Test requirements for IBCs
Performance and frequency of tests
Each IBC design type shall successfully pass the tests prescribed in this Chapter before being used
and being approved by the competent authority allowing the allocation of the mark. An IBC design
type is defined by the design, size, material and thickness, manner of construction and means of filling
and discharging but may include various surface treatments. It also includes IBCs which differ from
the design type only in their lesser external dimensions.
Tests shall be carried out on IBCs prepared for carriage. IBCs shall be filled as indicated in the
relevant sections. The substances to be carried in the IBCs may be replaced by other substances except
where this would invalidate the results of the tests. For solids, when another substance is used it shall
have the same physical characteristics (mass, grain size, etc.) as the substance to be carried. It is
permissible to use additives, such as bags of lead shot, to achieve the requisite total package mass, so
long as they are placed so that the test results are not affected.
Design type tests
One IBC of each design type, size, wall thickness and manner of construction shall be submitted to the
tests listed in the order shown in 188.8.131.52.7 and as set out in 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11. These design type tests
shall be carried out as required by the competent authority.
To prove sufficient chemical compatibility with the contained goods or standard liquids in accordance
with 18.104.22.168.3 or 22.214.171.124.5 for rigid plastics IBCs of type 31H2 and for composite IBCs of types
31HH1 and 31HH2, a second IBC can be used when the IBCs are designed to be stacked. In such case
both IBCs shall be subjected to a preliminary storage.
The competent authority may permit the selective testing of IBCs which differ only in minor respects
from a tested type, e.g. with small reductions in external dimensions.
If detachable pallets are used in the tests, the test report issued in accordance with 126.96.36.199 shall
include a technical description of the pallets used.
Preparation of IBCs for testing
Paper and fibreboard IBCs and composite IBCs with fibreboard outer casings shall be conditioned for
at least 24 hours in an atmosphere having a controlled temperature and relative humidity (r.h.). There
are three options, one of which shall be chosen. The preferred atmosphere is 23 ± 2 °C and 50% ± 2%
r.h. The two other options are 20 ± 2 °C and 65% ± 2% r.h.; or 27 ± 2 °C and 65% ± 2% r.h.
NOTE: Average values shall fall within these limits. Short-term fluctuations and measurement
limitations may cause individual measurements to vary by up to ± 5% relative humidity without
significant impairment of test reproducibility.
Additional steps shall be taken to ascertain that the plastics material used in the manufacture of rigid
plastics IBCs (types 31H1 and 31H2) and composite IBCs (types 31HZ1 and 31HZ2) complies
respectively with the requirements in 188.8.131.52.2 to 184.108.40.206.4 and 220.127.116.11.6 to 18.104.22.168.9.
To prove there is sufficient chemical compatibility with the contained goods, the sample IBC shall be
subjected to a preliminary storage for six months, during which the samples shall remain filled with
the substances they are intended to contain or with substances which are known to have at least as
severe a stress-cracking, weakening or molecular degradation influence on the plastics materials in
question, and after which the samples shall be submitted to the applicable tests listed in the table in
Where the satisfactory behaviour of the plastics material has been established by other means, the
above compatibility test may be dispensed with. Such procedures shall be at least equivalent to the
above compatibility test and recognized by the competent authority.
For polyethylene rigid plastics IBCs (types 31H1 and 31H2) in accordance with 22.214.171.124 and composite
IBCs with polyethylene inner receptacle (types 31HZ1 and 31HZ2) in accordance with 126.96.36.199,
chemical compatibility with filling liquids assimilated in accordance with 188.8.131.52 may be verified as
follows with standard liquids (see 6.1.6).
The standard liquids are representative for the processes of deterioration on polyethylene, as there are
softening through swelling, cracking under stress, molecular degradation and combinations thereof.
The sufficient chemical compatibility of the IBCs may be verified by storage of the required test
samples for three weeks at 40 °C with the appropriate standard liquid(s); where this standard liquid is
water, storage in accordance with this procedure is not required. Storage is not required either for test
samples which are used for the stacking test in case of the standard liquids wetting solution and acetic
acid. After this storage, the test samples shall undergo the tests prescribed in 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11.
The compatibility test for tert-Butyl hydroperoxide with more than 40% peroxide content and
peroxyacetic acids of Class 5.2 shall not be carried out using standard liquids. For these substances,
sufficient chemical compatibility of the test samples shall be verified during a storage period of six
months at ambient temperature with the substances they are intended to carry.
Results of the procedure in accordance with this paragraph from polyethylene IBCs can be approved
for an equal design type, the internal surface of which is fluorinated.