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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Don’t Cover up the UN Label!

July 11th, 2012 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

A customer informed us that a shipment of dangerous goods shipped in a Skolnik drum had been seized by Port Customs in a European country. The customer called because the durable UN label on the side of the drum had been covered by another shipping label and Customs would not release the drum without a clear and visible UN label. We did recreate the durable side label and overnighted it to the Port Customs in Europe. The lesson here is don’t ever cover up any of the UN markings!

When shipping non-bulk drums that contain hazardous materials, it is the shipper’s responsibility, and liability, to confirm that the packaging is compliant with 49CFR 178.500 and 178.600. With respect to the markings on the package, 178.503(a) states, “The markings must be durable, legible and placed in a location and of such a size as to be readily visible.”

At Skolnik, we emboss our permanent marks and use a laser printed pressure sensitive label for the durable side mark. Recently, we have seen other drums in which the bottom embossment is illegible and we have seen other marking systems (that print directly onto the drum surface) which often result in unreadable letters. If a shipper receives new packagings (drums) that have an embossment or a durable mark that is not legible, they should return it to the manufacturer. If the drum is shipped, it is likely that the DOT will consider the illegible marks to be in violation of the CFR and the shipper will be fined.

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