Exempt Human Specimen / Exempt Animal Specimen


IATA Patient Specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present are not subject to these Regulations if the specimen is packed in a packaging which will prevent any leakage and which is marked with the words "Exempt human specimen" or "Exempt animal specimen", as appropriate. The packaging must meet the following conditions:

(a) The packaging must consist of three components:

1. a leak-proof primary receptacle(s);

2. a leak-proof secondary packaging; and

3. an outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm;

(b) For liquids, absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire contents must be placed between the primary receptacle(s) and the secondary packaging so that, during transport, any release or leak of a liquid substance will not reach the outer packaging and will not compromise the integrity of the cushioning material;

(c) When multiple fragile primary receptacles are placed in a single secondary packaging, they must be either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them.

Note: In determining whether a patient specimen has a minimal likelihood that pathogens are present, an element of professional judgment is required to determine if a substance is exempt under this paragraph. That judgment should be based on the known medical history, symptoms and individual circumstances of the source, human or animal, and endemic local conditions. Examples of specimens which may be transported under this paragraph include the blood or urine tests to monitor cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, hormone levels, or prostate specific antigens (PSA); tests required to monitor organ functions such as heart, liver, or kidney function for humans or animals with noninfectious diseases, or therapeutic drug monitoring; tests conducted for insurance or employment purposes and are intended to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol; pregnancy tests; biopsies to detect cancer; and antibody detection in humans or animals in the absence of any concern for infection (e.g. evaluation of vaccine induced immunity, diagnosis of autoimmune disease, etc.).


49 CFR 173.134(b)(11)

(11) A human or animal sample (including, but not limited to, secreta, excreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluids, and body parts) being transported for routine testing not related to the diagnosis of an infectious disease, such as for drug/alcohol testing, cholesterol testing, blood glucose level testing, prostate specific antibody testing, testing to monitor kidney or liver function, or pregnancy testing, or for tests for diagnosis of non-infectious diseases, such as cancer biopsies, and for which there is a low probability the sample is infectious.



IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 52nd Edition, Effective 1 January - 31 December, 2011

Code of Federal Regulations, 49CFR Parts 100 to 185, revised as of October 1, 2010.