Transport of biological material: Exemptions

The transport of substances listed below is exempt from the dangerous goods transport requirements.

for Swiss and international transport according to ADR,

  • Substances which do not contain infectious substances or substances which are unlikely to cause disease in humans or animals. 
  • Substances containing microorganisms which are non-pathogenic to humans or animals. 
  • Substances in a form that any present pathogens have been neutralized or inactivated such that they no longer pose a health risk. 
  • Substances, where the concentration of pathogens is at a level naturally encountered (including foodstuff and water samples) and which is not considered to pose any significant risk of infection (packaging equivalent to P650 might be appropriate).  
  • Dried blood spots, collected by applying a drop of blood onto absorbent material, or faecal occult blood screening.
  • Faecal occult blood sreening samples
  • Blood or blood components which have been collected for the purpose of transfusion or for the preparation of blood products to be used for transfusion or transplantation and any tissues or organs intended for use in transplantation.  
  • Human or animal specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present, if the specimen is carried in a triple-packaging which will prevent any leakage (packaging equivalent to P650) and which is marked with the words "exempt human specimens" or "exempt animal specimen".

Not explicitly covered under the international transport regulations are nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) including plasmids. The SECB recommends to transport nucleic acids in a triple packaging which will prevent any leakage (packaging equivalent to P650).

for Swiss and international transport according to ADR, Note 3:

Genetically modified live animals which, in accordance with the current state of scientific knowledge, have no known pathogenic effect on humans, animals and plants and are carried in receptacles that are suitable for safely preventing both the escape of the animals and unauthorized access to them, are not subject to the provisions of ADR. The provisions specified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for air transport "Live Animals Regulations, LAR" can be drawn on as guidelines for suitable receptacles for the transport of live animals.

for Swiss and international transport, ADR, note 2

genetically modified (micro)organisms are not subject to the provision of ADR when authorized for use by the competent authorities of the countries of origin, transit and destination (i.e. food and feed).

for Swiss and international transport according to ADR,

  • Decontaminated medical or clinical waste which previously contained infectious substances. 

for Swiss and international transport according to ADR,

Medical devices or equipment potentially contaminated with or containing infectious substances which are being carried for disinfection, cleaning, sterilization, repair or equipment evaluation. The packagings must be constructed in such a way that they cannot break, be punctured or leak their contents. They shall be marked "Used medical device" or "Used medical equipment". This exemption does NOT apply for:

  • Medical waste (UN 3291)
  • Medical devices or equipment containing infectiou substances in Category A (UN 2814 or UN 2900)
  • Medical devices or equipment containing other dangerous goods.

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Last edition: 19.12.2023