University of Delaware Procedures for Shipping Chemicals

Note: These procedures are for shipping chemicals through a carrier such as FedEx. For information regarding transporting (driving) materials, refer to the Transporting Chemicals procedures. These procedures are only for chemicals.

If the shipment contains chemicals, complete the DOT Shipping Request Form. If the shipment is radioactive, contact the Radiation Safety Officer at 831-1434. If the shipment is biological, go to Transportation and Shipment of Biological Materials

  1. Preparing for a shipment:
    • To begin the shipping process, you must complete the DOT Shipping Request Form. The form must then be faxed or mailed to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) (x1528). 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). Youwill be contacted via email or phone to inform you of the next step.
  2. If the original material is regulated:
    • 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.
  3. If the material is not regulated
    • If DEHS informs you the material is not regulated, you may ship it yourself. You will receive an email from DEHS stating it is not regulated 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:
      • Person / Department requesting shipment must confirm through the Department of Environmental Health & Safety that the chemical(s) that they want to ship are non-regulated;
      • Maximum quantity per container that is allowed when shipping non-regulated chemicals is limited to 100 grams for solids and 100 milliliters for liquids. Special requests for the shipment of larger containers of non-regulated chemicals must be pre-approved through the Department of Environmental Health & Safety.
      • Each container must be constructed of plastic having a thickness of not less than 0.2 millimeters, or of glass, earthenware or metal. The container to be used must be compatible with the chemical that it will store. The closure of each container must be leak-proof and held securely in place with wire, tape, parafilm or other positive means. Containers of liquids must contain sufficient headspace which means that the container is not completely filled at a temperature of 55 ° C or 130 ° F.
      • Note: Containers for the retention of liquids must be capable of withstanding, without leakage, an internal pressure which produces a pressure differential of not less than 95 kPa or 13.8 lb/in2.
      • Each container must be properly labeled with the common chemical name or IUPAC nomenclature. Labels must be legible and written in English. Foreign text may also be placed on the label as long as the English text is placed first on the label and is made prominent.
      • For Solids:  Each container must be securely packed in an intermediate packaging with cushioning material. The intermediate packaging must be able to completely contain the contents in case of breakage or leakage, regardless of package orientation. The Department of Environmental Health & Safety recommends heavy-duty, high quality ziplock bags for the intermediate packaging. Before sealing the ziplock bag carefully evacuate all excess air. Seal the ziplock bag with packaging tape to prevent it from opening. The cushioning material must be compatible with the chemicals.
      • For Liquids: Each container must be securely packed in an intermediate packaging with absorbent material. The absorbent material must be capable of absorbing all of the liquid contents regardless of package orientation. The absorbent material must be compatible with the chemicals. The Department of Environmental Health & Safety recommends heavy-duty, freezer ziplock bags for the intermediate packaging. Before sealing the ziplock bag carefully evacuate all excess air. Seal the ziplock bag with packaging tape to prevent it from opening.
      • Place the intermediate package into a sturdy, non-damaged shipping container (i.e. corrugated cardboard box). The box must be stamped with the minimum Box Certification Statement: 200 pound test.
      • Important: New boxes are preferred. However if a box is going to be reused, do not use damaged boxes or boxes that possess any labels that may signify that the contents of the package is hazardous.
      • Ensure that there is sufficient cushioning material placed around the intermediate container to prevent it from movement during shipment.
      • Place the following inside of the box near the top opening:
        • MSDS for each chemical/mixture;
        • A copy of the signed DOT request form; and
        • A notice with the following statement: "The contents of this package are non-regulated / non-restricted per current Department of Transportation and International Air Transport Association regulations."
      • Securely seal the box with packaging tape.
      • Place "to" and "from" address labels on the exterior of the box.
      • Place orientation labels (up arrows) on 2 opposite sides of the outer box on all shipments containing liquids. Labels must meet specific shipping regulations. Contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety if you need the orientation labels.
      • Please Note:  Multiple chemicals can be shipped together as long as the following requirements are met:
        • All of the chemicals were determined by DEHS to be non-regulated;
        • All of the chemicals are compatible and will not react with each other;
        • Each chemical/mixture is packaged according to the requirements listed above;
        • A MSDS is provided for each chemical/mixture; and
        • There is sufficient cushioning material placed between each intermediate package to prevent breakage during shipment.
    • If the non-hazardous material will be shipped on dry ice, follow these guidelines:
      • You must have completed the DOT Dry Ice Shipping online training.
      • DEHS will verify you have current DOT dry ice shipping training, then will 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.

Questions regarding chemicals shipment or transportation issues may be addressed to Jane J. Frank or call 831-2103.