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MVZ Shipping Guidelines

MVZ Handbook

Outgoing shipments containing any biological materials (specimens, tissues, etc.) should be coordinated with Carla (birds), Carol (herps), or Chris (mammals) to ensure that all paperwork and permits are in order.

There are very strict legal rules about shipping ethanol and other dangerous goods (e.g., dry ice), especially when shipping to foreign countries. Such shipments must be supervised by trained personnel (Lydia Smith or a staff curator).

Shipping Charges

The MVZ pays for museum-related mail only (e.g., donations of specimens, loans, return of loans). The Museum does not cover project related shipping charges for packages, which must be paid using personal research funds. Payments for shipments other than those initiated by MVZ curatorial staff should be worked out in advance of shipping. See Leleña for questions about shipping.

Mailing your Package
  • Packages can be brought to the front office to be mailed. Speak with Leleña directly and/or send her an email if you have a package you need sent from the Front Office. Speak to Leleña early if same-day pickup is required.

  • For FedEx, Leleña must call by early afternoon to schedule a pickup. FedEx will only pick up hazardous materials (formalin, ethanol, dry ice) from four locations on campus (not in the VLSB), and only if they show a sticker from an EH&S trained hazmat shipper. Please see the appropriate curator if you have to ship these materials.

  • FedEx Letters should be dropped in the FedEx box on the circle at the West Gate (collected daily at 4:30 PM). Small FedEx packages can also be dropped in the box unless they contain biological materials or chemicals. Any larger packages, or packages with biological/hazardous materials, cannot be dropped in the box – a pickup must be scheduled and packages with biological/hazardous materials must be packed or checked by a staff curator.
Additional important facts
  • UPS, FedEx & DHL cannot deliver to a P.O. Box (only USPS delivers to a P.O. Box – no exceptions). Shipment using these vendors require the recipient’s phone number.

  • Typically we do not use USPS to ship biological materials; it is difficult to track these shipments, they require special paperwork, and not all items are allowed. For international shipments of biological materials, it is best to use FedEx or another express courier (e.g., DHL). Requirements may vary depending on the shipment, courier, and destination country.

  • Packages with dry ice should be sent via FedEx. Dry ice must be specified on the waybill, and a completed black diamond sticker must be placed on the outside of the package. Please ask Chris, Carol, Carla, or Lydia for guidance. If you are unfamiliar with any aspect of this process, stop and get help! As noted above, shipment of dry ice and other hazmat (ethanol, formalin) requires special training and only a few trained managers in the MVZ can legally do this. All hazmat shipments going out via FedEx will need to go out through LSA and have an EH&S sticker on it.

  • If you have questions about international shipping requirements for FedEx, first ask a curator. You can also call the customer service number 1-800-GO-FEDEX. International shipments of FedEx packages require a “Commercial Invoice.”


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