Do Not Ship Biologicals, Chemicals, or Radioactive Materials Without Reading This Page First
You should be aware that shipping research materials within the United States and Internationally has become a highly regulated process.
The shipping of hazardous materials can pose a serious danger to human health, property and the environment if the materials are improperly packaged and labeled and release their contents during transportation. For example, an incorrect package can be easily crushed and the containers broken resulting in liquid or solids leaking from the package contaminating handlers and anything in the area. The legal, regulatory, and clean-up costs can be in the tens of thousands of $$. The US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration can and has imposed large fines ($$$$) and possible jail time for persons who knowingly or unknowingly violate these regulations.
Bottom line: Contact Tufts Environmental Health and Safety and ask for advice on shipping chemicals and biologicals.
Tufts University does not operate a centralized shipping service on any of its campuses. Hence, each employee is responsible for packaging, shipping, and documenting hazardous materials shipments. Please see the Tufts University Policy on Transporting Research Samples for more information.
International shipping regulations vary widely from country to country. Tufts University EHS is not expert in the specific shipping regulations for all foreign countries. Also, some goods may require an export license, such as CITES (fish and wildlife) material, some pesticides, and materials that are controlled under anti-terrorism and warfare laws. The 4 US agencies which may require an import/export permit are: USDA, CDC, Department of Commerce, and Fish & Wildlife.
The license/permitting requirements will depend upon the following criteria:
Nature of the material
Country of origin
Country of destination
Each of these factors will affect which regulatory agencies are concerned with the consignment and consequently what licenses and/or documents will be required.
The Office of the Vice Provost for Research oversees Tufts University’s Export Control Program. They have created several resources in order to facilitate community education regarding these regulations. Please review the following:
Utilizing one of these vendors will cost between $300-$500 for a domestic shipment and $750-$1,100 for an international shipment which includes the vendor completing various permits, licenses and custom’s paperwork.
If you wish to proceed to ship the package yourself, have the recipient of the shipment check for any necessary import permits needed in order to bring materials into the destination country. Each country has specific requirements. If appropriate paperwork is not received by the customs official in the destination country, the material will not be allowed entrance. In some instances, the customs office may contact you and the paperwork will be rushed and in other cases the package will be destroyed. Therefore, it is highly imperative to work out paperwork requirements before sending the package to an international location. A good starting point to determine US export/import requirements is to contact the National Center for Import/Export (NCIE) at 301-851-3300.