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The latest general information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on Coronavirus.gov. For PHMSA contact information during the COVID-19 health emergency, please visit our page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

PHMSA Safety Advisory for the Transportation of COVID-19 Diagnostic Samples

Friday, June 19, 2020

PHMSA plays a leading role in ensuring the safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce throughout the United States.  As a result of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, certain shipments of COVID-19 diagnostic samples (e.g., nasal swabs, vials of sputum, and other related items) are classified as a Category B infectious substance (Division 6.2) hazardous material under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). 

Recent compliance inspections and found several instances of improperly marked or packaged diagnostic samples that were offered for transportation.  In response, PHMSA is issuing this Safety Advisory Notice to provide information on the HMR related to offering and transporting these materials.

View the Safety Advisory for more information. 

View PHMSA’s Guide to Packaging Category B Diagnostic Samples to learn more about the packaging system and its components and obtain 1-2-3 Packaging Instructions.