Durable Self-Adhesive Labelling
Chemical Drum Labels


Port container traffic by sea amounts yearly 680 million containers worldwide. On average 99,99975 % of these containers arrive safe at the destination, the remaining containers gets accidently lost in the ocean, … representing 1.675 containers or 13.000 drums being lost every year! The BS 5609 certification aims at providing certifications guaranteeing the traceability of chemical drums / containers / liquid containers / boxes / jerrycans when transported by sea. The purpose of BS 5609 is to ensure that labels remain effective, even after 3 months floating in the sea or being rubbed against sand on the beach. Xeikon has received in partnership with Avery Denisson the BS 5609 Section 3 certification for the PX3000 in combination with PantherCure UV IJ Inks.

What is the value of digital printing?

Chemical companies are faced with the same challenges for short run, timely labels due to the stringent marine transport regulations:

  • The weight of a chemical drum can vary from one drum to another. The GHS legislation lays down specific requirements for minimum label sizes to be used for particular drum volumes. Popular sizes are: > 3L: min (52 h x 74 v) mm /  3L - 50L: min (74 h x 105 v) mm /  50L - 500L: min (105 h x 148 v) mm / > 500L: min (148 h x 210 v) mm    
  • Also the ability to print a large amount of variable information (barcode, QR code, serial number) removes the need to complete their print with thermal transfer printing inline.
  • The content of a chemical drum can vary from one drum to another. Conform the GHS, the pictograms (“warning diamond”) and other information on the label has to be adapted to the content. The labelling requirements of GHS mean that it is no longer possible to produce a pre-printed ‘template’ label as warning diamonds cannot be left unpopulated    
  • This level of variation in label size and content has encouraged end-users and convertors to look at digital printed BS 5609 Section 2 and 3 certified materials.


The durability performance of the label is tested on labels printed on a Xeikon PX3000 press, with PantherCure UVinks and
Sutbstrate Avery Dennison PE100 TOP WH - S477 - BG40WH (BB697)

  Durability requirements Durability performance of label*
Scratch resistance ++ +++
Heat resistance + +
Chemical resistance + +++
UV exposure ++ ++
BS 5609 Section2& 3 certification Yes (for marine transportation) Yes
UL, CSA recognition certification No No

* + = medium durability, ++ = high durability, +++ = very high durability