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Interstate Shipment of Etiologic Agents

CDC is in the process of revising our Transportation Regulation (42 CFR 72: Interstate Shipment of Etiologic Agents) to unify with other federal regulations.

For information on the transportation of etiologic agents (infectious substances) and related materials, such as specimens for testing, please refer to regulations issued in the Department of Transportation (DOT) final rule “Hazardous Materials: Infectious substances; Harmonization with the United Nations Recommendations” (71 FR 32244; June 2, 2006). The rule revises the definition of an infectious substance from Risk Groups 1-4 to a two-category system adopted by the World Health Organization--Category A is for high risk substances and Category B is for all other substances. The rule also revises packaging, exceptions, and other shipping requirements for infectious substances under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 171-180) to make them more consistent with requirements in international standards.

For more information, please contact the DOT's Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4922 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday, except federal holidays.

For information on the new DHHS and USDA Select Agent programs, please refer to the following websites:

For Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Regulations see:

For US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulations see:


Page last modified: February 8, 2008
Page last Reviewed: February 8, 2008