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Hazardous Shipping

Read about how to ship hazardous materials.

Avoid costly fines. Take steps to get certified today.

The required training certification course for shipping biological materials and dry ice is offered online through UC Learning. This self-paced course replaces the in-person training that could only be offered once per quarter.

To register for the online training and certification course log in to UC Learning and search for "Shipping Biological Substance and Dry Ice"


Warning: Failure to comply with international and federal transportation regulations when shipping hazardous materials can result in civil penalties of $78,376 per occurrence, and criminal penalties may include up to 10 years of imprisonment in addition (49CFR 107.329-107.333).

Don't move the shipment yourself. Shipping prepares all hazardous materials transport documents prior to the pick-up or movement of hazardous materials. This ensures that UCSD is in compliance to move the item across public roads to the Shipping Office on Trade Street.

All outgoing shipments of any infectious substance, diagnostic specimen, or other hazardous material must: 

  • Be processed by a Logistics certified employee
  • Arrive at the destination in good condition
  • Present no hazard during shipment
  • If you plan to ship hazardous materials, you should contact Logistics in advance and carefully follow the guidelines below. Exception: If you plan to ship radioactive materials, follow the instructions on How to Transfer Radioactive Materials.

Note: It may take several days to complete the required paperwork if your shipment contains multiple hazardous materials. Give Logistics advance warning for such shipments, when possible.

Required Training: Training and Certification is required for departments to ship Biological Substances/ Dry ice (49CFR 172.700). To register for the online training and certification course log in to UC Learning and search for "Shipping Biological Substance and Dry Ice".  After you complete the course and pass the test you will be certified to ship Biological Substances and Dry Ice for 2 years.

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1. Decide if your shipment is considered hazardous, and determine the type of hazard.

1.Read the following descriptions to identify the type of hazard:


The U.S. Department of Transportation and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) defines each of the following.

Hazardous

Diagnostic Specimen/Biological

Infectious Substance

Definition

A substances capable of posing a risk to health, safety, or to property when transported.

Examples of commonly shipped materials that are considered hazardous:

· Battery powered equipment

· Biological substances

· Contents of first aid kits

· Corrosives

· Diagnostic specimens

· Dry ice

· Environmentally hazardous substances

· Explosives, gases, and flammable liquids

· Flammable solids (substances liable to spontaneous combustion or substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases)

· Genetically modified organisms and micro-organisms

· Infectious substances

· Inflatable life saving appliances

· Magnetized material

· Many consumer commodities such as aerosols, lighters, and adhesives

· Oxidizing substances and organic peroxide

· Radioactive materials: Follow instructions on How to Transfer Radioactive Materials

· Toxic substances

Definition

Any human or animal material including but not limited to excreta, secreta, blood, blood components, tissue, and tissue fluids collected and shipped for the purposes of diagnosis, investigation, or research.

The Proper Shipping Name (PSN) "Diagnostic Specimens" UN3373 is no longer acceptable by the USDOT and IATA. The new PSN is "Biological Substance, Category B" UN3373.

A diagnostic specimen/ biological substance is considered an infectious substance when:

· The specimen is obtained from a patient with suspected infection

· Exposure to the specimen could result in an infection

· The specimen is collected during an investigation of an outbreak of a serious disease of unknown cause

Note: Live infected animals are forbidden from air transport.

Definition

A viable micro-organism, or its toxin, that causes or may cause disease in humans or animals.

The following are examples of infectious substances:

·        All cultures containing or suspected of containing an agent which may cause infection

·        Human or animal samples that contain such an agent in quantities sufficient to cause infection, should an exposure to them occur

·        Sample(s) from a patient with a serious disease of unknown cause

·        Other specimens not included above and designated as infectious by a qualified person, e.g. a physician, scientist, nurse, etc.

 

 

2. See Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Overview to specifically identify your shipment.

Logistics may ask you to fax the SDS describing your shipment, if one applies. Even if an SDS does not apply, Logistics will ask for specific information to identify the hazard class of the item(s).

