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Special Provision A180
Non-infectious specimens supported or preserved in Alcohol/Formaldehyde
On 1 January 2011, Special Provision A180 of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air (“the ICAO Technical Instructions”) will come into effect.
This Special Provision has particular application to the transport of Non-infectious specimens that are supported or preserved using dangerous goods as listed:
- UN 1170 Ethanol
- UN 1170 Ethanol solution
- UN 1170 Ethyl alcohol
- UN 1198 Ethyl alcohol solution
- UN 1198 Formaldehyde solution, flammable
- UN 1987 Alcohols, n.o.s.
- UN 1219 Isopropanol
- UN 1219 Isopropyl alcohol
Special Provision A180 of the ICAO Technical Instructions states:
Non-infectious specimens, such as specimens of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects and other invertebrates containing small quantities of UN 1170, UN 1198, UN 1987 or UN 1219 are not subject to these Instructions provided the following packing and marking requirements are met:
- specimens are:
- wrapped in paper towel and/or cheesecloth moistened with alcohol or an alcohol solution and then placed plastic bag that is heat-sealed. Any free liquid in the bag must not exceed 30 mL; or
- placed in vials or other rigid containers with no more than 30 mL of alcohol or an alcohol solution;
- the prepared specimens are then placed in a plastic bag that is then heat–sealed;
- the bagged specimens are then placed inside a another plastic bag with absorbent material then heat sealed;
- the finished bag is then placed in a strong outer packaging with suitable cushioning material;
- the total quantity of flammable liquid per outer packaging must not exceed 1 L; and
- the completed package is marked “scientific research specimens, not restricted Special Provision A180 applies”.
The words “not restricted” and the special provision number A180 must be provided on the air waybill when an air waybill is issued.
Issue 1 - Dangerous Goods Training
Persons shipping non-infectious items in accordance with Special Provision A180 are NOT required to complete the dangerous goods training for certain employees of shippers of dangerous goods per Regulation 92.120 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998.
Note: Persons shipping infectious substances or biological substances category B or other dangerous goods are required to complete dangerous goods training.
Issue 2 - Carriage of these items as Carry-on baggage or Checked baggage
The ability for passengers to carry specimens prepared under Special Provision A180 as carry-on or as checked baggage will be at the discretion of the airline(s) involved and any applicable security provisions.
Some airlines may allow the carriage of items prepared in accordance with A180 in checked baggage but with prior notification to and prior approval in writing from the airline.
Some airlines do NOT permit the carriage of any specimens in passengers carry-on or checked baggage under any circumstances. (Refer IATA DGR Operator Variations AF-02, AR-02, AU-02, etc)
It is the responsibility of the person travelling to ensure they have secured any approval necessary from their airline(s) prior to travel.
Approval for carriage by the first airline of travel does not mean that subsequent or code share airlines will accept the carriage of the items.
It is recommended that these items be consigned as cargo to avoid the denial of their carriage.
Issue 3 - Sending items prepared under A180 in Air Mail
CASA has been advised that, if prepared in full accordance with A180 and marked as "Scientific research specimens. Not restricted. Special Provision A180 applies" then the items may be lodged with Australia Post.
However, some countries will not accept any "specimens" in the post and quarantine restrictions may also be applicable.
Special Provision A180 does not remove the need to check the Post and Quarantine requirements for both the country of posting and the country of destination. (For example refer IATA DGR State Variations - VCG-04 for Sri Lanka)