Patient specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present are not subject to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations if the specimen is transported in packaging that will prevent any leakage and that is marked with the words ‘Exempt human specimens’ or ‘Exempt animal specimens’, as appropriate.
PackagingThe packaging of exempt specimens must consist of three components and done as follows:
- the primary receptacle(s) must be leakproof
- the primary receptacle(s) must be placed into leakproof secondary packaging with sufficient absorbent cushioning material to absorb the entire contents
- the secondary packaging must be placed into the outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm × 100 mm.
Unlike Category A and Category B packaging, this packaging does not need to be tested or certified.
See Table A7.1 for examples of suitable containers and packaging materials.
Table A7.1 Examples of containers and packaging for exempt specimens by air
|Description||Examples of containers and packaging|
|Absorbent material||Vernagel (not for formalin), cotton wool|
Combine dressing (for formalin)
|Cushioning material||Cotton wool, shredded newspaper|
|Outer packaging||Cardboard box, supported polystyrene box, despatch satchel, plastic box|
|Primary receptacle||Blood tube|
Histology specimen container
|Secondary packaging||Polycarbonate bottle with screw lid|
Biohazard bag, snap-lock plastic bag
Marking and labellingPackage must be marked with:
- name and address of sender
- name and address of receiver
- the words ‘Exempt human specimens’ or ‘Exempt animal specimens’, as appropriate
- orientation labels if package contains 50 mL or more of liquid (see Figure 3.1).
DocumentationA shipper’s declaration is not required. However, a consignment note or airway bill is required.
For packages containing 50 mL or more of liquid substances, two orientation labels must be used — one label must be affixed to each of two opposite sides of the package with the arrows pointing in the upright position.