Genetically modified microorganisms

Genetically modified microorganisms which are not pathogenic to humans or animals.

Cell cultures, tissues and samples from genetically modified animals, when the biological material to be transported is genetically modified.

  • Genetically modified microorganisms: UN 3245
UN number Proper shipping name Class Packing instruction ADR Packing instruction IATA
3245 Genetically modified microorganisms 9 P904 PI 959
3245 Genetically modified microorganisms (in refrigerated liquid nitrogen) 9 P904 PI 959

Genetically modified microorganisms must be packed according to Packing Instruction P904 (ADR), IBC08 (ADR) or PI959 (IATA), respectively:

 Packing instructions P904 and PI959 require a triple packaging.

Inner packaging:

  • Primary receptacle(s) and a secondary packaging, the primary or the secondary packaging shall be leakproof for liquids and siftproof for solids
    • - for liquids: absorbent material between primary receptacle and secondary packaging to fully absorb liquid in case of leak or breakage;
    • - when multiple fragile primary receptacles are places in a single secondary packaging, they are either individually wrapped or separated to prevent contact between them.

Outer packaging with one of the dimensions at least 100mm;

 Note: Genetically modified micr)organisms packed and marked in accordance with packing instruction P904 (ADR) and PI959 (IATA/ICAO) are not subject to any other requirement of ADR and IATA/ICAO, respectively.


  • Name and address of consigner and consignee
  • Mark: diamond-shaped mark with minimum dimensions of 50mm by 50mm containing the UN number UN 3245 (at least 6 mm high)
  • If solid carbon dioxide is used: ‘Carbon dioxide, solid’ as coolant

Additionally for air transport:

  • UN number and proper shipping name: UN 3245, Genetically modified microorganisms (at least 6 mm high)
  • Phone number of responsible person
  • If solid carbon dioxide is used: ‘Carbon dioxide, solid’ as coolant’, UN 1845, net quantity, class 9

Note: A shipper's declaration for dangerous goods and instructions in writing are not required for UN 3245 if packed in accordance with P904 or PI959, respectively.

  • It is recommended to provide an itemized list of contents, e.g. between secondary packaging and outer packaging;
  • Required permits, if applicable;
  • Delivery note / (pro forma) invoice for customs;
  • Transport document (according to Cartagena Ordinance art. 4) for the trans-boundary movement of living genetically modified organisms intended for contained use only.

 Additionally for air transport:

Air Waybill for air transport (form provided and filled out by carrier).

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Last edition: 19.12.2023