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Infectious Substances

Infectious Substance, Category A

Infectious Substance, Category A means an infectious substance known to contain or suspected of containing a pathogen. UPS offers to carry Infectious Substances, subject to the conditions specified below. A signed agreement with UPS specifically permitting the shipment of Infectious Substance, Category A is required.

Infectious Substance, Category A (UN2814 or UN2900) Regulatory References

  • 49 CFR 173.134 and 173.196;
  • IATA and Packing Instruction 650

General Requirements

  • Service is restricted to origins and destinations in the U.S.
  • UPS Next Day Air® or Next Day Air® Early A.M.® service must be used for Infectious Substance, Category A. No other service levels, including UPS Next Day Air Saver®, are acceptable for this commodity.
  • UPS does not accept Category A Select Agents
  • To enhance package visibility, UPS WorldShip® must be used for such shipments. Use of any other shipping software must be preapproved by UPS, by contract.
  • Packaging must comply with 49 CFR 173.196 or IATA Packing Instruction 620, including completion of all required UN specification performance tests.

Package Preparation

  • Each package must be accompanied by a properly completed shipping paper or IATA Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods.
  • An itemized list of the contents must be included between the secondary and outer package.
  • Each package must display the appropriate proper shipping name and associated UN identification number:
    • UN2814, Infectious Substance, Affecting Humans
    • UN2900, Infectious Substance, Affecting Animals
      • Note: A supplemental Technical Name should not be marked on the outer package of infectious substances.
  • The diamond hazard label for "Infectious Substances" must be affixed to at least one side of the package.
  • Orientation arrows, if required, must be displayed on opposite vertical sides of the package.
  • The name, address and telephone number of a responsible person is required to be marked on the outside of packages offered in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and strongly recommended to be marked on packages offered under 49 CFR regulations.
  • Each package must display a UPS "1Z" tracking number on the address label.
  • Fully compliant UN specification marking must be visible, unless the package is overpacked and displays the appropriate "Overpack" marking.

Biological Substances, Category B

Biological Substance, Category B means an infectious substance that is not in a form generally capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals when exposure to it occurs. This includes Category B infectious substances transported for diagnostic or investigational purposes.

Biological Substance Category B (UN3373) Regulatory References

  • 49 CFR 173.134 and 173.199:
  • IATA and Packing Instruction 650

General Requirements

  • For origins and destinations within the U.S., no specific agreement with UPS is needed to ship Biological Substances, Category B.
  • For origins or destinations outside the U.S., a UPS International Special Commodities agreement is required. Please refer to the UPS Guide for Shipping International Dangerous Goods for more information.
  • Leak-proof triple packaging, as specified by 49 CFR 173.199 and IATA Packing Instruction 650, must be used for every shipment of Biological Substance, Category B.
    • Triple packaging consists of a primary receptacle, a secondary packaging, and a rigid outer packaging.
    • For liquid specimens, adequate absorbent is mandatory.
    • A UPS laboratory pak is an overpack available for customer use, with the objective of enhancing the handling of shipments containing Biological Substance, Category B. However, the laboratory pak supplements the triple packaging required for these shipments; it cannot be considered a required package component.

Package Preparation

  • Packages containing Biological Substance, Category B must be clearly marked "Biological Substance, Category B" with the characters being at least 6 mm high.
  • The package must also be marked with the identification number "UN3373" in a square-on-point configuration (diamond shaped) with each side being a minimum of 50 mm (or 2 inches) in length with the UN3373 characters being at least 6 mm in height.
Biological Substance Category B
  • The name, address, and telephone number of a person knowledgeable about the shipment must also be included either on a written document or on the outer packaging.

If you have any questions about shipping infectious substances with UPS, please call the UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center 1-800-554-9964.