Before you ship hazardous materials
You must be trained and certified to ship hazardous materials if you are involved with a shipment of hazardous materials via land, air or sea. There are prescriptive requirements for packaging and labeling of hazardous materials and for the associated documentation used in the event of an emergency. There are fines for lack of certification and improper packaging and, worse, a chance for loss of life and property. You may be jailed if you show that you willfully ignored shipping requirements. Even if you ask someone else to package the shipment, you must be trained because you know what the hazardous material is and therefore have some responsibility for it.
Hazardous materials include hazardous chemicals, infectious substances, radioactive materials, compressed gases, dry ice, liquid nitrogen, lithium batteries, aerosol cans and other pressurized items, and more. Commonly shipped hazardous materials include dry ice and liquid nitrogen, infectious materials, lithium batteries, and aerosol cans.
Training is available through EH&S; see below for more information. EH&S also ships Radioactive Material; contact Radiation Safety at
206. 543.6328 for more information.
Environmental Health and Safety is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security if you ship
certain listed substances governed by the recent Chemical Facilities
Anti-Terrorism Standards Title 6 CFR Part 27.
International shipments may also be subject to Import/Export requirements.
Information on these requirements and contact information can be found on the UW’s Office of Sponsored
Training for shipping hazardous materials
EH&S offers a Shipping Hazardous Materials class which meets US DOT requirements. You
must be re-certified every two years.
We also offer two online classes for those who only ship dry ice and non-dangerous goods or patient specimens or some other biological materials (Biological Substances Category B):
Biological Substances Category B
Dry Ice with non-dangerous goods or Exempt Patient Specimens
References for online training
These reference materials are referred to in the online training for Shipping and Transport of Hazardous Materials:
Assistance with shipping hazardous materials
EH&S, in coordination with several departments around campus, offers assistance for UW students, faculty and staff
who need to ship hazardous materials.
For assistance in shipping radioactive materials, contact the Radiation Safety Office at 206.543.6328.
For assistance with all other hazardous materials, contact the Hazardous Materials
Shipping Coordinator at 206.685.2849 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer assistance only - you must
already be trained and currently certified.
Changes to Air Shipping Regulations for 2013
There were again only a few significant changes for 2013 (see full list of changes here: 2013 DG54 significant changes). The two changes with the broadest and biggest impact on the UW community are:
1) When shipping Cargo Aircraft only material, you must use the new label (see below). The old label is no longer legal to use.
OLD LABEL DO NOT USE
2) Changes affecting Lithium Battery classification and shipping. There are added revisions to the standard definitions of "Lithium Battery", "Lithium Cell" and "Net Quantity". They also further defined when something is to be shipped as a "Battery Powered Vehicle" vs. Lithium Batteries Contained in Equipment (changes to Special provision A21 and new Special Provision A185). The final change has to do with the quantity of Lithium batteries you can ship under the "Section II" provisions of packing instructions 965 - 970. A link to all the changes for 2013 can be found here: (2013 Shipping Lithium batteries)
Federal Express has implemented many changes to the manner in which you must ship Dangerous goods with them. The change with the biggest impact is that FedEx Express will require all Shipper's Declarations for Dangerous Goods (DDG) to be prepared using one of the following methods:
- FedEx-approved vendor software applications
- Preapproved shipper-proprietary software
- FedEx Express automated shipping solutions that have dangerous goods edit checks.
Note: FedEx Ship ManagerŪ Software and FedEx Ship ManagerŪ Server both have Dangerous Goods edit checks. The interactive templates previously available on Fedex.com are no longer offered. So those of you can no longer use the FedEx DDG PDF document for generating your DDG for shipment on FedEx.
FedEx has also changed how you can ship lithium batteries. If you have any questions or would like additional information please contact FedEx directly at the the FedEx Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials Hotline at 1.800.GoFedEx/1.800.463.3339 (say "dangerous goods" when prompted).
Emergency Response Information
More information is now needed along with the 24 Hour Emergency Response telephone number. All UW locations use a contractor (currently CHEMTREC) to provide Emergency Response. Now, you may be asked to include the contractor name and customer number. There are 26 different CHEMTREC customer numbers for different UW locations. Email email@example.com for the contract number that applies to your location. You must also include "University of Washington" in your shipper address, which is how CHEMTREC would identify you in the event of an emergency response.
Again, besides a 24 Hour Emergency Response number, DOT requires you to provide additional emergency response information in a manner that is available for use when away from the package containing the hazardous material. To comply with this requirement, either provide the MSDS for the material along with your shipping paper (DDG) or provide the proper emergency response guide book pages for your material based upon its UN number. In either case, whether you use the MSDS or the ERG pages, the following information must be present:
- The basic description and technical name of the hazardous material
- Immediate hazards to health
- Risks of fire or explosion
- Immediate precautions to be taken in the event of an accident or incident
- Immediate methods for handling fires
- Initial methods for handling spills or leaks in the absence of fire
- Preliminary first aid measures
If you use the ERG guide book pages to meet the above requirements then you need to indicate the "basic description and technical name of the hazardous material" (its proper shipping name and UN number) on the guide book pages.
Transportation by personal vehicle
You cannot transport hazardous materials in your personal vehicle for work
related activities. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the Hazardous Materials
Shipping Coordinator at 206.685.2849 or email