I have heard about excepted quantities but do not know how these are used. Can you explain?

Excepted quantities” are very similar to “Limited quantities” but the maximum inner and outer packages are smaller.  Because the dangerous goods are packed in small containers and the outer package weight is limited there are some exemptions from the rules. 

The excepted quantity provision is now available in ADR (Chapter 3.5), IMDG (Chapter 3.5) and IATA (Chapter 2.6).  Packing Groups II and III can usually be sent by EQ and combination packages must be used.  Not all hazardous classes can utilize these exemptions, typical examples being Class 1 (explosives), Class 6.2 (Infectious substances), and Class 7 (Radioactives). 

Excepted quantities must meet the maximum inner packaging weight, which ranges from 30 – 1 ml/gram depending on the product.  Maximum outer packaging range from 1000 – 300 mls/grams, again, depending on the product. 

Each product in the dangerous goods list is given a code E0-E5.  E0 is not permitted as an excepted quantity.  E1 allows an inner package size of 30mls/grams and outer 1000mls/grams, whilst E5 is 1ml/gram and 300ml/gram respectively.    Where different codes are packaged together the total quantity of the outer package should be limited to the most restrictive code in the package. 

Although UN certified packaging is not required there are some prescribed rules laid down which relate to the construction of the inner and outers.  These specify type of material allowed for inner and outer, closure of each inner packages should be held securely in place by positive means (wire, tape etc).  Receptacle with a neck with moulded screw threads should have a leak proof threaded type cap, closures should be resistant to the contents.   

Inner packagings should be placed in an intermediate packaging with cushioning material to ensure, under normal conditions of carriage, nothing breaks or leaks. 

Outer packagings should be strong and rigid, such as wooden, fibreboard or other equally strong materials.  In the chapters mentioned above a number of tests are laid down which should be carried out internally to ensure compliance. 

The completed package should be large enough to ensure that there is enough space to apply all necessary markings.  The excepted quantity label is shown below.


Class number is required on label and name of consignor or consignee if not shown elsewhere on the package.   Maximum number of packages in a vehicle or container shall not exceed 1000. 

If a document such as a Bill of Lading, AWB or CMR/CIM consignment note accompanies the shipment, at least one of these should include the statement “Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities” and indicate number of packages. 


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