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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Packaging and Shipping Infectious Materials. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Labeling and Marking a Package Containing a Category A Substance

Packages that contain category A substances must exhibit these labels and markings.

Proper shipping name and UN number as shown below:

Do NOT include the technical name (organism name) with the Proper Shipping Name or write it anywhere on the outside of the package. The technical name is printed on the shipper's declaration for dangerous goods that accompanies the package.
Hazard class 6 infectious substance label: 

UN package certification mark (This is preprinted on the box by the manufacturer)

Orientation arrows (if greater than 50 mL of a category A substance in the primary receptacle). Either red or black orientation arrows may be used. Apply orientation arrows to two opposite sides of the outer packaging, if they are not already printed on the fiberboard box. Be sure the content of the primary receptacle is orientated in the direction indicated by the arrows.

Responsible person: Name and phone number

The contact person (usually the shipper), referred to as the "responsible person" by IATA, must be someone who can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) and can answer questions about the content of the package. The 24/7 number must reach that person directly and not a pager or answering machine/service. If the contact person that you are listing is the person receiving the specimen, be certain that the person is aware you are listing him/her as the contact person and has consented to it.

Additional IATA requirements for labels on outer packaging

The name and address of the shipper and consignee should be on the same surface as the marking for the UN number and proper shipping name when the package size is large enough to allow this. If space is not adequate, the information would be placed on the top of the box. The net quantity of dangerous goods must be shown on all packages regardless of the class of the dangerous goods.