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Guidelines and Requirements for Shipping Chemicals

The shipment of hazardous chemicals, infectious agents, some clinical specimens, formaldehyde, and dry ice is regulated by the Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies. If you ship any of these materials, documented training is required.   If you have not previously been assigned the DOT Shipping training module you must contact your supervisor or payroll coordinator for this assignment.

Information on the regulations, requirements, and prohibitions of shipping all other hazardous chemicals is provided below. If you are currently shipping hazardous chemicals, contact your campus EHSO immediately so that we can verify and assist with compliance with these requirements.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

New DHS Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards require facilities storing or shipping certain chemicals to identify the facility and the chemicals through a registration with DHS, prepare Security Vulnerability Assessments, which identify facility security vulnerabilities, and to develop and implement Site Security Plans. Because of these regulations, shipping ANY QUANTITY of the following chemicals requires compliance with these requirements, and therefore shipment of these chemicals by University employees is prohibited unless prior arrangements are made and approved by the EHSO.

Chemical Of Interest



Acetone cyanohydrin, stabilized


Aluminum phosphide


Boron tribromide


Bromine pentafluoride


Bromine trifluoride


Calcium phosphide


Chlorine dioxide

[Chlorine oxide, (CIO2)]


Chloroacetyl chloride


Chlorosulfonic acid


Lithium amide


Lithium nitride


Magnesium phosphide




Phosphorus oxychloride

[Phosphoryl chloride]


Phosphorus pentasulfide


Phosphorus trichloride


Potassium phosphide


Sodium phosphide


Strontium phosphide


Titanium tetrachloride

[Titanium chloride (TiCl4)(T-4)-1]



[Silane, trichloro-]


OSHA Federal Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)

Under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, if a University employee ships a hazardous chemical the University/employee becomes a "manufacturer" or a "distributor." Excerpts of the OSHA requirements for distributors shipping hazardous chemicals are provided here:

Hazard Classification

(b)(1) This section requires chemical manufacturers or importers to classify the hazards of chemicals which they produce or import, and all employers to provide information to their employees about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed, by means of a hazard communication program, labels and other forms of warning, safety data sheets, and information and training. In addition, this section requires distributors to transmit the required information to employers.

(b)(iv)Laboratory employers that ship hazardous chemicals are considered to be either a chemical manufacturer or a distributor under this rule, and thus must ensure that any containers of hazardous chemicals leaving the laboratory are labeled in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section, and that a safety data sheet is provided to distributors and other employers in accordance with paragraphs (g)(6) and (g)(7) of this section.


1910.1200(f)(1) "The chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor shall ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals leaving the workplace is labeled, tagged or marked. Hazards not otherwise classified do not have to be addressed on the container. Where the chemical manufacturer or importer is required to label, tag or mark the following shall be provided: (i) Product identifier; (ii) Signal word; (iii) Hazard statement(s); (iv) Pictogram(s); (v) Precautionary statement(s); and, (vi) Name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.

(f)(2) The chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor shall ensure that the information provided under paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (v) is in accordance with Appendix C, Allocation of Label Elements, for each hazard class and associated hazard category for the hazardous chemical, prominently displayed, and in English (other languages may also be included if appropriate).


1910.1200(g)(7)(i) "Distributors shall ensure that safety data sheets, and updated information, are provided to other distributors and employers with their initial shipment and with the first shipment after a material safety data sheet is updated."

1910.1200(g)(7)(ii) "The distributor shall either provide material safety data sheets with the shipped containers, or send them to the other distributor or employer prior to or at the time of the shipment."

United States Department of Transportation (DOT)

The DOT is a United States Federal agency which regulates the transport of hazardous materials to, from or through the United States. DOT regulations are found in part 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR), are enforceable by law, and can carry significant fines and other penalties for failure to comply. These regulations and requirements apply to anyone who, with respect to dangerous goods or hazardous materials:

  • Offers for transport
  • Transports
  • Causes dangerous goods to be transported
  • Loads/unloads transport vehicles or aircraft
  • Determines the hazard class of a hazardous material
  • Selects or fills a hazardous materials packaging
  • Secures a closure on a filled or partially filled hazardous materials package
  • Marks or labels a package to indicate that it contains a hazardous material
  • Prepares a shipping paper
  • Provides and maintains emergency response information
  • Reviews a shipping paper to verify compliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations or international equivalents
  • Manufactures and/or tests packaging materials for dangerous goods use

Such persons are considered by DOT to be Hazmat employees.

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation (DGR) is the industry standard for transporting dangerous goods by air. While IATA is not a federal or international regulatory agency, in general, unless the IATA DGR is followed for the air transport of dangerous goods, air carriers will not accept the shipment. IATA does not apply to packages that are shipped exclusively by ground transportation.

Both DOT and IATA have specific training requirements for persons who package and ship hazardous materials.

DOT requires initial training for hazmat employees who prepare packages for shipment which includes general awareness/familiarization, function-specific, security awareness and safety training.   Recurrent training is required every three years.

IATA requires similar training, but recurrent training is required every two years.

This training must be coordinated with the EHSO, since routine sessions are not regularly provided.

If you have any questions, contact your campus EHSO.