Classifying Biological Material For Export 

The International regulations for the transport of infectious substances, diagnostic specimens and GMO's by any mode of transport are based on the Recommendations of the United Nations (UN) Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. In the case of air transport of microorganisms and biological products, this means following the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

Class of dangerous goods

Infectious substances and related biological materials belong to the Dangerous Goods class 6.2, consisting of:

  • infectious substances (category A, UN 2814, UN 2900),
  • biological substances (category B, UN 3373),
  • genetically modified microorganisms and organisms (UN 3245), and
  • medical or clinical waste (UN 3291).

Dry ice is also a dangerous good and is UN1845

Road and rail transporting dangerous goods classification

The Australian states and territories have legislative responsibility for the road and rail transport of dangerous goods in Australia.

There are nine classes of dangerous goods:

  • Class 1 - Explosives
  • Class 2 - Gases
  • Class 3 - Flammable Liquids
  • Class 4 - Flammable Solids
  • Class 5 - Oxidising Agents Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6 - Toxic & Infectious Substances
  • Class 7 - Radioactive Materials
  • Class 8 - Corrosives
  • Class 9 - Miscellaneous

NOTE: Class 6 Dangerous Goods has two divisions:

  • Division 6.1 Toxic Substances: These are liquids or solids which are dangerous if inhaled, swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Examples of this division include arsenic, mustard gas, cyanide, weed killers and toxic drugs.
  • Division 6.2: Infectious Substances: These are substances that are known or believed to contain pathogens and cause disease in humans or animals. Examples of this division include blood and its components, bacteria and other microorganisms. It includes not only infectious material, but also diagnostic material. Information about handling and transport of dangerous goods can be found on the Biosafety website.