Infectious Substances

Infectious Substance, Category A

Infectious Substance, Category A. UPS offers to carry Category A Infectious Substances assigned to UN2814 or UN2900, subject to the following conditions:

  • A signed agreement specifically permitting the shipment of Infectious Substance, Category A is required.
  • Service is not available for “Select Agents or Toxins,” as regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under 42 CFR Part 73, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under 9 CFR Part 21.
  • For enhanced visibility, UPS Proactive Response is required.
  • Shipments must be prepared in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
  • 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.

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 (ISC) 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.
  • 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.