Hazardous Materials Shipping

What are Hazardous Materials?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) define hazardous materials as articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property, or the environment; are listed or classified in the regulations; and are transported in commerce.

Hazardous materials include, but are not limited to, materials that are explosive, flammable, combustible, corrosive, reactive, oxidizing, toxic, radioactive, infectious, asphyxiating, elevated in temperature, or compressed, including aerosol cans.

To determine if a material is hazardous, refer to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which provides the product’s hazard classification. For more information, please see the U.S. Department of Transportation’s detailed Hazardous Material Table.

Hazardous Materials Shipping Requirements

Transportation of hazardous materials by plane, train, highway or vessel is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Shipping regulations requires that the employer train, test, and certify that the hazardous materials employee is familiar with applicable regulations, safety and security awareness. A trained shipper should be able to properly identify, classify, package, mark, label and document each hazardous materials shipment.

Any UCI employee who prepares packages containing hazardous materials for shipment or performs any pre-transport function related to shipping hazardous materials must receive training.  This includes anyone who:

  • Selects packaging for a shipment
  • Marks and labels packages
  • Classifies hazard class
  • Prepares shipping papers
  • Fills packages
  • Provides emergency response information


To be certified as a hazardous materials shipper, you must complete training courses which meet general awareness, safety requirements, and security awareness. You may be required to take further courses that cover function specific tasks.

To request Hazardous Materials Shipping Training, please submit the training request form.

Additional Information

For assistance with hazardous materials shipping, please contact:

  • Chemical
    Examples: chemicals, gas cylinders, and lithium batteries
    EH&S Front Desk (949) 824-6200
  • Biological Materials With or Without Dry Ice
    Medalyn Supnet msupnet@uci.edu (949) 824-4170