EcoEnclose logo
EcoEnclose logo

All articles

BMC - Box Certification Stamp RequirementsUpdated a year ago

We no longer offer a BMC stamp or the EcoEnclose stamp for boxes. If you want recycled information on your box, you can include those details in an art file and order custom-printed boxes.

Is the BMC stamp required?

Many corrugated boxes have a round or square Box Manufacturer's Certification stamp (or cert stamps or BMC for short) printed on them. However, BMC stamps are NOT generally required anymore. Originally, BMC stamps were implemented for palletized freight shipments – largely for rail transit providers. Today, a handful of retailers seem to require it (for example, Bed Bath and Beyond requires that incoming shipments are boxes in BMC stamped boxes). However, neither UPS, USPS, FedEx, nor DHL requires or advocate for these stamps on their shipping parcels. UPS strongly prefers that companies shipping their goods steer away from BMC and, instead, use UPS's concrete guidance on box strength. Here’s a direct line from their website – “Weight limits printed on the Box Maker's Certificate (found on the bottom flaps of most boxes) are intended for palletized freight shipments, not shipments through small parcel carrier environments. Following the UPS Box Strength Guidelines will help ensure your package is of adequate strength to provide sufficient protection.”

More information on BMC stamps: 

Using the usual round certification stamp on any box indicates that the box has been manufactured by the rail or motor carriers classifications (i.e., rule 41 or item 222). This constitutes a guarantee by the box maker that may lead to legal liabilities if the box fails due to an error in the stamp. Thus, it is not suggested that round cert stamps be used when the end use of the box is not known to the box maker. In many cases, a rectangular stamp certifying only the burst strength of the corrugated board may be substituted for the round stamp providing this is sufficient for the customer's needs.

There is a provision in both rule 41 and item 222 which permits the use of boxes of greater size than normal certificate limits if the weight of the box and contents is correspondingly below normal limits. This provision must be noted in printing below the usual certificate if it is used.

For very large or heavy products, rule 41 or item 222 are so restrictive that it is impractical or impossible to design an adequate package. When this occurs, it is often possible to take advantage of other provisions of the rail and motor carriers classifications which specify "F" (for furniture) packs or "numbered" packs. These specifications describe complete packages, including interior pads. When boxes can be designed to comply with either provision, numbered packs are generally the better choice. Certificate stamps for numbered packs are also rectangular but include the package number, the board's burst strength, the box maker's name, etc.

Was this article helpful?