Texas Tech University

Materials Shipping


Shipping of regulated materials is addressed in TTU OP 60.13 and the University Laboratory Safety Manual.   Examples of commonly shipped materials subject to the regulations include items shipped on dry ice, lithium batteries (with or without equipment), specimens, synthesized chemicals and human samples.

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) require that certain materials be packaged and identified when transported.  Violation of these regulations can result in personal fines.  If you have questions about shipping, please contact EHS at safety@ttu.edu.

What you need to know

  1. These regulations apply to any Texas Tech personnel (faculty, staff, or student) packaging or presenting regulated chemical or biological materials for shipment. 
  2. These regulatory bodies require that individuals shipping these materials receive training pertinent to the nature of their involvement in the transportation of these materials. Refresher training is required every two years. There are civil penalties for training violations [49CFR171.1(g)].
  3. Shippers are required to purchase their own packaging. If packaging is reused, it must meet the requirements for the materials as outlined in the applicable regulations.
  4. Texas Tech personnel are required to notify EHS of all shipments of chemical and/or biological materials at least two business days prior to shipping a package.  Why is this important?
    1. EHS will determine if you shipment is subject to DOT and IATA regulations.
    2. EHS can evaluate if you shipment is subject to export control, MTA, or permitting by other agencies (USDA, CDC, USFW, etc.).  EHS can also advice on other documentation such as customs invoices and certification/ declaration letters.
    3. If you are shipping a regulated material,
      • EHS can help you identify the requirements pertinent to your shipment in regard to labeling, packaging, and documentation.
      • EHS can facilitate training, when required, for your shipment.
      • EHS can point you in the direction of packaging suppliers if you need to order packaging.

Permits and Documentation

As mentioned above, transporting certain materials may require permits or additional documentation that will need to accompany the shipment.  Potential documentation includes permits, material transfer agreements (MTA), Safety Data Sheets, and packing lists.  To execute an MTA please contact Cui Romo in the Office of Research & Innovation.

Items offered for international shipment will be reviewed by Export Control.  At minimum, a Customs Declaration Form with schedule B number and packing list must accompany international shipments.  The shipper should work with the recipient to make sure the package meets that country's transportation requirements. 


The following steps should be taken before shipping any potentially regulated item:

  1. Contact EHS.  EHS will work with you to determine if your items are subject to the regulations and if so, provide training and guidance on packaging, documentation and agency permits required for your shipment.  Regulations are regularly updated so it is important that even experienced shippers contact EHS for consultation periodically.
  2. Procure packaging for your shipment.  EHS is happy to provide any required labels when needed, but the shipper must provide proper packaging.  It is advised that new packaging materials be purchased for the shipment of regulated items.
  3. Submit the Material Shipping Form two business days prior to shipment.  This form notifies EHS that potentially regulated materials are leaving the University.  EHS will contact you about your shipment to make sure that you have training, packaging and documentation in order for your items.  Submitting this form in a timely matter facilitates the prompt shipping of your item. 
  4. Have EHS review your package.  In order to address any last minute issues, EHS encourages shippers to bring their package(s) to EHS for inspection. This allows EHS personnel a final review of your packaging, documentation and labeling to help facilitate a successful shipment and avoid fines.
  5. Drop off your package at MailTech. Drop off your package at MailTech. MailTech will communicate the shipment of chemical and biological materials to EHS. EHS review of your shipment expedites this approval.

Ready to Ship?

Material Shipping Form