggage screening measures, triggering a surge in departure delays. In the ban’s current scope, IATA has estimated that the ban could cost $180 million in lost productivity, which could increase to $1.2 billion if the ban is eventually expanded to Europe-US flights.

Airport security, laptop ban

Alternatives to Banning Devices

IATA is recommending various alternatives to potentially replace the current ban. These recommendations include the use of explosive trace detection at primary and secondary security checkpoints, visual inspection of electronic devices for signs of any alterations, questioning passengers about the purpose and origin of the device, the possibility of turning on the device to help determine its functionality, the deployment of “behavioral detection” officers and canines, recognition of trusted traveler programs and the identification of high or low-risk passengers, and increased training for screeners to detect potential threats from electronic devices and laptops.

It is unknown whether or not IATA’s recommendations will ever come to fruition. In the meantime, we will have to wait and see how long this ban will be in affect and how much it will cost the carriers in the long run.


Single Packaging
SecurePack 4GV Packaging Q&A

ICC's SecurPack 4GV vermiculite free UN Packaging solution

Vermiculite-free/Dust-free Variation Packaging

A few months back, I wrote a blog about some of the benefits of variation packaging. I outlined all of the benefits variation packaging offers our customers who need to ship a variety of different dangerous goods. Through discussion with some of our customers, I realized that vermiculite isn’t always the best option in every circumstance. That is when I bring up ICC’s SecurePack line of variation packaging. Usually at that point there is silence on the other end of the line. I get a range of reactions from not knowing that they exist to misunderstanding their benefits. Below are a list of frequent questions and answers about SecurePack.

Q. When using SecurePack kits, is vermiculite required as an absorbent?

A. No. SecurePack is a dust-free alternative to standard 4GV packaging. Absorbent pouches are used instead of vermiculite. Once the bottle or article is placed inside of the absorbent pouch, it gets placed in a liner bag to prevent any leakage.

Q. What types of inner containers are allowed to be used with SecurePack?

A. SecurePack can be used with any type of bottle, whether it’s plastic, glass, or metal. Since SecurePack boxes are rated 4GV, they are also a great solution for shipping a variety of solid articles in packing groups I, II, and III.

Inner contsiners, bottles and cans, compatible with SecurePack 4GV

Q. On the website, it says that SecurePack boxes have a 1 liter maximum capacity for inner containers. Does this mean smaller containers can also be used?

A. Yes. Most of these kits were designed for use with inner containers up to 1 liter. This means that 4 oz., 8 oz., 16 oz., and 32 oz. containers are allowed to be used within these kits. The only exception is the PK-40SPVF, which is designed to be shipped with any inner container 4 liters or less.

Q. Can the kits be ordered with the inserts already assembled?

A. Yes, the kits can be shipped to you pre-assembled. (Learn More)

PK-42SPVF - Dust Free 4GV UN Chemical Shipper

Q. Are the inserts required to be used in this kit and how easy are they to put together.

A. Yes. Once the bottle/article is inside of the absorbent pouch and liner bag combination, it must then go inside of the required insert within the box. The videos below show the ease of putting the inserts together.

The end result looks like the pictures below:

SecurePack final assembly

If you would like to purchase SecurePack or have any questions, please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.977.4834 (Canada) or 1.888.442.9628 (USA).

Benefits and Rules of Variation Packaging

Single Packaging
Anatomy of a Box

Anatomy of a Box - UN Packaging

Fiberboard’s Organs

As we know, the human body is made up of many essential components, from the smallest microscopic cell to the largest of organs. The same goes for corrugated boxes, but instead of cells, there are tiny fibers, and instead of organs, there is inner fluting. All components are necessary to have strong and sound structure. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a box.

