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Marking of goods

Correct and complete marking of packages helps to prevent incorrect handling, accidents, incorrect delivery, losses of weight and volume and Customs fines.

Marking must be clear and precise. Its color should stand out clearly from that of the package; it is usually black in color. Alternatively, it may also be applied on adhesive labels. Where possible, black symbols on a white background should be used. Both when the marking is applied directly onto the package and when adhesive labels are used, care must be taken to ensure that marking is applied in a legible and durable manner.

Adequate marking is an indispensable component of the package. If the marking is at variance with the details on the shipping documents, objections may be raised by the Customs authorities. If handling marking is inadequate, those parties whose actions during transport, handling or storage of the cargo have caused damage may be excluded from liability.

Complete marking must comprise the following three parts:

1. Shipping mark

Identification mark: e.g. initial letters of receiver or shipper or of receiver's company name.

Identification number: e.g. receiver's order number.

Total number of items in the complete consignment.

Number of the package in the consignment, e.g. 5/12 or 5 - 12.

Place and port of destination.


2. Information mark

Country of origin: The country of origin must be stated in accordance with the provisions of the particular countries. Statement of the country of origin is often mandatory. In some cases it is not desired and, if contractually agreed, may even have to be omitted. Failure to comply with such agreements entails a risk of blacklisting.

Indication of weight of package: from a gross weight of 1000 kg, packages must be marked with details of weight. With regard to ease of transport, handling and storage, the relevant standards also recommend indicating weight from a lower threshold.

Dimensions of packages: standards specify that dimensions be stated in centimeters.


3. Handling instructions

"Handling marks" help to ensure that greater care is taken with cargo handling. It must be possible to tell,

- whether the package is sensitive to heat or moisture

- whether it is at risk of breakage

- where the top and bottom are and where the center of gravity is located

- where loading tackle may be slung


1.Fragile, Handle with care 2.Protect from heat sources 3.Keep dry 4.Tear off here 5.Temperature limitations
6.Perishable cargo 7.Tight packing 8.Use no hooks 9.Sling here 10.No hand truck here
11.Top 12.Center of gravity 13.Tropical packing 14.Do not stacking 15.Elevate directly for cargo
16.Open here 17.Protect from radioactive sources 18.Do not roll 19.Stacking limitation 20.Clamp here
21.Do not clamp 22.Stacking limited layers high 23.Do not use forklift truck here 24.Electrostatic sensitive device 25.Do not destroy barrier