Single Packaging
Benefits and Rules of Variation Packaging

Standard 4G UN combination packaging is tested in a specific configuration with specific inner packaging and components. When using standard 4G UN combination packaging, you must use very similar components that match the configuration of the way the package was tested in the lab. This can make it rather difficult at times to find a packaging solution to meet your specific needs. In comes variation packaging to save the day! Variation packaging allows you to use various types of inner packaging, such as bottles, cans, jars, and smaller plastic containers while using a fiberboard box that meets the UN specifications and the ISTA requirements.

This packaging is ideal when a combination of different inner components is needed, or when the party responsible for shipping has a variety of products to ship. This type of packaging carries labeling marks designated 4GV. Below is a list of some rules and regulations per 49 CFR 178.601 (g) (2) if you decide to utilize variation packaging:

  1. Articles of any type, liquid or solid, may be assembled and transported using variation packaging if the following conditions are met below:
  2. The same cushioning material must be used as what the package was tested with. If the package was tested with an absorbent pouch and 2 pillows, the same must be used during the shipping process. The same goes for any fiberboard insert associated with the packaging.
  3. The thickness of the absorbent must not be reduced below what the original testing report indicates. For example, if the packing instructions call for 2″ of vermiculite on the top, bottom, and sides of the inner container and to fill the remaining void space, that would be the minimum cushioning you are allowed to use when shipping the variation package.
  4. If inner packaging is used that contains liquid, there must be enough absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of the bottle. If the hazardous liquid in the bottle leaks, the absorbent material must have the ability to soak it up to prevent leakage from getting beyond the outer packaging.
  5. When an inner packaging contains a liquid and is not leak-proof or a solid and is not sift-proof, it must also contain a leak-proof liner, plastic bag, or any equally effective means of containment.

And as always if you have any questions or would like to purchase variation packaging, contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.44834 (Canada).

2 thoughts on “Benefits and Rules of Variation Packaging

  1. For your 4GV packaging in this article, can you reuse the packaging? Also, do you need to use the same tape that you used when assembling the original package?

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