To read the regulations concerning the transport of hazardous, diagnostic/ biological specimines, and infectious substance, see:

2. Obtain Biological Materials Permits if Needed

Definition: A shipment importing, domestic transfers, or exporting, of biological materials may require permits from Center for Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), Department of Commerce (contact Export Control) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The State of California may require additional permits for the importation of biological materials, for example from the California Department of Food and Agriculture for plant pests, and from the California Department of Public Health or California Department of Fish and Wildlife for importation of wild animals.

Note: the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is a distinct entity from FWS, and is also responsible for issuing additional in-state permits, including those for plant sampling and scientific collection. If you are proposing field research and are unsure if you need a permit, please reach out to EHSBIO@UCSD.EDU or iacuc@ucsd.edu.

Importing or Domestic Transfer Responsibilities

With shipping biological materials comes the responsibility to:

    • Identify if your material will require a federal permit for
      • Importation
      • Domestic transfer between states
    • Work with EH&S and Shipping Department for permit application and permitting process
    • Advise your collaborator/shipper of any needed permits
    • Submit complete documentation to obtain a permit
    • Arrange for any required on-site inspections
    • Complete shipping training
    • Receive the permit and follow all permit conditions
    • Appropriately ship and package materials

     

To help navigate the various permitting requirements for applicable regulatory agencies, here are some available resources:

Even if you think your material may be exempt from permitting requirements, please contact EHS Biosafety for assistance. 

Biological Materials Which Require a Permit

CDC Import Permits may be required for:

  • Infectious biological agents and Infectious substance
  • Vector - Any animals (vertebrate or invertebrate) or any noninfectious self-replicating system (e.g., plasmids or other molecular vector) or animal products that are known to transfer or are capable of transferring an infectious biological agent to a human.
  • Animals (species known or capable of transferring infectious agents) andAnimal products (including hide, hair, skull, teeth, bones, or claws) from species known or capable of transferring infectious agents
  • Arthropods known to be capable of causing or vectoring human disease
  • Snails – Any freshwater snails (phylum Mollusca, class Gastropoda) capable of transmitting schistosomiasis.
  • Non-human primate or bat material (including diagnostic specimens)

USDA/APHIS permits may be required for interstate transport and import of:

  • All cultures or collections of organisms which may introduce or disseminate any contagious or infectious disease of livestock and poultry and their derivatives (DNA/ RNA, recombinants, inactivated/ attenuated).
  • Pathogens that can initiate or disseminate disease in livestock and poultry
  • Vectors that can serve as the carrier of or have been exposed to an infectious disease of livestock or poultry
  • Animal specimens from animals infected with pathogens or exposed to pathogens or vectors
  • Cell cultures exposed to organisms that cause disease in livestock or poultry
  • Human viruses and human vaccines intended for research use in livestock or poultry.
  • Attenuated live viruses and vaccine strains
  • Veterinary biologics (vaccines, bacterins, antisera, diagnostic kits, other products of biological origin, specifically those derived from USDA-covered species
  • Fish pathogens
  • Regulated plants and plant products for consumption or propagation
  • Plants for planting such as nursery stock, small lots of seed, and post-entry
  • Plant products such as fruits and vegetable, timber, cotton and cut flowers
  • Protected plants and plant products such as orchids, and threatened and endangered plant species
  • Prohibited plant materials for research
  • Additional regulated materials including soil
  • Material which could be potentially injurious to livestock or agriculture in case of environmental release

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issues permits under a variety of wildlife laws and international treaties to which the United States adheres. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
    • Regulated animal species or animal parts derived from those species (including diagnostic specimens such as serum, tissue, and urine)
    • Regulated plant species or plant parts derived from those species
    • A comprehensive list of species covered under CITES can be found in the CITES appendices
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Lacey Act
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act
    • Species and materials derived from marine mammal populations and their ecosystems (including bones and carcasses)
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act

FWS may issue permits for import, interstate transport, or acquisition of a variety of wild plant and animal species, or parts derived thereof. Permitting requirements apply even in the case of species and samples being used for scientific research.

