Texas Tech University

Materials Shipping


Shipping of regulated materials is addressed at the university level 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) conducting University business that involves packaging or presenting chemical, biological, or other DOT-regulated materials (i.e., lithium batteries) for shipment. 
  2. These regulatory bodies require that individuals handling, transporting, or offering materials for transport receive training pertinent to the nature of their involvement in the transportation of the 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, biological, or other DOT-regulated materials at least two business days prior to shipping a package.  Prior notification allows: 
    • EHS to determine if you shipment is subject to DOT and/or IATA regulations.
    • EHS to evaluate if your shipment is subject to export control, MTA, or permitting by other agencies (USDA, CDC, USFW, etc.). 
    • EHS to advise you on other documentation such as customs invoices and certification/declaration letters.

And, if you are shipping a regulated material, advanced notice allows:

      • EHS to help you identify the requirements pertinent to your shipment in regard to labeling, packaging, and documentation.
      • EHS to facilitate training, when required, for your shipment.
      • EHS to point you in the direction of packaging suppliers if you need to order packaging and/or labels for your shipment.
      • EHS to help you identify couriers that will ship your materials.

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.

Animal materials, whether offered for import, export, or interstate transport, require evaluation through the USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services Permitting Assistant.  Should your animal materials not be subject to a permit, a Letter of Conditions will be automatically generated for the materials.  This letter must accompany the shipment.  If a permit applies, you will be routed to the permitting application.  There is a "Guide Me" function for assistance with the permitting assistant or you can reach out to EHS by phone (806.742.3876) or email ehs.lab.safety@ttu.edu

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 periodically contact EHS for consultation.
  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 no less than 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 for your items.  Submitting this form in a timely matter facilitates the prompt shipping of your item. Once approved, EHS will respond to your form submission and copy MailTech so they know this shipment is approved.  Include at copy of this email response with your package to MailTech or your package will not be picked up or shipped out by MailTech.
  4. Have EHS review your package.  In order to address any last minute issues, EHS encourages shippers to bring their package(s) to EHS or arrange a meeting with an EHS shipping specialist to review your shipment at MailTech. This allows EHS personnel a final review of your packaging, documentation and labeling to help facilitate a successful shipment and avoid fines.
  5. Contact MailTech about shipping your package.  Be sure to include a copy of the EHS email approval and any other required documentation.  Chemical and biological materials are not to be left unattended (regardless of DOT/IATA regulations).  MailTech will communicate shipment of chemical and biological materials to EHS. Please contact MailTech at 806-742-2286 or email mailtech@ttu.edu prior to dropping off or shipping out packages.  EHS involvement at the start of shipping expedites final approval of your shipment.


FedEx Dry Ice Job Aid

CDC Guide for Shipping Category A, Category B, and Exempt Specimens

CBP:  What you need to know before importing biological materials into the United States

FedEx DG Checklist (non-RAD)

IATA DG Documentation

IATA DG Checklist (non-radioactive)

IATA DG Checklist (Dry Ice)

Packaging Vendors






Need training?

Request Training

The next in-person training for Dry Ice and Infectious Substances Shipping will be on November 4, 2022.  Click the event on the homepage to register.

Ready to Ship?

Material Shipping Form

**Mailtech has moved to the TTU Grantham Building at 608 Knoxville!  You must contact them by phone at 806-742-2286 or email mailtech@ttu.eduprior to dropping off or shipping out a package.**