• English

Group of Experts on the IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of CTUs

Many incidents in transport are attributed to poor practices in the packing of cargo transport units, including inadequate securing of the cargo, overloading and misdeclaration of contents. This is of major concern particularly because the victims may be the general public or transport and supply chain workers, who generally have no control over the packing of such units.

The IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units were published in 1997 and provided a set of practical measures for ensuring the safe packing of cargo in containers, road vehicles and railway wagons. They applied to transport operations by all surface and water modes and to the entire intermodal transport chain.

In 2011, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and the Economic Commission for Europe set up a group of experts to revise the Guidelines so that they would reflect the latest information, best practices and requirements on this matter. The three organizations decided to upgrade the revised guidelines to a Code of Practice by including more details and technical contents.

The Group of Experts held four sessions from 2011 to 2013 and completed a Code of Practice providing guidance, not only to those responsible for packing and securing cargo, but also to those who receive and unpack such units. The Code of Practice also addresses issues such as training and the packing of dangerous goods.

News and events

March 2014
List of all participants in the Group of Experts’ sessions.

February 2014
The UNECE Inland Transport Committee has endorsed the new CTU Code and expressed the hope that it would soon be extensively used and referred to by Governments and the transport industry.

January 2014
The new IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) will be presented at the Inland Transport Committee (25 to 27 February 2014)

Key documents


IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code, January 2014)


Draft Informative Material (January 2014)


Report of the Group of Experts on its fourth session (January 2014)

Presentation of the Code of Practice (Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, May 2013)

Information document for the Working Party on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (May 2013)

More documents and reports:



IMO/ILO/UNECE Guidelines for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (1997 edition)

IMO website

ILO transport sector website

European Best Practice Guidelines on Cargo Securing for Road Transport (European Commission) English


International Guidelines on Safe Load Securing for Road Transport (IRU) English


More links