The Corrugated Fiberboard

What exactly is a box mostly made of? Corrugated fiberboard. The corrugated fiberboard is essentially the skeleton of the box. Made up by thousands of tiny fibers, it is created by a corrugator. A corrugator is a large machine that combines two different kinds of paper to create cut sheets of corrugated fiberboard. The flat, facing sheets are referred to as the linerboard. Linerboard is a thin fiberboard that makes up the outer layer. Flutes are inner arches attached in between the linerboards with a starch based adhesive. They are designed to resist pressure and bending in all directions.

corrugated cardboard linerboard

corrugated cardboard Fluting

Together makes Corrugated Fiberboard

Fiberboard box

Corrugated Fiberboard can come with various amount of flutes within the linerboard, usually ranging from single wall to triple wall.

Single Face: Consists of 1 linerboard and 1 flute

Single wall: Contains 2 liner boards and 1 flute.

Double wall: Contains 3 linerboards and 2 flutes.

Triple Wall: Contains 4 linerboards and 3 flutes.

Single, double, and triple walled fiberboard

In addition the outer liner board can be produced in different colors, usually either brown (often referred to as kraft) or white (often referred to as mottled white or bleached white).

Corrugated Boxes

After the corrugated fiberboard is manufactured, we are ready to load it into the machines to make boxes. Below are the parts of the completed corrugated box.

  1. Joint- The opposite edge of the box either glued, stapled, wire stitched, or taped together with the last panel to form a box.
  2. Panel– A “face” or “side” of a box.
  3. Slots– A wide cut, including removal of a narrow strip of material made in a fiberboard sheet, usually to form flaps and permit folding
  4. Scores– An impression or crease in corrugated or solid fiberboard, made to position and facilitate folds.

Corrugated box folding example

Box Types

RSC – Regular Slotted Container – This is the most common of all box styles. All the flaps are the same length and are ½ the width of the carton, so that they meet in the center of the box when folded.


FOL – Full Overlap – The panels extend all the way to the opposite side and completely overlap. One can order a box with FOL flaps top, bottom or both top and bottom.

Full Overlap box

Die Cut – A box that is stamped out from a steel rule die that is inserted into a die cutting machine. Die-cut boxes provide greater design options and tighter size tolerances.

Die Cut box

As you can see much like us, corrugated boxes can come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Here at ICC the Compliance Center we offer many different types of corrugated boxes for shipping dangerous goods.

If you would like to purchase UN packaging or have any questions please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.977.4834 (Canada) or 1.888.442.9628 (USA).

Definitions provided by:

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-54E

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-54E once current stock with UN marking 4GV/X4.4/S/**/USA/+AA7747 runs out. This affects PK-ETALL, PK-ETALLAP, PK-EGAL, PK-EGALAP, PK-EGALLV, and PK-ETALLLV.

  1. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48 mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48 mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Packaging Infectious Substances

Infectious Substances Packaging

What Are Infectious Substances?

Infectious Substances are defined as substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens, or micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi which can cause disease in humans or animals. Section 1.4 TDG, IATA They are split up into two separate categories. Category A which is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threating or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Category A infectious substances are either assigned UN2814 or UN2900 and are class 6.2. IATA Category B substances are any other infectious substances that do not meet the criteria for inclusion of Category A. They are assigned the UN number 3373.

Packaging Infectious Substances

For Category A substances, Infectous Substances Affecting Humans or Animals Only, strict performance criteria should be met on the packaging including drop testing, puncture testing, a pressure testing, and a stacking test. The configuring is often referred to as the triple packaging system. When packaging Category A substances, you must start out with a leak-proof primary receptacle. If the substances are shipped at room temperature or higher, these receptacles must be made of glass, metal, or plastic. The primary receptacles must then be placed into a leak-proof secondary packaging, either wrapped individually or separated to prevent any contact.

