Microfungus Collection and Herbarium

UAMH Centre for Global Microfungal Biodiversity


The following provides general guidelines for shipping cultures to us. Note that not all regulations are covered in detail here. Consult us for advice prior to shipping.

Prohibitions: 1) Note that Canada does not allow the shipment of biological substances by post. Use a courier service. 2) We do not accept cultures known or suspected to be Coccidioides species.

Determine transport classification of the fungi that you wish to ship [see NOTE 1 below]. Consult the Curator to obtain advice. Transport Regulations do not apply to the packaging and shipping of nonhazardous biological substances; however, in shipping any fungus culture, it is advised to follow the triple packaging system as described below.

Preparation of Cultures:

  • Complete the culture submission form and send by email in advance of shipment.
  • Enclose a brief itemized list of contents inside the container.
  • Send cultures as agar slants in plastic test tubes or in vials with snap-on or screw cap tops. Sending of petri plates is discouraged especially for sporulating fungi.
  • Ensure each tube or vial is clearly labelled with your sample number and that the number matches the one on the culture submission form.
  • Close caps of tubes tightly, then seal with small amount of parafilm.
Packaging: Follow the guidelines for triple packaging.
  • Primary receptacle. Place tubes inside a waterproof primary container. Sealing within an empty petri dish sleeve works well.
  • Secondary packaging. Place primary container into a sturdy secondary container (bio-bottle, Saf-T-Pak or similar, metal cannister).
  • Rigid outer packaging. Place secondary container into sturdy box (supplied by Saf-T-Pak or other bio-bottle company).
  • For shipping Biological Substance Category B see Notes 1 and 2.
Customs Declaration: For shipments from outside Canada, you must declare the customs value of the contents.

Ship to:
Yordanka Guardiola, Curator
UAMH Centre for Global Microfungal Biodiversity
Division of Occupational & Environmental Health
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
223 College St.
Toronto ON, Canada M5T 1R4
Value for Customs purposes: CDN$ 10.00

Shipping Biological Substance Category B

Note 1: Revised UN Model Regulations came into effect in January 2005. There are two categories for transport classification: Biological Substance Category A and Biological Substance Category B. Infectious substances of Risk level 2 are shipped as Biological Substances, Category B (include fungus name). On the package, a diamond shaped label with UN 3373, and the proper shipping name is required. Category A includes mainly highly pathogenic viruses and bacteria and does not include fungi.

Note 2: Microorganisms in Category B are still classified as dangerous goods under Class 6.2, but no shipper's declaration is required. The shipper is responsible for proper packaging and shipping, and has to be a trained person according to IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Packaging Instruction 650 is the minimum required, but the stronger Packaging Instruction 620 is preferred.

The 2005 regulations are summarized in two documents provided here for convenience: EBRCN International Regulations for Packaging and Shipping Microorganisms (link to EBRCN site) and Explanation to the revised IATA and ICAO documents from the WFCC website. Links are provided there to the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations 2005, Chapter 3.6.2, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air - Addendum to 2005-2006 Edition [IATA, ICAO]  Shippers should consult the most recent IATA guidelines.