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Key Requirements of UN3373 Regulations

Here you will find a brief overview of the classification of infectious substances, and the key requirements for transporting UN3373 Biological Substance, Category B.

Transport of any material which is considered hazardous in any way, can only be conducted in a manner which is compliant with the Dangerous Goods Regulations. This includes any materials derived from human or animal sources which has the potential to contain pathogenic organisms.

Dangerous Goods Regulations

There are 2 main classes of infectious material:

Category A

An infectious sample which is transported in a form that when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening of fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.”

Infectious substances meeting these criteria which cause disease in humans or both in humans and animals must be assigned to UN2814. Infectious substances which cause disease only in animals must be assigned to UN2900.”

Category A Infectious Substances are considered to be high consequence dangerous goods. Transport of these substances must only be carried out by fully trained and certified handlers. Please refer to the IATA or ICAO websites for further information.

Category B

 An infectious substance which does not meet the criteria for inclusion in category A. Infectious substances in Category B must be assigned to UN3373 – Biological Substance, Category B.

 

P650 Packaging Instruction Key Requirements for Road Transport (ADR)

Infectious substances assigned to Category B (UN3373) can be transported by specialised couriers or the Royal Mail, provided they comply with packaging instruction P650 as specified within the dangerous goods manuals. Always check with your transport provider before shipping.

The packaging must be of good quality and strong enough to withstand the shocks and loadings normally encountered during transport. It must prevent any loss of contents that could occur due to vibration or changes in temperature, humidity or pressure. The P650 packaging instructions for liquid substances state:-

a) The primary receptacle(s) shall be leak proof; (see point e)

b) The secondary packaging shall be leak proof; (see point e)

c) If multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary packaging, they shall be either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them;

d) Absorbent material shall be placed between the primary receptacles(s) and the secondary packaging. The absorbent material shall be in quantity sufficient to absorb the entire contents of the primary receptacle(s) so that any release of the liquid substance will not compromise the integrity of the cushioning material or of the outer packaging;

e) The primary receptacle or the secondary packaging shall be capable of withstanding, without leakage, an internal pressure of 95 kPa (0.95 bar).

f) The outer packaging or the secondary packaging shall be rigid and the entire packaging solution will have passed the 1.2m drop test.

g) Suitable cushioning material shall be added to prevent too much movement within the package.

h) The packaging should be clearly marked with the UN3373 diamond adjacent to the words “BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B”

 

P650 packaging instruction key requirements for Air transport (IATA)

The key differences compared to transport via road are highlighted for clarity

a) The primary receptacle(s) shall be leak proof; (see point e)

b) The secondary packaging shall be leak proof; (see point e)

c) If multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary packaging, they shall be either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them;

d) Absorbent material shall be placed between the primary receptacles(s) and the secondary packaging. The absorbent material shall be in quantity sufficient to absorb the entire contents of the primary receptacle(s) so that any release of the liquid substance will not compromise the integrity of the cushioning material or of the outer packaging;

e) The primary receptacle or the secondary packaging shall be capable of withstanding, without leakage, an internal pressure of 95 kPa (0.95 bar) at both -40C and +55C

f) The outer packaging shall be rigid and the entire packaging solution will have passed the 1.2m drop test.

g) Suitable cushioning material shall be added to prevent too much movement within the package.

h) The packaging should be clearly marked with the UN3373 diamond adjacent to the words “BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B”

i) The outer packaging must have one surface of minimum dimensions 10 x 10cm

j) Maximum volume per primary is 1L

k) Maximum volume per outer is 4L

l) The outer packaging must contain an itemised list of contents.