UC San Diego SearchMenu

Shipping: Hazardous Material Description

Read the Shipping Department's description of hazardous material.

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). If you are shipping something that could be hazardous, read the following description.


UCSD conforms to strict government regulations when transporting hazardous materials. Shipments must arrive at their destination in good condition and present no hazard during shipment. Prior to shipping any hazardous material, contact the Outbound Shipping Team at outboundshipping@ucsd.edu or (858) 534-5737.


The U.S. Department of Transportation and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) define hazardous material as 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

If you need help, the UCSD Shipping Coordinator will research your item and advise you. Contact the Shipping Coordinator through ASK.

More information

To read the regulations concerning the transport of hazardous material, see: