Service Guide

Dangerous Goods (FedEx Express): Regulatory Updates

Review recent changes to IATA regulations, IATA variations and other regulatory information.

Shipping hazardous materials via FedEx Ground? Start here.

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  • Regulatory updates for shipping dangerous goods with FedEx Express


Regulatory updates

If you ship dangerous goods, you should know about changes to International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods regulations. Though this summary presents some of the major changes, it’s not comprehensive, so you should consult appropriate available channels to stay informed about all regulatory changes. Shippers may obtain additional information and assistance via:
  • The FedEx Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials Hotline at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339 (say "dangerous goods"). Outside the U.S. call 1.901.375.6806.
  • The IATA website (
Disclaimer: The following update is for customer information only. It is not intended as a training source, recurrent or otherwise. FedEx Express does not warrant the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for this information, or for future regulatory amendments that may affect any of the information provided herein or any damages resulting from the use or misuse of this information.

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IATA variations

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FedEx Express IATA variations

For certain types of dangerous goods, our packaging and shipping requirements go beyond those applied by IATA. Check the list of FedEx Express IATA Variations for more information.

Additional regulatory information

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Lithium battery update, effective July 1, 2017

When the lithium battery handling label (IATA Figure 7.4.H) is applied to packages/overpacks for Section IB and permitted Section II lithium battery shipments, the applicable UN number(s) must be marked on the package adjacent to the lithium battery handling label.

Lithium battery update, effective Jan. 1, 2017

FedEx Express is taking extra measures to improve the safe transport of lithium batteries.

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2017, FedEx Express will no longer accept UN 3090 or UN 3480 lithium batteries tendered to us as IATA Section II. Instead, these shipments must be tendered as fully regulated Section I (either Section IA or Section IB) with a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods form and all required dangerous goods marking and labeling, including the Class 9 label and Cargo Aircraft Only label.
  • Shippers who are on the UN 3090 Section II preapproved list will automatically be placed on the UN 3090 Section I list. You will not need to reapply for preapproval.
  • Section I UN 3090 and UN 3480 are hazard class 9 materials and are classified as Inaccessible Dangerous Goods (IDG). For information on the FedEx Express services you can use to ship IDG and surcharges that apply, see the FedEx Services and Countries Served and Special Handling Fees sections on the How to Ship page.

Additional Resources

Battery shipments

For additional information about shipping batteries, download the helpful brochure Packaging Guidelines for Battery Shipments (462 Kb PDF).

Lithium metal batteries (UN 3090 Primary Non-Rechargeable) require preapproval to ship. This applies to batteries shipped under Sections IA and IB of Packing Instruction 968 in IATA. For details on shipping lithium batteries (Primary Non-Rechargeable and Rechargeable), see Lithium Batteries Section IA and IB.  

FedEx Express does not accept IATA special provision A183 shipments — lithium batteries being shipped for recycling or disposal — even with competent authority approval.

Hazardous materials certificate of registration

View our FedEx Express Hazardous Materials Certificate of Registration (4.83 Kb PDF), which lists our registration number and the date it was issued.

Infectious Substances (Category A), Biological Substance (Category B) and Clinical Specimens

Category A infectious substances affecting humans (UN 2814) and infectious substances affecting animals (UN 2900) are considered dangerous goods that can cause permanent disability and life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. These infectious substances must not be shipped in the FedEx® Clinical Pak or FedEx® Clinical Box. IATA regulations apply. Noninfectious blood and urine must meet FedEx standards.

Biological Substance, Category B (UN 3373) are infectious substances that are not Category A infectious substances. These substances must meet the requirements in IATA Packing Instruction 650. A FedEx® UN 3373 Pak and FedEx Clinical Box are available for shipping these substances.

Clinical specimens for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present should be marked with the words "Exempt human specimen" or "Exempt animal specimen" as appropriate. See IATA section for additional information. A FedEx Clinical Pak is available for shipping clinical specimens.

Shippers must also comply with all applicable local, state and federal laws governing packing, marking and labeling of shipments of blood and blood products.

For more information on how to prepare clinical sample and Biological Substance, Category B shipments, download these helpful brochures:

Effective Oct. 1, 2010: emergency response requirements

FedEx Express dangerous goods shipments are required to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Response Requirements (49 CFR Part 172.201, Part 172.604) for dangerous goods shipping.

Documentation for all dangerous goods shipments must include an emergency response information (ERI) provider, who provides 24-hour coverage in the event of emergencies, and an emergency response phone number, including area code and country code where applicable.

When an agency or organization is designated as the ERI provider, the registered person must be identified on the shipping form by name, contract number or other unique identifier. The person responsible for providing detailed ERI about the shipment’s hazardous materials content is usually the offeror or shipper.

How to provide this information. FedEx Express shippers can use their existing Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods forms and electronic shipping solutions with no modifications. Simply include the required identification for ERI in the Additional Handling section of the form.

When additional information is required. FedEx Express requires this additional information when a) a customer contracts with an ERI provider, and b) the name listed as the shipper on the shipment documentation is NOT the customer name on file with the ERI provider. For example:

  • A customer is registered with an ERI provider but hires a freight forwarder, pack-and-ship company or distributor — who ships on the customer’s behalf and lists their own company name as the shipper.
  • A customer is a member of a trade association that pays for ERI services, and the ERI provider has the trade association, not the customer, on file with the Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS).

In these cases the customer must provide FedEx Express with a company name or individual name, or the ERI contract number that the MSDS’s are under so that the shipment can be tied back to the customer.

Read the final rule in its entirety.

Regulatory compliance letter

FedEx Express complies with all federal and state laws and regulations that apply to the services we offer. For more information, read our dangerous goods and hazardous materials regulatory compliance letter (345 Kb PDF).

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