University of Delaware Procedures for Shipping Biological Materials

Note: These procedures are for shipping biological materials through a carrier such as FedEx. For information regarding transporting (driving) materials, refer to the "Transporting Biological Materials" procedures. These procedures are only for biological materials. If the shipment contains chemicals complete the DOT Shipping Request Form. If the shipment is radioactive, contact the Radiation Safety Officer at 831-1434.

  1. Preparing for a shipment:
  2. To begin the shipping process, you must complete the Biological Shipping Request Form . The form must then be faxed or mailed to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS). Please submit the form a week prior to the desired shipping date in order to allow enough time to classify the materials and acquire the proper shipping materials if needed.

    DEHS will then determine whether the shipment meets the definition of hazardous materials per the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the International Air Transport Association (IATA). You will be contacted via email or phone to inform you of the next step.

  3. If the material is considered hazardous:
  4. If your shipment meets the definition of a hazardous material, you will be contacted to schedule a time for DEHS to perform the shipment for you.

  5. If the material is NOT considered hazardous:
  6. If DEHS informs you the material itself is not hazardous, and it does not contain any chemicals or radioactive materials, you may ship it yourself. You will receive an e-mail from DEHS stating it is not hazardous and that you may ship it. This authorization is valid to use for shipments of the material stated, to the same recipient, under the same conditions for up to one year. You do not need to submit a new form for the exact same shipment during that year. If any of the conditions change, however, a new approval is needed.

    Follow these guidelines if dry ice is NOT being used:

    • Assure primary container is tightly sealed. Secure the cap with tape. If the sample is liquid, ensure there is sufficient headspace in the container to allow for expansion.
    • Wrap primary container in sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire sample if the container were to break.
    • Place the primary container and absorbent into a secondary container such as another screw-top tube or a heavy duty ziplock bag.
    • Use a sturdy shipping box in good condition. Add padding as needed.
    • Include a piece of paper inside the box stating that the samples are not regulated per DOT or IATA. Describe the samples on this sheet. A form will be provided for you to use.
     

    If the non-hazardous material is to be shipped on dry ice, follow these guidelines:

    • You must have completed the DOT Dry Ice Shipping Training within the previous 2 years. The training is available online through EHS Assistant at ehs.facil.udel.edu:1569.
    • DEHS will verify you have current DOT dry ice shipping training, then contact you to authorize the shipment. We will send you a checklist to assist you in packaging the materials and will provide the necessary stickers and information on acceptable packaging materials.
    • Complete the shipment per your training and the checklist.
     
  7. Materials that are NOT regulated for shipping:
  8. The following materials are NOT currently regulated by DOT or IATA for shipping purposes. You do not need to complete a Biological Shipping Request Form in order to ship these materials in quantities less than 100ml or 100g:

    • DNA samples from Biosafety Level 1 organisms
    • RNA samples from Biosafety Level 1 organisms
    • Proteins from Biosafety Level 1 organisms
     

    As long as they do NOT contain any chemicals or radioactive materials, and they are NOT being shipped on dry ice, you may follow these procedures and perform the shipment yourself:

    • Assure primary container is tightly sealed. Secure the cap with tape. If the sample is liquid, ensure there is sufficient headspace in the container to allow for expansion.
    • Wrap primary container in sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire sample if the container were to break.
    • Place the primary container and absorbent into a secondary container such as another screw-top tube or a heavy duty ziplock bag.
    • Use a sturdy shipping box in good condition. Add padding as needed.
    • Include a piece of paper inside the box stating that the samples are not regulated per DOT or IATA. Describe the samples on this sheet, including contact information for the shipper and recipient, and the emergency contact number for UD Public Safety- 302-831-2222.
     

    Note: any samples being shipped on dry ice are considered regulated and you must follow the dry ice procedures in Section 3. If you have any questions or concerns about how your samples should be classified either complete the Biological Shipping Request Form or contact Krista Murray, Biosafety Officer at 831-1433.