UTMB Shipping & Receiving Research Materials

UTMB is committed to supporting national and international efforts that encourage the sharing and dissemination of important research resources.  UTMB is also cognizant of local, state, federal and international shipping regulations that may apply to certain outgoing and incoming shipments.

Individuals involved in the transportation and shipment of hazardous and biological materials must receive training on the applicable regulations and requirements before shipping such materials.  Therefore, if one employee packages a hazardous material, and another employee fills out the shipping paper (e.g. eShipGlobal or airway bill), both employees require training.  Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has been designated to coordinate hazardous materials, including some biological materials shipments and to assist UTMB personnel with compliance requirements of applicable regulations.  

Type of Hazardous Materials

Chemicals (non-radiological)
Infectious Substances
Dry Ice
Radiological Materials

 Type of Non-Hazardous Biological Materials

Exempt Human/Animal Specimens
Non-Regulated Biological Materials
  • animal tissues and cells, biological material that doesn’t contain infectious substances, non-pathogenic microorganisms, proteins, etc.
Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Only when shipped domestically

International Shipments

UTMB employees, who wish to ship research materials, to a foreign destination should first contact UTMB's Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) to determine if (i) a Material Transfer Agreement is needed between UTMB and the receiving entity and (ii) an U.S. export control license is required prior to shipment.   After the UTMB employee receives approval from OTT, they must submit the a request (see the Section “Request for EHS to Ship Your Materials” on this webpage) for shipping to EHS, along with all necessary documentation, such as MTA, U.S. export control license, foreign recipient’s import permit if needed.   An EHS Shipper will contact you to schedule the shipment after they receive your shipping request.

Shipment of Chemicals and Radioactive Materials

All research shipments of radioactive material must be performed by Radiation Safety.  Contact EHS-Radiation Safety at 409-772-2279 to schedule shipping of radioactive material.

All research shipments of chemicals must be evaluated by EHS-Occupational Safety to determine if they are exempt or regulated as a DOT hazardous material shipment.  Shipments that are determined to be a DOT hazardous material must be performed by a trained & certified EHS or UTMB shipper. Contact EHS-Occupational Safety at 409-747-0515 to evaluate the chemical shipment. 

Shipment of Biological Materials

For the purposes of shipping, biological materials may be classified as infectious substances, exempt human/animal patient specimens, biological products, or genetically modified organisms.  

Non-Regulated Materials     

  • Material that does not contain infectious substances
  • Microorganisms which are non-pathogenic to humans and/or animals
  • Environmental sample that is not considered to pose a significant health risk
  • Dried blood spot/fecal occult blood test
  • Pathogens that have been neutralized/inactivated

Exempt Animal or Human Specimens   

  •   Patient specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present

Infectious to Humans or Animals

  • Substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens

Genetically Modified Organisms (and micro-organisms)

  • Organisms in which genetic material has been purposely altered through genetic engineering in a way that does not occur naturally

Other Related Biological Materials Shipping Tools

Request for EHS to Ship Your Materials

Shipping Request Webform Icon2

To begin the process of requesting EHS to ship your materials visit, https://utmb.us/2lr, complete and submit the “UTMB Hazardous Materials Shipping Request” form.  Do not consider the form received by EHS until you have received confirmation from one of our staff.   EHS will contact you to set up a time to pack and pick up your shipment.

The lab is responsible for supplying the packing materials such as ice packs, dry ice and boxes.  Boxes can be ordered and delivered to your lab for free through eShipGlobal.

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs)

Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are required when any research materials are exchanged between UTMB and another entity. MTAs control the terms and conditions under which the recipient scientist and institution may use the exchanged materials for research. https://www.utmb.edu/TechTransfer/mta

Export Control and Export Licenses

An export license will be required to ship or transport certain research materials and equipment out of the United States of America.  Contact UTMB Export Control for more information.  https://www.utmb.edu/export


eShipGlobal is available as a UTMB resource to ship materials at a reduced cost. When eShipGlobal is used to prepare documentation for a shipment of research materials you must select the “Research Materials Shipping” option to comply with DOT/IATA regulations.  For more information regarding eShipGlobal visit https://www.utmb.edu/supplychain/shipping/eshipfaq.asp