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Transport of dangerous goods and biological specimens

Many chemicals and biological specimens are classified as dangerous goods. Transportation of dangerous goods is strictly regulated by Swedish and international law.

Below are some of the issues that need to be addressed before shipment or transport of scientific samples.

Definition of dangerous goods

Substances and articles that have dangerous properties and that can, if not handled correctly during transport, cause harm to people, environment or property are classified as dangerous goods. Examples of dangerous properties are:

  • ​Explosive, flammable and/or corrosive chemicals
  • Toxic and/or infectious substances

Instructions for how to find out whether a chemical or biological specimen is classified as dangerous goods can be found in the document "How to know whether your sample is classified as dangerous goods" .

The sender's obligation

Legislations, such as ADR for transport on roads, RID for railway transport and IATA for air transport, regulate and provide instructions for the safe transportation of dangerous goods. The ADR rules apply on public roads. Transports within the same campus (for example, pedestrian lanes) are exempted from ADR.

It is the sender’s obligation to ensure correct classification, packaging and labelling, including UN number and applicable warning diamonds, of the dangerous goods. The sender is further obliged to provide the shipping agent/transport firm with transport documentation, that is, a complete goods declaration and sender/receiver information.

The sender must also ensure that the shipping agent/transport firm holds a license for transportation of dangerous goods.

How to send scientific samples?

The Scientific Samples Shuttle

KI provides a daily shuttle service of scientific samples between Karolinska hospital/Campus Solna and Karolinska hospital/Campus Flemingsberg. The service is free of charge for all employees and students at KI. For more information, see Scientific Samples Shuttle.

Global transport services

Five licensed shipping agents/transport firms are included in the KI framework agreement for transport of dangerous goods. For more information see "Global transportservices".

The commuter bus

The commuter bus has NO license for transport of dangerous goods. The only type of scientific sample allowed on the commuter bus is “Excluded medical sample” (see description in "classifications of chemicals and biological specimens") provided that the sample is packed and labelled according to the instructions and that someone rides with the package to the destination.

Please note that both dry ice and liquid nitrogen are classified as dangerous goods and may therefore NOT be transported with the bus.


Contact the safety adviser of transport of dangerous goods at Stenarecycling, Patrik Klettner Carlsson, if you have questions.

Contact information to Patrik: phone: 0725-690 611 or e-mail:

Margaretha Vickes

UF.FA.Miljö och säkerhet
UF Central Administration