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Annex 2: Guidelines for Preparation, Packing and Shipping Specimens
Shipper’s Responsibilities for Preparation of Accompanying Documentation
  • Use the proper form/s (Air Way Bill, CARICOM Invoice, CARPHA Shipper Declaration, permits if applicable)
  • Fill out the form/s accurately, completely and legibly
  • Comply with carriers’ requirements for filling out the form/s (handwritten vs. typed)
  • Sign the form/s (signature must be handwritten)
  • Modifications and alterations must be signed by the shipper (best practice is to complete a new form if a correction is needed)
  • The form/s must be printed in colour on white paper (e.g. for the Dangerous Goods Declaration Form the left and right diagonal striations must be printed in red)
  • The form must be completed in English
  • The shipper must complete at least three copies. One copy is for the shipper and the remaining copies are for the carrier. Check with the carrier to ensure correct number of copies available.
1

Categorization of Infectious Substances

The majority of specimens to be sent to CMML may be categorized as Category B, Biological Substance (Un number UN3373). For further information on how to properly categorize and prepare specimens please refer to the WHO Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances 2017 – 2018. To download, please click on the link below - https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/254788/WHO-WHE-CPI-2017.8 eng.pdf;jsessionid=8E10593AC371A34CBB03DD28337EDA89?sequence=1

2

Packaging and Shipping Instructions

Shippers of infectious substances shall ensure that packages are prepared utilizing the Triple Packaging System. This packaging system is used for the transportation of all infectious substances in such a manner that they reach their destination in good condition and present no hazard to persons or animals during transport.

Shipping Category A Infectious Substances

Infectious substances which fall under Category A can only be transported in packaging which meets the UN Class 6.2 Specifications and in accordance with Packaging Instruction (PI) 620 of the IATA DGR.

TABLE 2: Requirements for Packaging and Shipping Category A Substances

PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS MARKINGS AND LABELS DOCUMENTATION
  • Primary container is leakproof
  • Secondary container is leakproof
  • Outer container is rigid
  • UN specification marking:
    Pressure tested at 95kPa
    Drop tested from 9m
    Puncture tested at 7kg
    Stacking tested
  • Shipper must be trained and certified

Markings –

  • Shipper’s name and address
  • Receiver’s name and address
  • Name and telephone of responsible person (who is available 24 hours a day until shipment arrives)
  • Proper Shipping Name and UN Number
  • UN Specification Marking

Labels –

  • Infectious substance label
  • Package orientation label (only used when primary container exceeds 50ml)
  • Airway Bill
  • Dangerous Goods
    Declaration Form

Must be signed by the shipper

  • Import/Export permit (as applicable)
  • CARICOM Invoice

Example of the packaging and labelling of a Category A, Infectious Substance (Reference Guidance on regulations for the transport of infectious substances 2017-2018. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2017)

Shipping Category B Infectious Substances

Most specimens (primary specimens) sent to CMML can be categorized with the Proper Shipping Name Category B, Biological Substance. The shipper must comply fully with the requirements of Packaging Instruction PI 650.

TABLE 3: Requirements for Packaging and Shipping Category B Substances

PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS MARKINGS AND LABELS DOCUMENTATION
  • Primary container is leakproof
  • Secondary container is leakproof
  • Outer container is rigid
  • Either Primary or Secondary container is Pressure tested at 95kPa
  • Drop tested from 1.2 m

Markings –

  • Shipper’s name and address
  • Receiver’s name and address
  • Proper Shipping Name and UN Number

Labels –

  • None required (unless shipping with Dry Ice)
  • Airway Bill
  • CARICOM Invoice
  • Import/Export permit (as applicable)

Note: Dangerous Goods Declaration Form is not required, even when shipping with Dry Ice

Figure 2: Example of Triple Packaging System for the packaging and labelling of Category B, Infectious Substance (Reference Guidance on regulations for the transport of infectious substances 2017-2018. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2017)

Other: Shipping Exempt Substances

An element of professional judgment is required to determine if a substance is exempt. That judgment should be based on the known medical history, symptoms and individual circumstances of the source, human or animal, and endemic local conditions.

TABLE 4: Requirements for Packaging and Shipping Exempt Substances

PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS MARKINGS AND LABELS DOCUMENTATION
  • Primary container is leak-proof
  • Secondary container is leak-proof
  • Outer container is of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm × 100 m

Markings –

  • Shipper’s name and address
  • Receiver’s name and address
  • Package marked with “Exempt human specimen” or “Exempt animal specimen” as applicable

Labels –

  • None required (unless shipping with Dry Ice)
  • Airway Bill
  • CARICOM Invoice

Note: Dangerous Goods Declaration Form is not required, even when shipping with Dry Ice