Shipping Dangerous Goods

Shipping Dangerous Goods or hazardous materials (biological substances, chemicals, or radioactive materials) within and outside of the United States is subject to a variety of government and international regulations, as well as airline industry and ground carriers’ requirements.  These regulations restrict who is allowed to ship Dangerous Goods and contain requirements for training and documentation.  Fines and penalties can be imposed against companies, universities, and individuals who fail to comply with the applicable regulations including proper classification, identification, packaging, marking, labeling and documentation.  Knowledge is crucial to ensure compliance and safety of all involved in shipping.

OEHS is responsible for the shipment of hazardous materials/ dangerous goods.  This includes non-hazardous items on dry ice.  Do not attempt to ship any hazardous material without consulting with OEHS in advance for guidance (313-577-1200).

Material Transfer Agreements

If researchers are transferring biological, chemical, or other tangible research materials to other researchers or other research institutions, review the Guide to Material Transfer Agreements to understand important requirements. More information can also be found at Material Transfer Agreements.

iLabs Shipping Request System

All requests to ship materials must be submitted through the iLabs shipping request system.  See links below for login link, registration manual, and user manual.

iLabs Shipping Request System login

iLabs WSU Registration Manual

iLabs WSU User Manual

Shipping non-regulated biological materials:

A non-regulated biological sample is a material that does not pose a hazard to human health, the environment or to property.  It is non-infectious, non-hazardous, and non-toxic.  Biological samples can be of human, animal, plant or other (bacterial, fungal, yeast, etc.) origin.  Examples include DNA, antibodies, proteins, etc.  Directions on packaging and shipping non-regulated samples.

If you are unsure if your samples meet the definition of non-regulated, contact OEHS at 313-577-1200.

Shipping on dry ice:

DRY ICE IS A DANGEROUS GOOD!  Shipping materials on dry ice must be done through OEHS unless you have taken the Shipping Biological Substances and Dry Ice Training course within the past two years.  Submit shipping requests through WSU’s current shipping request system (see above).

Training on shipping biological substances and dry ice:

OEHS offers training to certify individuals for shipping limited types of materials.  Training is required every two years and can be completed online through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative at the University of Miami (CITI). Additional information about dry ice shipments can be found in the guides below.

FedEx Dry Ice Shipping Guidelines

FedEx Dry Ice Checklist

Printable Dry Ice Label

Domestic (US) shipments:

Requests to ship packages containing dangerous goods within the United States should be submitted at least the day before you would like it shipped.  It is also best to ship packages containing dry ice on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday in case there is a delivery problem or weather delays.

Priority Overnight is the quickest way to ship, but also the most expensive.  If your materials are not on dry ice, and it is not necessary for the package to arrive overnight, let us know on your form and we will ship them in a less expensive category.

WSU ships dangerous goods packages exclusively with FedEx.  If your department does not have a FedEx shipping account, OEHS will need a departmental index number to charge for reimbursement.

International shipments:

Please submit requests to ship an international package containing dangerous goods at least a week prior to the day you would like the package shipped.  International shipments may be subject to Export Control Regulations that may require additional time to prepare shipments.  See WSU Export Control webpage for WSU Export Control Compliance Policy Statement and for links to federal export control regulations.

There are several specific customs issues when shipping dangerous goods to foreign countries.  Depending on the country, additional forms may be required to ensure delivery of the package.

Packages are typically shipped by FedEx International Priority, meaning it will get to its destination within 2 to 4 days, depending on delivery location.  OEHS encourages a Monday or Tuesday package drop-off for international shipments, to assure a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday delivery date.  OEHS will contact FedEx International for delivery date estimates and provide that information to you for suggested package drop-off dates.

Fact sheets, Checklists, and Packing Instructions

For more information, call OEHS at 313-577-1200.