Shipping Hazardous Materials

The use of hazardous materials is an integral part of research at Purdue University. At times, it is necessary to ship these materials to a colleague, another research facility, back to the manufacturer, or to a field research site. Hazardous materials may include items such as:

  • Laboratory chemicals (including research samples)
  • Dry ice
  • Radioactive materials
  • Compressed gases
  • Biological agents
  • Equipment or instruments that contain hazardous materials
  • Lithium batteries and other rechargeable batteries

When hazardous materials are offered for transport by a commercial carrier like FedEx or UPS, the shipment becomes regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) and/or international agencies (IATA, ICAO). To comply with shipping regulations, hazardous materials must be properly classified, packaged, documented, and handled by trained employees. Failure to meet these requirements may result in delays, loss of research samples, and potential regulatory fines.

REM can assist by either providing shipment services, or if necessary, training personnel on the proper shipping procedures for regulated hazardous materials. REM does not charge for shipment preparation or training services. However, the researcher is responsible for the cost of proper packaging materials, dry ice (if applicable), and shipping costs.

REM's Hazardous Materials Shipping Program

REM will provide shipment services, or if necessary, train the appropriate personnel on the proper shipping procedures. REM does not charge for shipment preparation or training services. However, the researcher is responsible for the cost of proper packaging materials, dry ice (if applicable), and shipping costs.

Hazardous Materials Shipping Awareness training must be taken by any personnel who have a hazardous material to ship from the university. This training does not certify you to ship hazardous materials without REM involvement or the involvement of a certified individual.

Dry ice and Infectious, Category B material training is available for regular shippers of these materials. This training certifies personnel to ship without REM involvement and requires recertification every 2 years. Contact REM at 494-0121 or with any questions or to receive training.

Shipping Procedures*

The following procedures must be followed to ship hazardous materials:

Determine if the material being shipped is hazardous. Contact REM at 494-0121 or with any questions.

Fill out a Hazardous Material Shipment Request Form entirely. Shipment will not occur unless all information is present. Email the form to REM using the “Submit by Email” button or email directly to the address at the bottom of the form.

REM will contact you regarding pickup instructions after receiving the form. Most requests received before 12 PM will be shipped on the same day. Requests received after 12 PM will be shipped on the following workday. If received after 12 PM on Friday, the material will not be shipped until the following Monday.

For Shipments containing dry ice:

  • A box and cooler is required in order to ship. 
  • Dry ice must be provided by researcher.
  • Do not tape the cooler shut.
  • Please note the amount of dry ice on your Request to Ship Hazardous Material form.

International shipments will require Export Control review and additional information may be required. To help the international shipping process remains trouble free, please provide the following:

  • Any acceptance documents (e.g. permits, licenses, customs clearance documents) the destination country may require
  • Contact information for the Principal Investigator
  • A material transfer agreement, if applicable
  • A Pro Forma containing the following information. A template can be found on the shipping and receiving website here.
    • A telephone number for the person receiving the material
    • A precise description of the material
    • Statement of what the material will be used for
    • An estimated value for the shipment, keeping in mind that duties and taxes will be based on this estimated value.

International shipments containing dry ice should only be shipped Monday-Wednesday.

* Please make arrangements well in advance for special requests, unusual materials, or large volume shipments. Contact REM at (765) 494-0121 or to schedule shipments or ask questions regarding shipping hazardous materials.


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