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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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An overpack is a container that is sometimes used by shippers to send multiple packages to the same recipient, or a single package that needs to be packed with dry ice to keep the substance cold during shipping. If using an overpack, the inner packages must be properly marked, labeled and packaged according to the appropriate regulations, depending on the classification of the substances being shipped.
The overpack must have the same markings and labels as the inner packages. These additional labels and marking must also be added:
  • Quantity of class 6.2 hazardous material
  • Additional hazard label and marking, if dry ice is used
  • Mark as "Overpack"
Some carriers may have overpacks available for use that contain the appropriate labels and markings. However, it is your responsibility as the shipper to ensure all the labels and markings are appropriate for the substances you are sending.
Note that an overpack containing dangerous goods may also contain packages of goods not subject to the dangerous goods regulations.