Shelf Life Management Program Frequently Asked Questions
Type I - are critical end-use items, the failure of which could endanger human life or cause major systems (such as an aircraft) to fail. Examples include:
- Preserved and packaged foods;
- Heat dissipating coatings; and
- Some adhesives and sealing compounds.
These items have a definite, non-extendible shelf life. They are marked with an expiration date, after which they must be properly disposed. The cataloging data for each Type I item will contain an alpha shelf-life code, such as C for three months, H for 12 months and M for 24 months.
Type II - items are those for less critical applications, and which can be reinserted periodically to determine their continued fitness for use. Most shelf life items fall into this category. Examples include:
- Adhesive tapes
- Cleaning supplies.
They are marked with a reinsertion date, which may be extended several times, depending on established criteria and agency policy. The cataloging data for each Type II item will contain a numeric shelf life code, such as one for three months, four for 12 months, and six for 24 months.
Both Federal Standard 123 (FED-STD-123) "Marking for Shipment (Civil Agencies)" and MIL-STD-129 "Military Marking For Shipment and Storage" require that they be marked with the following:
- Date of manufacture, cure (rubber and elastomers only), assembly or pack (subsistence only);
- Date of expiration (month and year), for Type I (non-extendable) items; or
- Date of re-inspection (month and year), for Type II (extendable) items.