COMMODITY: Small arms ammunition (shotshell, rimfire and centerfire) as a Limited Quantity of Division 1.4S – 50 caliber or less, inert bullets or tracer only

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: International Vessel


PROPER SHIPPING NAME:Cartridges, small armsLABEL:None



Cartridges, small arms 50 cal or less with inert bullets (including tracers but no incendiary or exploding bullets) may be self-classified by the manufacturer as UN 0012, Cartridges, small arms, Division 1.4S explosive.

The IMDG requires competent authority approval of explosives. 49 CFR 173.56(h) constitutes a competent authority approval. No EX approval is required.

Citation: IMDG; 49 CFR 173.56(h)


Special Provision 364: “This article may only be transported under the provisions of chapter 3.4 if, as presented for transport, the package is capable of passing the test in accordance with test series 6(d) of part I of the Manual of Tests and Criteria as determined by the competent authority.”

This means that a government may choose to require the 6(d) test, otherwise it is not a requirement. It is not required in the US. However in practice international ocean carriers may choose to require it in case it is required. A blanket certificate from an authority such as BAM is recommended to be provided upon request to carriers.

The 6(d) test criteria forbid a piece of ignited cartridge or an un-ignited cartridge from exiting the package when a single cartridge in the center of the package is ignited.

Citation: 3.3


Package the ammunition as follows:

  • Pack according to Packing Instruction 130.
  • Pack only in combination packages (inners in an outer) with inner packages not exceeding 5 kg or less
  • The combination package gross weight is limited to 30 kg (66 pounds) per package.

Citation: 3.2,, 4.1.4


1) Shipping description together and in order with no other information interspersed:

“UN 0012, Cartridges, small arms, 1.4S, Ltd Qty”. There is no packing group.

2) The total quantity in kilograms (kg) in terms of net explosives mass, i.e. the weight of the powder and primer mix (primer mix may be negligible compared to powder) in the ammunition. The degree of decimals or rounding is not specified, the recommendation is to use whole units, e.g. 5 lbs.

3) The number and kind of packages, before or after the shipping description, e.g. “10 boxes” or “10 drums”. Commonly understood abbreviations may be used, e.g. “bx” or “drm”. Use of a packaging code such as “4G” is not compliant but is optional as an addition; not recommended.

4) If packing the ocean freight container on site, a container packing certificate is required, either separately or as part of the shipping paper.

UN0012, Cartridges, Small Arms, 1.4S, LTD QTYX,XXX KG (net explosives mass)

Citation: IMDG,,


Packages containing LQ small arms ammunition must display the following markings on one side as follows:

  • LQ Mark
  • Specification package marking, ½” tall, or ¼” tall for 30 kg max, or an appropriate size for 5 kg max

Neither the consignor’s or the consignee’s name and address are required.

Citation: IMDG 3.4,


An overpack is:

  • a pallet
  • a spec packaging within a non-spec packaging, normally used for consolidation

The “Overpack” marking is required if at least one representative marking is not visible of the UN number, proper shipping name and the specification packaging marking for every hazardous material in the overpack. If any of these are not visible at least once in the overpack, all markings and labels should be reproduced on one side of the over, in addition to the “OVERPACK” mark.

The word “OVERPACK” may be a sticker, stenciled, or on a printed sheet of paper. It must be at least 0.5” tall as of 12/31/2016. It does not have to have a surrounding border.

overpack un0012

Citation: IMDG