Shipping Terms Glossary

UN Number

A UN Number is a four-digit number that identifies dangerous or hazardous substances and goods.

What is the UN Number?

A United Nations (UN) Number is a four-digit number that identifies dangerous or hazardous substances and goods (e.g. explosives, flammable items, or poisonous substances)

Here's an example of a UN Number:

Lithium batteries
Corrosives
Paint
lithium battery un number
Corrosives UN Number
Paint UN Number

Download free template
Battery Products UN Label

What is the purpose of a UN Number?

Besides identifying dangerous goods, UN numbers help you find the following:


The correct proper shipping name

The appropriate packaging that should be used for transportation

The modes of transport the goods are eligible to be shipped by

How much may be transported per package

and other specific rules that apply to transporting the goods via a specific mode of transport.


The numbers range from UN0004 to about UN3600.

The numbers range from UN0004 to about UN3600.

UN Number Label Structure:

What is UN Number Label Structure

The labels have 3 parts:

1. A symbol which indicates the hazardous class

2. The UN Number

3. The Hazardous Class Number

Which products need a UN Number?

You will require a UN number if you’re shipping dangerous goods, meaning goods with a hazardous component (e.g. certain types of batteries or flammable liquids).

Here are some examples of goods requiring UN Number:

Lithium batteries
Corrosives
Paint
lithium battery un number
corrosives un number
paint un number

How do you find a UN Number?


You can access the list of UN Numbers in the United Nations Dangerous Goods List.

Just type in the hazardous good’s name and hit search!

Where should you put the UN Number?


It must be stated under the “Hazards Identification” section of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of your good.

Bookairfreight MSDS example with UN number highlighted


Daisy Jiang

Proud Co-Founder and CEO of Bookairfreight. Shortly after starting to work in the world of logistics, I was astonished at how difficult and time consuming it was for businesses to get their hands on a simple air freight quote. I saw this as an opportunity to really make a difference in people’s lives, and felt like I had to do something. It was the spark that lit the fire of Bookairfreight’s creation.

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