Labeling requirements establish clear and accurate communication about the material in a package.
Hazardous materials packages prepared for transport in commerce must be labeled according to the requirements of 49 CFR or IATA, as applicable. Each package must display the specific hazard labels required by the chemical table for the appropriate level of service.
Labels, whether printed on a carton or affixed to the package, must meet the specific requirements of 49 CFR 172.411 through 172.448 in 49 CFR or Section 18.104.22.168 in IATA. These requirements specify the design, size, and color of the labels.
For U.S. shipments of Division 6.1, Packing Group III materials, UPS requires the use of the Division 6.1 label with “PGIII” on the label and no other text, as in 49 CFR 172.405(c). For International shipments of Division 6.1, Packing Group III materials, UPS will accept either the “Toxic” or “Poison” label, provided the letters “PGIII” are marked immediately adjacent to the label.
By regulation, hazard labels cannot be bent or wrapped around corners.
The required labeling is shown in the "Ground Shipments - Label(s) Required" column and in "Air Shipments - Label(s) Required" column. Some hazardous materials have multiple risks and require more than one hazard label. The first label name displayed represents the "primary" hazard class.
Additional label names are the "subsidiary risks" or “subrisks” for that material. All subrisk labels are to be displayed on the same side of the package as the primary label and the associated marking. However, in DOT regulations, if the package size does not accommodate both the primary and subrisk labels, the subrisk labels can be affixed on an adjacent side and must be within 6" of the primary label.
In some cases, there are exceptions to the hazard labeling requirements. These exceptions are usually identified in the "Special Provisions” and “Exceptions” columns of the relevant chemical table.
Many Ground service level limited quantity shipments of hazardous materials offered for transport within the US 48 contiguous states or crossborder into Canada are exempt from hazard labeling requirements. (Note: the limited quantity marking is required.)
Air service level packages containing hazardous materials prepared for in “cargo aircraft only” (CAO) quantities must be labeled with a CAO label.
Special permit packaging designed, manufactured and certified by packaging vendors may be exempt from labeling requirements when used for hazardous materials of specific classes and packing groups. For these packages, follow the special permit and instructions provided with the packaging.
If you have any questions about shipping hazardous materials with UPS, please call the UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center 1-800-554-9964.