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Institutional Biosafety Committee

IATA/DOT Requirements for Shipping Biological Materials

Biological specimen shipments and shipments over dry ice are regulated and are subject to specific packaging requirements.  Shipping of hazardous materials is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations govern air transport both in the United States and internationally.

K-State faculty and staff shipping or receiving hazardous biological materials or dangerous goods must be properly trained in IATA/DOT policies and procedures. If you are on an IBC protocol, you will be required to take the CITIonline IATA/DOT training prior to your protocol being approved.

Shipping hazardous materials can pose danger to anyone who may come into contact (baggage handlers, customs officials, etc.) with the shipment. The DOT and IATA both impose severe penalties for anyone who knowingly or unknowingly violates these rules and regulations.

The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) classifies Class 6.2 infectious substances into two categories, Category A and Category B biological Substances.

Category A biological substances are infectious substance which is transported in a form that, when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability and/or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.  The proper shipping names for these substances are:  UN2814 (infectious substances, affecting humans) and UN2900 (infectious substances, affecting animals)

Category B biological substances are an infectious substance not in a form generally capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals when exposure to it occurs. This includes Category B infectious substances transported for diagnostic or investigational purposes.  Infectious substances in category B must be assigned to UN 3373.

The CITI course is designed as an initial training and periodic retraining for employees who package or ship diagnostic and clinical human or animal specimens, human or animal pathogens, and other regulated biohazards. It prepares learners to ship moderate (Category B infectious substances) to lower risk (Exempt specimens) materials and is designed to meet the requirements of the IATA and the U.S. Department of Transportation DOT.

The course does not provide the details and competency-based assurance to meet DOT/IATA training requirements for Category A shipments. Individuals shipping Category A infectious substances should contact K-State Environmental Health and Safety. Any planned shipment of Select Agents and Toxins must be coordinated with the K-State Responsible Official, Dr. Julie Johnson.