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Very specific considerations and requirements must be met in order to safely and legally transport, or offer for shipment in commerce, any materials that may pose a risk to safety, health, property or the environment. These apply to all modes of transportation, for domestic and international carriage, and include any material that may be categorized as a dangerous good, hazardous material, hazardous substance or hazardous waste by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA) or similar authority with recognized jurisdiction.  

Ordinary delivery or transportation methods such as use of the US Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS) or personal vehicles cannot normally be utilized for these shipments. Additionally, hazardous materials should not be transported by University personnel when this can be avoided. Acceptable alternatives such as purchasing supplies at field site locations or arranging for direct delivery of new stock to the use location will generally be less troublesome and more cost-effective. 

Preparation for and procurement of packaging materials for these materials can take from a few hours to several weeks so, when these shipments must occur, as much advanced notice should be given to the authorized shipper as is possible. 

These rules and laws can be difficult to interpret and vary by country and commercial carrier. For this reason, certified personnel must oversee this process and sign declatory transport documentation. Penalties for failure to comply with these regulations can be severe. There has been increased scrutiny of hazardous material movements by state and federal agencies as well as continually vigilant surveillance and auditing programs. Several universities have been cited and fined for failure to comply with the requirements of these rules. EH&S has trained and certified personnel available to assist you with this process, please contact us at or 644-6895 as far in advance of these shipments as is possible.

Specific Requirements

Shipment or Transportation of Hazardous Materials Offered in Commerce

Shipment or Transportation of Hazardous Materials not Offered in Commerce


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