Research Materials: Shipping, Export, Import & Transport

Research materials in transit are subject to state, federal, and international regulations as well as UF policies governing safety and compliance. Quick summaries are provided here for general awareness; use the provided links or contact information to obtain more detailed information.

“Haz Mat” Shipping – including chemicals, biohazards, and radioactive material

The transportation of hazardous materials (“dangerous goods”) in commerce is highly regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). UF personnel must comply with the strict training, documentation, and packaging requirements these entities require.

Guidance and training are available to ensure research materials are transported safety and lawfully.

  • Shipping Chemicals
    Contact UF’s Hazardous Material Management Program for assistance with EVERY shipment at 352-392-8400.
  • Shipping Radioactive Materials
    All radioactive materials are shipped ONLY by UF’s Radiation Control and Radiological Services Department. Call 352-392-7359.
  • Shipping Biohazardous Materials
    Faculty, staff, and students can ship these materials provided they are certified to do so. An on-line certification class is available. To register, email bso@ehs.ufl.edu and provide your First Name, Last Name, and GatorLink user name. Re-certification is required every two years. Note that dry ice and specimen preservative solutions are regulated as Dangerous Goods.

Moving Hazardous Research Materials Locally

  • The preferred method is to use a clean, leak-proof cart with a lip on four sides to prevent containers from sliding off and to contain any potential spills. The materials themselves must be in sealed containers, clearly labeled with the contents and applicable hazard(s).
  • If hand-carried or transported on a cart that does not meet the above requirements, the container must be sealed, clearly labeled as above, and packaged within ANOTHER tightly sealed, clean, leak-proof, shatter-proof container (double containment) OR packaged as it was when first shipped to the laboratory.
  • The transporter must be knowledgeable about the materials transported and how to handle a spill.
  • Limit transport through public or highly-traveled areas and use freight elevators when possible.
  • Contact EH&S at 352-392-1591 about transport of these materials in vehicles.

Permits and Licenses

Export Control and Export Licenses

UF policy requires that all personnel, including visiting scholars and students, comply with US export control laws and regulations from the Dept. of Commerce Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the Department of State International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

An export license will be required to ship or transport certain research materials and equipment out of the US. In addition, research materials may not be exported to persons, entities, or countries considered “restricted” by US authorities. Find more at UF Export Controls, Office of Research Compliance or call 352-294-1632.

Import Permits

The following are federally regulated for import into the US. Contact the Biosafety Office at bso@ehs.ufl.edu or 352-392-1591 for more information.

  • Etiologic agents (infectious substances, non-human primate material, vectors of human diseases)
  • Materials derived from agricultural animals
  • Livestock/poultry disease agents
  • Soil, plant material, plant pests and plant pathogens
  • Genetically-engineered organisms or microorganisms associated with plants
  • Specimens or materials from wild plants or animals

Interstate Transport Permits

The USDA and State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulate the shipment of agriculturally-relevant materials into or out of the State of Florida. Examples include:

  • Livestock disease agents (naturally occurring or engineered), material known or reasonably expected to contain livestock disease agents, and vectors of livestock diseases
  • Naturally occurring or engineered organisms that impact plants directly or indirectly, plant pests, noxious weeds, soil, plants

Contact the Biosafety Office at bso@ehs.ufl.edu or 352-392-1591 for more information.

UF Requirements

Receipt or shipment of research materials to or from the lab will require that project registrations/protocols, inventory, SOPs, and/or the chemical hygiene plan be updated as appropriate. Also potentially applicable:

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

An MTA is a contract between the owner of a material and the intended recipient that delineates the transfer and subsequent use of the material. UF’s Office of Technology Licensing will execute an MTA for materials coming into or leaving UF when intellectual property rights or collaborative research agreements need to be defined and documented. See http://research.ufl.edu/otl/for-uf-inventors/transfer-materials.html

Shipping and Transport of Human Tissues, Specimens and Clinical Materials

A Guidance Table and Flow Chart have been developed to assist in safety and compliance for human source materials. In addition to safe transport practices, UF Institutional Review Board (IRB) and MTA requirements apply.


March 2016