Both the primary and secondary packaging must be able to withstand an internal pressure of at least 95 kPa. If the substance is a liquid it must have absorbent material placed between the primary and secondary packaging. If the substances are frozen or refrigerated, dry ice or Ice must be placed around the secondary packaging or in an over pack and a leak-proof container. The limit per container on a passenger aircraft is 50 ML or 50 G. A rigid Outer Packaging including drums, boxes or jerricans must then be used to surround the entire package. (See Image Below) 49 CFR (173.196), CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P620.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 1

When packaging Category B substances, Biological Substance, Category B (see figure below), the triple packaging system of primary, secondary, and outer packaging is also utilized. They must also be packaged in a way that under normal circumstances of transport cannot break, be puncture or leak. For liquid substances shipped by air, the primary receptacle must not contain more than 1 L, and the outer packaging must not contain more than 4 L or 4 KG for solids. 49 CFR 173.199, CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P650.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 2

And as always contact ICC Compliance Center for questions or to purchase Infectious Packaging.

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-105SP

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-105SP (PK-105SP, PK-GLG28IN) once current stock with UN Marking 4GV/X12.9/S/**/USA/+ AA8431 runs out.

  1. The cushioning distances are now 3.85” on the top, 2.5” on the bottom, and 1.7” on the sides.
  2. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Single Packaging
5 Common Mistakes When Shipping Dangerous Goods

Man preparing shipment

With the amount of hazardous materials being transported every day, It is no surprise that dangerous goods shippers may struggle to be compliant. Whether it is a misinterpretation of the regulations, or not knowing that a specific regulation exists, the end result is the same, fines and endangering the safety of others. Below are some common mistakes when shipping dangerous goods.

1. Failure to Use UN Specification Packaging:

Shipping dangerous goods isn’t as easy as throwing it in a box and taping it closed. Depending on the specific hazardous substance, there are regulations in place that tell us what type of packaging is acceptable. These regulations will also tell us if the hazardous substance requires UN Specification packaging or not, depending on the quantity. Your best bet would be to always err on the side of caution when packaging dangerous goods and make sure your understanding of the regulations is correct.

49 CFR 173.24, Subsection 5.12(1) of the TDG Regulations.

2. Improper Marking and Labeling of Packages in Shipment:

The exact violation will differ with each shipment, however, whatever the violation is they all have one thing in common: a misunderstanding of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) and how they apply to the hazardous materials you are shipping. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure the package is marked and labeled correctly. Section 4.10 of the TDG regulations, 172.400 49 CFR.

3. Failure to Follow Closure Instructions and to Maintain Them in Accordance with DOT:

Inaccurate record keeping is one of the most frequently occurring violations assessed by the Department of Transportation. The Hazardous Materials Regulations require shippers to maintain a copy of the manufacturer’s notification, including closure instructions (See 178.2(c)(1)(i)(B) of the 49 CFR and clause 4.4 of TP14850), unless it is permanently embossed or printed on the packaging itself. The packaging closure instructions must be available for inspection by a DOT representative upon request for the time period of the packaging’s periodic retest date.

4. Failure to Train Hazmat Employees:

The terms “hazmat employee” and “hazmat employer” are clearly defined in 49 CFR 171.8. Stated briefly, a hazmat employee is anyone who directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety, and a hazmat employer is anyone who uses employees in connection with transporting hazardous materials in commerce, causing hazardous materials to be transported, or manufacturing or offering packaging as authorized for use in transportation of hazardous materials. Section 6.2 of the TDG Regulations.

Before any employee begins working with dangerous goods, that person must be provided function-specific training applicable to the functions of the job that they perform. Also, if a new regulation is adopted, or an existing regulation is changed that relates to a function performed by a hazmat employee, that hazmat employee first must be instructed in those new or revised function-specific requirements. 172.704 (a)(2)(i) 49 CFR.

5. Failure to register with PHMSA:

Federal Hazardous material transportation law requires a person who offers for transportation certain hazardous materials, to file a registration statement with the U.S Department of Transportation and to pay an annual registration fee. The registration regulations are found at 49 CFR 107.601-107.620.

As always, if you have any questions regarding shipping dangerous goods contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).