Safe Dispatch and Transport of Biological Material

The correct transport of biological material is one of the major aspects of biolegislation. The awareness of this fact has only quite slowly come into being. The demands on the export, packaging, and shipping of biological material are manifold and the number of possible mistakes is endless. On the other hand, to be in conformity with all regulations is easy under the premises that a person with a sound knowledge of all the relevant regulations feels responsible for the shipment. This chapter describes which laws, regulations, and restrictions have to be respected before a biological substance can be released (see Note 1). Before a living microorganism is offered for dispatch, whether it is a transborder supply or supply within a country, it has to be made sure that the organism does not fall into wrong hands so that dispatch might be illegitimate. According to the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) (1), the sender of infectious substances has to be a trained person, as infectious substances are classified as dangerous goods in Class 6, Division 6.2. The regulations for shipping biological substances by postal mail are laid down by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The transport of hazardous biological material—performed in compliance with these regulations—can be regarded as safe by using triple-packaging UN combination systems.

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