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BS5609 explained

BS5609 is the standard used to ensure that Global Harmonisation System (GHS) labelling complies with European directives, and relates to labels used for identifying chemicals transported throughout Europe. It is the International Maritime Code for Dangerous Goods (IMDG) certification requirement for self-adhesive labels.

BS5609 is an internationally recognised standard covering the suitability of a particular label for use on containers of chemicals for shipment by sea. BS5609 approval is a requirement for self-adhesive labels on drums of chemicals which need International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) certification.

The BS5609 standard sets out various durability criteria including adhesive performance, print permanence and abrasion resistance with a minimum standard for labels to be used in marine environments.

In short, the BS5609 labelling standard means that if a chemical drum were to fall off the side of a ship and wash ashore, the label and print on it must withstand marine exposure so it remains readable, enduring variations in temperature, weathering and exposure to salt spray and sunlight.