Dry Ice Packaging and Labeling Instructions

Dry ice is a regulated substance and must be packaged, marked and labeled appropriately to be transported under Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines. See below for appropriate steps to ensure your package's compliance.


Dry ice can be a very serious hazard in a small space that isn't well-ventilated. As dry ice melts, it turns into carbon dioxide gas. In a small space, this gas can build up. If enough carbon dioxide gas is present, a person can become unconscious, and in some cases, die. Therefore, dry ice is regulated for transport and must be packaged, marked and labeled appropriately.

How to Prepare Shipments Containing Dry Ice

  1. Package
    1. Dry ice releases carbon dioxide gas which can build up enough pressure to rupture the packaging. You must ensure the packaging you use allows the release of this pressure to prevent rupturing the package. For example, do not use steel drums or jerricans as outer packaging, and do not place dry ice within sealed plastic bags.
    2. Use good quality fiberboard (corrugated cardboard), plastic or wooden boxes as the outer box. Styrofoam must not be used as an outer packaging.
    3. A layer of Styrofoam within a box works well as insulation. Ensure the Styrofoam IS NOT sealed to be airtight.
    4. The maximum amount of dry ice per package varies based on destination.
  2. Marking
    1. The following package markings are required:

      1. Dry Ice (or Carbon Dioxide Solid) Note: The Proper Shipping Name, namely Dry Ice (or Carbon Dioxide Solid) must be on the same surface of the package as the hazard label or Class 9 label, when package dimensions are adequate.

      2. UN 1845

      3. The net quantity of dry ice in the package in kilograms

    2. The name and address of both the shipper and recipient must be durably marked. This information can be marked on the package itself, or you can mark the shipper and recipient in the fields provided on the Dry Ice Label

Dry Ice UN 1845 shipper address

  1. Labeling
    1. A Class 9 label required. Do NOT write inside the diamond border of the label.
    2. You are required to note the amount of dry ice either directly on the box or in the spot provided on the label. (Bottom-right corner of the label)
    3. You are required to note the name and address of the shipper and recipient on the box or in the specified area of the label.

UN 1845 Label

Dry ice packaging and labeling instructions

Questions? If you have any questions or would like additional help, please don't hesitate to call Mercury Business Services at 617-723-5205 to see how we can address your shipping needs.

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