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Frequently Asked Questions

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Expand Can I ship multiple samples assigned to different categories in the same package?Can I ship multiple samples assigned to different categories in the same package?
Expand What do I use as the technical name for an unknown or emerging Category A pathogen?What do I use as the technical name for an unknown or emerging Category A pathogen?
Expand What are some of the limitations for shipping infectious substances?What are some of the limitations for shipping infectious substances?
Expand Can infectious substances be sent through the mail?Can infectious substances be sent through the mail?
Collapse Can packaging supplies be reused?Can packaging supplies be reused?

Shipping packages can be reused; however, the package must be in good condition as well as appropriately disinfected, so that it presents no hazard to humans or animals. All markings and labels on the package must reflect the substance actually being shipped, and all required components must be used.

Category A infectious substance shipments require UN-specification packaging, which indicates that the package has been tested and certified to meet international UN test standards. Modifying the package design, such as replacing one type of secondary for another, invalidates the testing certification. Keep in mind that many UN-certified Category A packages employ single-use secondary bags. Consequently, appropriately tested and certified replacement components must be obtained from the original manufacturer.

The U.S. DOT requires a package manufacturer to provide Instructions for Use with Category B packages. In order to reuse a Category B package, the shipper must refer to these original Instructions for Use. We recommend that you include a copy of these instructions in the shipment, so the receiver will have them if needed.

If you plan to reuse UN-specification packaging for non-biological shipments, or even ship it empty, all non-applicable markings and labels must be removed or covered.