You must include all samples, chemicals and equipment you will bring with you or use at the Synchrotron in your EA for approval. If you wish to send samples, chemicals or equipment to the Synchrotron in advance of your beamtime you must obtain prior approval by submitting the EA form before shipping.


MX Dewar shipping 

If shipping dry shippers onsite prior to MX beamtime, please click here for information.


Shipping samples, chemicals or equipment in advance 

If shipping samples onsite prior to beamtime all items must be approved by Safety prior to shipping; it is therefore recommended that you submit your EA at least 6 weeks before scheduled beamtime where possible. Please refer to following procedure.


Contact the relevant Beamline Scientists to confirm your experiment and list the samples and/or equipment that you will be shipping to the Australian Synchrotron.

Please contact our Lab Manager if you wish to ship chemicals directly to the Synchrotron from a supplier.

2 Fill in and submit the Experiment Authorisation (EA) form.
3 Wait for EA approval before ordering or sending any items.
4 Package and label your samples in accordance with your carrier's requirements (including Australia Post where applicable) and any other regulatory requirements. Consult the transport guidelines below for more information, especially regarding biological samples.
5 Ensure you have included your name, your approved Australian Synchrotron EA form and appropriate Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
6 If your samples require refrigeration, freezer (-18°C), ultralow temperature (-80°C) or liquid nitrogen storage on arrival, please ensure that the package is clearly marked ‘Urgent’ and ‘Requires (refrigeration, freezer) on arrival’. Please ensure packages contain enough cooling material to account for shipping delays and weekends - the Stores receiving department at the Australian Synchrotron only operates Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

     Label the package as follows:


Attention: (relevant beamline)

ANSTO - Australian Synchrotron

800 Blackburn Rd


VIC 3168



     Email the relevant beamline team, Safety and the Lab Manager when you have shipped the samples.


Index to the Transport Guidelines covered below

Transport TO the Australian Synchrotron

Covering Letter

Transport FROM the Australian Synchrotron

Packaging and Labelling of Biological Samples

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)  

Importing Biological Samples from Overseas

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Importing Biological Samples from Interstate 



Dry Ice (solid carbon dioxide)

Other Chemicals Requiring Permits

Transport within Australia by Post


Shipping by Mail or Courier

Carrying in your Checked or Carry-on Baggage

Further information

Useful Links

Commercial Shippers of Dangerous Goods


Transport TO the Australian Synchrotron

There are International and Australian regulations that cover the import, export and transport of goods, especially chemicals and biological materials. Please review the appropriate section below for more information.

Before transporting samples or chemicals, either by courier, mail or on your person, it is strongly recommended that you contact your carrier and the relevant authorities in the country you are shipping or travelling from regarding regulations for exporting (and importing, if you are returning to that country with the samples).

It is advisable to begin organising sample transport as early as possible to account for any special conditions you may be required to follow. For importing/exporting information for Australia please review the appropriate section below and contact the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for further information.

If the carrier/airline, courier or Australian authorities require a statement regarding the intended use of the material from the Australian Synchrotron, please contact the User Office.


Covering Letter

A covering letter on official organisational letterhead of the sender is essential for international shipments and recommended for interstate shipments of research samples. The cover letter should be signed by a group/research leader and should include the following information:

Why the samples are being imported (for research purposes at the Australian Synchrotron). 

For samples requiring the use of our import permit you must also provide the following details:

A complete list of the samples and a description of each one, the number of samples of each type and total number of samples. The list should exactly match the labelling on each sample and the number of samples. (If each sample is only labelled with a code, due to size restrictions, a full description of what each code means is required).

Which section of the permit each commodity is being imported under.


Transport FROM the Australian Synchrotron  

Please note that the Australian Synchrotron will not arrange transport or provide packaging materials for shipping items back to home institutes but you are able to organise this yourself and have items collected by your Courier from the Synchrotron.

It is Synchrotron policy that users remove waste material that they have generated as part of their experiment process to dispose of at their home institute. It is understood that in some cases this is not practical and by prior agreement, waste may be left at the Australian Synchrotron for disposal. Click here for disposal requirements.



Packaging and Labelling of Biological Samples 

Biological samples are required to be packaged, labelled and transported appropriately. Guidelines on packaging and labelling for biological samples can be found here.  Please also refer to the information below on importing biological samples from overseas or interstate and information on transporting GMOs.


Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)    

The transport of genetically modified organisms is regulated by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR). Guidelines for the transport of GMOs can be found here. Please also refer to the information on importing biological samples from overseas or interstate as appropriate.


Importing Biological Samples from Overseas  

The import of biological materials into Australia is regulated by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR).  Biological commodities may be subject to specific biosecurity conditions outlined in the Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON) section of the DAWR website.  Certain biological commodities may require a Biosecurity Import Permit (AQIS permit) – examples are food samples, proteins, microorganisms, antibodies and animal tissues. The Australian Synchrotron holds Biosecurity Import Permits that cover a range of biological materials. Contact the User Office or Lab Manager for more information. Biological material not included on our permits may require a new import permit application before samples can be sent, this can take several weeks to organise. Import permit application details are available from the DAWR website or from the Lab Manager.

Please note: if you are using a Biosecurity Import Permit to import samples you must read the permit carefully and comply with all conditions of the permit listed in the section/s relevant to your commodities. You must also comply with all requirements, including documentary requirements, described under 'Important information about this permit and the import of goods'.

Some biological commodities are only permitted entry into Australia if they are transported directly to an approved site for Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) or are treated upon entry. Examples of approved treatments include heat treatment or gamma irradiation – fees are payable to DAWR for these treatments. The Australian Synchrotron is not currently an approved site for Post Entry Quarantine so some commodities from overseas such as soil samples and live plant tissues may not be permitted entry. Consult the BICON website for further information.

If you wish to utilise our Biosecurity permit to import your samples you will require a cover letter from us allowing you to use our permit. Please contact the User Office or Lab Manager to supply you with this letter. You will also require a cover letter from your home institution as described under Covering Letter above.

The lack of a Biosecurity Import Permit and detailed sample information on an Official Letterhead may result in a sample being stopped at Australian Customs and returned to the sender (at sender's cost) or destroyed.


CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora  

Australia is one of 179 countries that are party to the International Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. There are over 35,000 species (over 5,000 animals and 30,000 plants) listed under CITES.  Even if the Australian Synchrotron has a permit for the class of commodity you wish to import you should also check that the species is not listed on CITES as importation may be restricted. Please consult the Department of the Environment and Energy - CITES webpage for more information.


Importing Biological Samples from Interstate  

In addition to having controls on biological materials that can enter from overseas, Australia has rules and regulations about the movement of biological materials between states and within states. Information on the Australian Interstate Quarantine Rules for interstate transport can be found here.



In all cases you should first obtain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all samples and reagents you are transporting. The transport section of the SDS, generally section 14, will detail if the substance is regulated as a dangerous good for transport. SDSs with no transport information are not acceptable, you will need to obtain one from the manufacturer or supplier that has transport information.

If the substance is a dangerous good, the transport section of the SDS will contain information relevant to the transport of the substance.

If a substance is not classified as a dangerous good for transport it will generally have a statement: ‘Not regulated for the transport of dangerous goods’.

SDSs for all chemicals and samples should be included in your package for transport.



If your sample is regulated for transport as a dangerous good, as listed by the transport section of the SDS, you should follow the guidelines dependant on the mode of transport you wish to utilise.

Transport by air is regulated internationally by the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and in Australia by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) - information can be found here.

Transport by sea is regulated internationally by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code and in Australia by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) - information can be found here.

The Australian States and Territories have responsibility for the road and rail transport of dangerous goods in Australia – information can be found here.

In most cases, to ship dangerous goods by any mode you will need a certified shipper of dangerous goods to pack the items and prepare the Shippers Declaration documents for shipping. Please note: Dry Ice used as a refrigerant (with certain limitations) does not require a Shippers Declaration or packing by a certified shipper, unless the package contains other dangerous goods. Please review the section on Dry Ice below for the requirements.

