The University of Alabama is responsible for complying with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations as they apply to all areas of our campus. If you intend on shipping a potentially hazardous material (including chemicals, biological materials, or dry ice), please read the information below.

To ensure the safe transportation of these materials and to comply with the applicable regulations, UA must adhere to the following guidelines regarding all shipments of hazardous materials. A hazardous material/dangerous good is any articles or substances, which poses an unreasonable risk to health, safety or to personal property when transported.

Anyone who offers for shipment (via land, air, mail, etc.) hazardous materials must have the appropriate DOT and/or IATA training, even if the transporter/carrier (UPS, FedEx, etc.) completes the necessary paperwork.  Examples of these materials include, but are not limited to:

  • Laboratory chemicals, cryogenic materials, dry ice, and samples containing flammable, toxic, explosive, radioactive, oxidizer, and/or corrosive materials;
  • Paints, stains, thinners, refrigerants, aerosols, medicines, pesticides, disinfectants, fuels (diesel, gasoline, ethanol, etc.); or
  • Biological specimens, human blood or tissue, animal tissues, serums, antibodies, etc.,
  • Equipment containing hazardous materials, such as mercury, compressed gases, batteries (wet, lithium, and dry batteries containing sodium, potassium hydroxide), etc.
  • Equipment containing a radiation source or potentially capable of producing a radiation field

Federal regulations have outlined specific shipping requirements for hazardous materials. Depending upon the mode of transports and destination, these shipments are regulated by the 49 Code of Federal Regulation parts 171-180 and /or International Air Transport Association (IATA). To comply with shipping regulations, hazardous materials must be properly classified, documented, packaged, and handled. Furthermore, federal law also requires that anyone one who is involved in or responsible for preparing or transporting a hazardous material, including the personnel involved in preparing the paperwork for the shipment must have DOT and/or IATA training and certification.  Penalties for non-compliance with these rules are significant and could result in fines up to $500,000.00 and jail sentences up to 5 years.

Currently EHS does not ship any Chemicals Of Interest (COI) off campus and/or to third parties. This includes original shipments, returns, samples and/or specimens.

The University of Alabama’s Campus Mail Department cannot ship hazardous materials. 

Contact EHS Lab Safety at 205-348-5905 for additional guidance and assistance with hazardous material shipments, as regulations and restrictions vary related to the material being shipped and the destination of the shipment.

The Export Control Office under Research Compliance assists investigators in the safeguarding of export-controlled data/information (i.e. controlled technology or technical data, and other restricted items).  Export Control also assists in determining the appropriate export control plan regime.  For more information concerning export control issues, review the export control website or contact Research Compliance at 205-348-8461.


Note: If you are shipping a hazardous material that is a commercially available product, it is more cost-effective in many cases to purchase the material at the location to which you wish to ship it. For example, if you are planning field-research, which requires the use of hazardous chemicals, you may find it easier and less expensive to have a vendor ship the chemicals directly to the location where you will be working.