Department of Microbiology

Shipping/Packaging Instructions

Please click here for the PDF file of Shipping/Packaging Instructions.

Please click here for the PDF file of Label Changes.

Please be advised that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) have made regulatory changes pertaining to the shipment of infectious substances, diagnostic specimens, and clinical specimens.

The new rules harmonize the Federal regulations with those of the 51st edition of the UN Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations.

As of November 1, 2006 the USPS will not accept packages with the markings Clinical or Diagnostic Specimens. In addition, the USPS will no longer accept any Category A, Infectious substances packages. The new regulations also allow the shipper NOT to put the Technical Name of the contents on the package IF the shipper enters A140 in the far right column of the shipper’s Declaration of Dangerous Goods document. However, the Technical Name still has to be entered on the document.

As of January 1, 2007 the Proper Shipping Names "Diagnostic specimens" or "Clinical specimens" are to be replaced with the Proper Shipping Name "Biological substance, Category B". This also includes culture isolates.

In order to meet these requirements, the marking on the STP230 top flap that states "DIAGNOSTIC SPECIMENS OR CLINICAL SPECIMENS" must be covered with a label which states: Biological substance, Category B Adjacent to this label you need to place a diamond shaped UN3373 label. On mailable pieces these labels need to be on the same side as the address label.

Public Health Laboratory of East Texas
11949 US Highway 271 Tyler, Texas 75708
Phone: (903) 877 – 5071
Fax: (903) 877 – 5259

Dear LRN Sentinel Laboratories:

Recent changes to FedEx requirements in how a Shipper’s Declaration Form must be prepared may impact your success in shipping submissions to us at PHLET, your LRN Reference Laboratory. This document must now be prepared using one of a few FedEx-approved programs, many of which are costly or cumbersome to use. FedEx has a program usable for billing and for generating the Shipper’s Declaration, but feedback from other laboratories suggests it may be problematic for some institutions to use. Within our network of LRN laboratories, it has been discovered that Saf-T-Pak, one of the vendors for dangerous goods shipping materials, offers a FREE, stand alone online program to generate the Shipper’s Declaration that has been approved by FedEx. Go to: On the left side of their homepage is a link to generating an FX-18 compliant form. You will need to set up a username and password to perform this function, but this is also FREE.

As always, we are available here at PHLET to assist you with any questions you may have regarding such submissions. Have a great day!

Thank You!
Public Health Laboratory of East Texas

Last Update: March 24, 2011

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