Although there is a strong tendency to minimize the risk posed by a diagnostic sample, the different regulations, national and international, are intended to protect the environment and the persons involved in the handling, packaging and transportation of hazardous biological substances. This protection is achieved by means of strict requirements for packaging and the communication of risks.
The shipper/packer/packager is responsible for the classification and packaging of the sample in its corresponding category, as appropriate. If a sample is classified as Category A,, it is considered for its transportation (internal or external) as high risk hazardous goods, and consequently it must be packed following Packaging Instruction P620 rigorously,and transported by an authorised company with the code UN 2814 (if the sample poses a risk to humans), or UN 2900 (if the sample only poses a risk to animals)
If the sample is classified as Category B, it can be transported as ordinary goods, sas long as it is packaged complying scrupulously with the conditions of Packaging Instruction P650.
As regards the hazard labels and the UN codes, these must always be visible during transportation, as they provide key information in the case of an accident. The manufacturer or distributor of the packaging, in turn, is obliged to provide the instructions for use and the test reports for each test the packaging system has undergone; it must be designed and tested to withstand rough treatment, along with other conditions experienced during transportation, like changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature, vibrations, impacts, stacking or moisture.
These are compulsory tests, which have to be passed and for which they must have an official copy of the test report.