Governing transport of hazardous materials and dangerous goods

The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates transportation of hazardous materials in commerce by rail, air, sea, and motor vehicles.

Regulations govern all aspects of transport

Shipping by ground transportation

From packaging to the final point of delivery, Department of Transportation regulations apply at every stage of hazardous material shipping, including:

Shipping by air

Shipments of dangerous goods by air are subject to International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations. Most FedEx packages travel by air.

Chemicals of Interest

WSU is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security if you ship certain hazardous chemicals governed by the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards [Title 6 CFR Part 27].

International shipments

Shipping hazardous materials to destinations outside the U.S. requires meeting not only those regulations that govern hazardous materials or dangerous goods, but other regulations as well.

  • Your shipment may need to meet export licensing requirements.
  • Shipments from the University may require a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). An MTA is a legal contract governing transfer of a proprietary material (infectious agents, or chemical or biological samples, for instance) from WSU to another party. It safeguards WSU from liability and may limit distribution of the material by the receiving institution.
  • Certain biological type shipments may require licensing from federal agencies, such as Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Fish and Game, or others.

Contact the Office of Research Assurances before your shipment date.

Small quantity shipments

Even if you are only shipping a small quantity of a hazardous material, your package remains regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).



Please contact the hazardous material shipping specialist.