Apply for Permits

EH&S Biosafety Program is here to help you in every step of the application and permitting process. Part of our services are to offer support in working with these federal agencies. 

Here is a flow chart overview of the permitting process. 

All permit applications must be submitted under the name of the Principal Investigator.

Permit applications for either CDC or UDSA/ APHIS may also include a site inspection and interview from the agency prior to approving the permit. If a site visit is requested, contact EHS Biosafety to assist with the site visit process. After completion of a site visit, the permitting agency will decide to issue a permit pending any identified corrective actions or conditions of approval.

All permits obtained by UCSD researchers should be submitted to the IBC by sending to ehsbio@ucsd.edu. The permit will be attached to the applicable BUA.

CDC Import permit application process:

If your material requires a CDC permit for importation, visit the  CDC Import Permit Program website and complete the  Permit to Import Biological Agents or Vectors of Human Disease or the  Permit to Import or Transport Live Bats.

The permit must be requested under the name of the Principal Investigator. Additional contact information provided in the application should be for personnel in the laboratory who are responsible for the material, and can answer pertinent questions about the material being shipped, from the CDC Import Permit Program, Customs and Border Protection agents, or the shipping company.

USDA/ APHIS Import or Domestic Transfer permit application process :

If your material requires an USDA/ APHIS permit, visit the  USDA/ APHIS Permits and Certification website and start the application using ePermits. ePermits is a web-based system that allows users to submit import /interstate movement/ transit/ release permit applications, track applications, apply for renewals and amendments, and receive copies of their permits.

The permit must be requested under the name of the Principal Investigator. Additional contact information provided in the application should be for personnel in the laboratory who are responsible for the material, and can answer pertinent questions about the material being shipped by USDA/ APHIS, Customs and Border Protection agents, or the shipping company.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) Import or Domestic Transfer permit application process :

If your material requires an FWS permit, visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website for further instructions for obtaining the appropriate permit. Some examples of types of permits which are issued by FWS are listed below in the chart.

The permit must be requested under the name of the Principal Investigator. Additional contact information provided in the application should be for personnel in the laboratory who are responsible for the material, and can answer pertinent questions about the material being shipped by FWS, Customs and Border Protection agents, or the shipping company.

Types of Permits

This chart lists some types of permits which may be required to conduct your research. Please note this list is not comprehensive and is geared towards the types of permits more commonly encountered by researchers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

United States Department of Agriculture/ Animal and Plant Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS)

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

Permit to Import Infectious Biological Agents, Infectious Substances, and Vectors.

Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ)

·        PPQ 525A: Application for Permit to Receive Soil

·        PPQ 526: Application and Permit to Move Live Plant Pests or Noxious Weeds

·        PPQ 587: Application for Permit to Import Plants or Plant Products

·        PPQ 588: Application for Permit to Import Plants or Plant Products for Experimental Purposes

Export/Re-Export/Master File of Wildlife Samples and/or Biomedical Samples under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Export/Re-Export of Plants and Plant Products under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Introduction from the Sea under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Veterinary Services (VS)

·        VS 16-3: Import Controlled Material or Transport Organisms or Vectors

·        VS 16-7: Supplemental Application Form (Supplemental to the VS 16-3)

·        VS 17-129: Application for Import or in Transit Permit (for Live Animals, Semen or Embryos)

·        (VS) APHIS: Application for United States Veterinary Biological Product Permit

Certificate of Scientific Exchange (COSE) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Captive-Bred Wildlife Registration (CBW)(U.S. Endangered Species Act) [ESA]

Import/Acquisition/Transport of Injurious Wildlife under the Lacey Act

Take/Import/Export of Marine Mammals for Public Display, Scientific Research, Enhancement, or Rescue/ Rehabilitation/Release Activities or Renewal/Amendment of Existing Permit (Marine Mammal Protection Act and/or ESA)

Import of Birds for Scientific Research or Zoological Breeding and Display under the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA)

Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS)

