GHS: BS5609


What is GHS?

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Specifically, GHS governs the physical design of a printed label used on chemical drums.

GHS is a global initiative designed to make hazardous chemical drum shipping labels universally recognizable by standardizing the symbols used. In everyday terms, it stipulates black and red ink and specific symbols to be used. Think of it in terms of a stop sign, the world over knows that a red octagon means "stop."

There are two components to GHS compliance:

  • Part OneThe combination of the label and ink must carry BS5609 approval.
  • Part TwoThe label printer must use the correct GHS symbols for whatever potential hazards are contained within the product being labeled.

It is important to understand that GHS is not a label/ink specification. GHS is only a compliance standard, meaning only the label designer can ensure GHS compliance.

What is BS5609?

BS5609 is a durability specification for chemical drum labels being used in maritime environments. A maritime environment is defined as prolonged exposure to saltwater, both immersion in salt water and abrasion from salt water.


To obtain BS5609 approval, a two-part test is conducted by an independent, third-party laboratory:

  • Step OneAdhesion and durability of the material (blank label) is tested.
  • Step TwoPrint permanence of the printed label is tested.

Successful completion of the above allows for a specific ribbon and a specific material to be offered as meeting BS5609 specifications when used in conjunction.

It is important to understand that ink alone is not BS5609 compliant.

DNP has your solution.

Our black and red ribbons perform in the harshest maritime environments and are GHS compliant and BS5609 certified.

Label Manufacturer

Label Material

Label Product #

Approved Ribbons

Green Bay Packaging

Kimdura Synthetic Paper

M8865460 & S88865460 (100TK00404PBLF)

TRX-55 Black Wax/Resin


2.3 mil White Polypropylene

DRUMcal 51932

R300 Black Resin

R510C Red Resin


2.0 mil White Polyester


R300 Black Resin

R510C Red Resin


Kimdura TT Ultra Synthetic Paper


TRX-55 Black Wax/Resin