Transfer of goods

Before you can transfer any organism or biological product out of the University, ensure that a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is prepared before arranging for transportation of goods. This is particularly important to cover such things as ownership of goods, IP, licensing and any costs associated with the transport of goods. To develop a MTA contact your Academic Unit business development team who will provide assistance. These are prepared and signed in duplicate (ie duplicate originals) with an original copy lodged appropriately by each party.

The transfer of tangible (physical) and intangible (electronic) goods, technology and information overseas may also be subject to Defence Export Controls. Severe penalties apply if goods subject to these controls are exported without a permit. Refer to the Strengthened Export Controls section for more details.

Transfer of goods within Australia may be subject to quarantine conditions. Refer to the Export section.

Transporting goods

You must ensure that you transport packages of goods or biological products safely and legally. It is important that transportation of goods is coordinated to the extent that copies of appropriate documents are made available to both parties and appropriately trained responsible personnel are in place to take delivery of these goods.

Transporting biological material

The transport of biological material is regulated by a variety of legislation depending on whether the transport is by air, post or by road or rail. The intent of all the transport regulations is that packaged material should not escape from the package under normal conditions of transport.

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).

Transporting dangerous goods

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.

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. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have also incorporated the UN recommendations in their respective regulations.

Alternatively, you may choose to use the transport company such as World Courier and they will pack your dangerous goods correctly for you.

Transporting animals interstate or overseas

Any transport of animals must be approved by a relevant AEC. This may be incorporated into a standard application, but any transport not covered by a standard application (e.g. sending breeding stock to another Institution) must be approved separately by way of an application for approval of a minor amendment. 

Transport of animals into or from the University must be in accordance with AEC approved SOPs of the University animal facility. 

Transport of animals into or within Australia must also be in accordance with any relevant State, Territory or Federal legislation and quarantine regulations. 

Transport of animals from Australia must be compliant with any Australian State, Territory or Federal legislation, quarantine regulations and Defence Export Controls (check DECO requirements, as well as any requirements of the receiving country and institution).

Transporting GMOs (including GMO animals)

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) impose specific conditions for the transport of GMOs and these are detailed in Guidelines for Transport of GMOs. These guidelines include specific information about labelling, accounting and tracking requirements, security arrangements, packaging, any restrictions on storage and the decontamination of material transported with GMOs

Transport of any genetically modified animals must be pre-approved by the University of SA IBC.

For further information please contact:

Ethics & Integrity 
Research and Innovation Services
GP2-09
Mawson Lakes Campus
biosafety@unisa.edu.au