The World Health Organization (WHO) Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances is a bi-annual publication that facilitates compliance with applicable international regulations for the transport of infectious substances by all modes of transport. The guidance provides information for classifying, identifying, packaging, marking, labelling, documenting and refrigerating infectious substances for transportation and ensuring their safe delivery. The guidance is relevant for all users along the transportation pipeline, including shippers, packaging suppliers, package carriers and receivers. The guidance is especially relevant during public health emergencies when transportation of samples is needed to detect and respond to emerging outbreaks. The guidance was first published in 1997, and was most recently updated in 2021.
The creation and updating of the guidance is sponsored by the European Union. The guidance is reviewed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who release complimentary biological material shipping guidelines for air transport. The guidance also compliments the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations), a biannual general international transportation guide. The UN regulations and the WHO guidelines are designed to assist the creation of legally binding, country level policies.