·        BRS 2000: Application for Permit or Courtesy Permit for Movement or Release of Genetically Engineered Organisms

·        BRS Notification: Notification of Movement or Release of a Genetically Engineered Plant

Native Endangered & Threatened Species - Scientific Purposes, Enhancement of Propagation or Survival Permits (i.e., Recovery Permits) and Interstate Commerce Permits

 

Shipping Materials with a Permit

Once you have received your permit, the permit must be sent with the shipping documents as well as a copy kept with the shipper/receiver. Follow all restrictions or permit conditions listed in the permit. Remember that all accompanying paperwork including permits must be attached to the outside of the package so that it may be reviewed by customs and transportation officials.

UCSD strictly conforms to government regulations when transporting hazardous materials. All outbound shipments of infectious substances, diagnostic specimens, and other hazardous or biological materials must be processed by Logistics.

Warning: Failure to comply with international and federal transportation regulations when shipping hazardous materials can result in civil penalties of $78,376 per occurrence, and additional criminal penalties may include up to 10 years of imprisonment  (49CFR 107.329-107.333).

3. Obtain insurance, if needed.

It is important to insure your shipment:

  • To determine your insurance needs and obtain insurance, see Transit Insurance.
  • If you will need underwritten insurance, obtain required approval before proceeding further.

Note: Domestic shipments valued under $100,000 are automatically insured if you can verify the shipment value. See Transit Insurance for details.

4. Fill out a Logistics Request Form.

  1. To complete the form, go to the Logistics Portal (VPN Required)
  2. All hazardous materials shipments require the following information on the Shipping Memo under "Description of Contents":
    • Proper name of hazardous material
    • Weight in grams/ capacity in liters
    • Value of item(s)
    • Purpose of shipment
    • Departure date and needed destination date
    • Type of service requested (e.g., air, ocean)
      • Hazardous materials contained in or with equipment, require this additional information:
        • Name of equipment
        • Location of manufacturer (United States, Japan, etc.)
      • Hazardous materials being shipped outside the United States require this additional information:
        • Country/ countries it is being shipped to
        • If your shipment will be returned to the United States, list the approximate date.
        • International shipments require the following anti-diversion statement on the Logistics Request Form: "These commodities, technology, or software were exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited."
        • Note:If your international shipment consists of multiple packages, complete an International Shipment Summary and attach it to the Logistics Request Form. Also follow step 2(d), below.
  1. If your shipment consists of multiple packages:
    • Mark each package with running-total numbers such as "1 of 3".
    • List each package number on the Logistics Request Form.
    • List the contents of each package separately.
  2. Your Logistics Request Form is your pickup request.
  3. Shipping will assist you if additional documentation is required. Some items may require that you fax a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to the Shipping Coordinator.
  4. You will then receive an e-mail with the required packing instructions and a pickup day/time confirmation. 

 

Note: Logistics will pick up dry ice and priority hazardous materials by 10:00am the day after you submit your Logistics Request Form and will ship out that same day.

5. Call Shipping to confirm receipt of Logistics Request Form and to provide additional information.

  1. Call Logistics at (858) 534-5737 to confirm receipt of the Logistics Request Form. This is your responsibility.
  2. Provide Logistics with the following information to fill out hazardous material transport documents:
    • What is the hazardous material?
    • How is it packaged?
    • What is the proper shipping name?
    • What is the weight in grams/ capacity in liters?

Logsistics will assist you if additional documentation is required. Some items may require that you fax a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to the Shipping Coordinator.

6. Prepare your package.

  1. Follow the instructions given by the Logistics Shipping Coordinator.
  2. Print out a copy of the bar coded Logistics Request Form and have it with your package for the hazmat driver when they arrive. Logistics may not be able to pick up your package if the Logistic Request Form with the bar code is not with the package for liability and chain of custody reasons.

7. Give the package to the driver.

The driver will place all proper documents, labels and markings required for transport on your package and deliver it to the Logistics Shipping Coordinator.

8. Track your package and check shipping charges.

After Logistics processes your package, refer to it to check your shipping charges.

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