Your organisation may have someone authorised as a certified shipper of dangerous goods. A certified shipper will have completed and passed a three day course on the shipment of dangerous goods by air. This certification, as well as the laws regarding air transport of dangerous goods, is international, so you will need a certified shipper no matter what country you are in or what country you are sending to. Please note: certified shippers are required to personally pack all shipments they complete the documentation for, do not expect them to send something that you have packaged yourself.

If you don’t have access to a certified shipper at your organisation there are a number of commercial companies that provide dangerous goods shipping services that can organise all aspects of the transport of dangerous goods for you. Some examples are listed in the links section at the bottom of this page.


Dry Ice (solid carbon dioxide)

Dry ice when transported by any mode (e.g. air, road, rail), must be in packaging designed and constructed to permit the release of carbon dioxide gas and to prevent build-up of pressure that could rupture the packaging.

IATA Packing Instruction 904 must be followed.

The shipper and operator(s) must ensure that the following ventilation safety procedures are followed:

a.       The dry ice must be placed outside the secondary packaging, and interior supports must be provided to keep the secondary packagings in the original position after the dry ice has dissipated.

b.      The outer packaging must permit release of carbon dioxide gas that could rupture the packagings.

c.       The outer packaging must be marked and labelled with:

·       Proper shipping name (DRY ICE) or (CARBON DIOXIDE SOLID)

·       UN 1845

·       Hazard label - Class 9 (miscellaneous)

·       Net weight of dry ice (in kilograms)


Information about dry ice is only required on a shipper’s declaration when the dry ice is used as a refrigerant for dangerous goods that require a shipper’s declaration. When a shipper’s declaration is not required the following information about dry ice must be contained in the ‘Nature and Quantity of Goods’ box on the waybill or consignment note:


  • proper shipping name (DRY ICE) or (CARBON DIOXIDE SOLID)
  • UN 1845 mark
  •           Hazard label - Class 9 (miscellaneous)
  • Net weight of dry ice (in kilograms) in each package


Other Chemicals Requiring Permits 

Narcotics, psychotropic substances, drug precursor chemicals and various other substances are controlled under the Australian Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958. A number of these products require permission to import or export and others may be banned totally.

There are also strict rules concerning certain medicines and medical devices being brought into Australia, with some medicines requiring permission from the relevant Australian Government agency prior to entering the country. Information can be found on The Office of Drug Control website.


Transport within Australia by Post  

If you are sending samples that are dangerous goods within Australia by Australia Post you will need to consult the Australia Post Dangerous and prohibited items website. Please note that Australia Post interstate mail services within Australia are generally by air transport.



Shipping by Mail or Courier


These substances may be transported by air without the conditions and documentation required for dangerous goods. However the following points should be followed:

Contact the courier/postal service that you intend to use. Different companies have different requirements for the transport of chemicals, even if they are not classified as dangerous goods.

Packaging - seal the sample in a leak-proof container labelled appropriately. Seal this container in a plastic bag (if the sample is a liquid, wrap the container in enough absorbent material to absorb the full volume before sealing). Place in a box with cushioning material. Label the box as required dependant on the contents.

Documentation - provide any SDSs with the package and a statement that the goods are non-hazardous and their intended use.


Carrying in your Checked or Carry-on Baggage 

Contact the airline you are travelling on as soon as possible (or before you book) to discuss the transport of the samples. They will likely require copies of the SDSs for the samples and possibly a statement that confirms the non-hazardous nature of the samples and their intended use. Each airline will have their own policies on the transport of chemicals.

Package samples as above.


Further Information

For more information regarding sample shipping please contact the Lab Manager.


Useful Links - Products-and-services/Importing-and-exporting

Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Importing and buying goods from overseas 

Department of Immigration and Border Protection - Quarantine Requirements

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON)

Department of the Environment and Energy - CITES

Department of Health - General packaging requirements based on mode of transport

Australia Post - Dangerous and prohibited items

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) - Cargoes and Dangerous Goods

Civil Aviation Safety Authority - Dangerous goods

The Office of Drug Control - Importers, Exporters and Travellers


Commercial Shippers of Dangerous Goods 

(Listed shippers are examples only and do not imply a recommendation)

DG Air Freight -

Toll -