This handover procedure must be followed prior to the sample owner departing station or by the cargo required by date, whichever is earliest. For sample owners planning on having their samples return on a later transport than their own, they must complete this process prior to leaving station.

If a sample cannot be handed over prior to the cargo required by date, late cargo procedures will need to be followed. Contact for more information.

Documentation requirements

The following documentation is required in order to faciliate the transport and import of samples:

  • Sample Transport Agreement: to be negotiated with Supply Planning prior to commencement of project activities.
  • Econ consignment: consignments must be submitted prior to the cargo required by date.
  • Import Permit or BICON case: sample owner must send a copy of their import permit to Supply Planning prior to the cargo required by date (not required for samples from Macquarie Island).
  • Letter of Declaration: sample owner must send a signed letter of declaration to Supply Planning prior to the cargo required by date (not required for samples from Macquarie Island).
  • Sample Transport QA Checklist: sample owner must complete the first two sections prior to sample handover.

Preparation for handover

Labelling/packaging requirements

Before handing consignment over to the Station Supply Officer, sample owners must ensure that the packages are correctly packaged and labelled. Sample owners should check the following:

1. Packaging:

  • Ensure packaging is suitable to maintain sample integrity (to help maintain physical condition and temperature, if required).
  • For temperature sensitive consignments, it is preferable to pack into white outer cartons (available from the station green store) to distinguish them from ambient cargo.

2. Labelling:

  • Remove old/previous labels from all outer packages. Check this especially carefully for any reused outer packaging.
  • Add an RTA Econ label to each package; include econ number, package number and total number of packages in the consignment.
  • Add a yellow biosecurity label or white non-biosecurity sample label as required.
  • Add temperature sensitive labels with required storage temperature (matching information provided in Econ), if required.

3. Documentation; attach to the first package of the consignment in a document slip:

  • Sample Transport QA Checklist, with first two sections completed by the sender.
  • Import Permit (or BICON case), first section only with good/commodity type marked/highlighted (not required for samples imported from Macquarie Island).
  • Signed Letter of Declaration (not required for samples imported from Macquarie Island).

4. Temperature sensitive consignments, check:

  • Samples are packed into a white outer carton (preferable) or other suitable packaging.
  • Ensure packaging/insulating materials are sufficient to protect samples during transport, to assist maintenance of sample integrity.
  • Temperature sensitive labelling is clear and cross checks with that provided in Econ.

Dangerous goods

If the sample consignment contains dangerous goods, sample owners should discuss dangerous goods specific packaging and labelling requirements with the Station Supply Officer prior to handover. Dangerous Goods consignments need to be accompanied by a Safety Data Sheet.


The sample owner needs to make an appointment with the Station Supply Officer prior to the cargo required by date.

During handover the Station Supply Officer will electronically accept the sample consignment in Econ and ensure that the information in Econ matches that provided in the Sample Transport QA Checklist and the labelling on the sample packaging. Section three of the Sample Transport QA Checklist will be completed and signed by both the sample owner and the Station Supply Officer.

The samples will then be stored in an appopriate storage location in preparation for transport.

What you need to know

Following the above steps will help ensure effective and efficient importation, clearance and movement of samples. After scientific samples are transported back to Australia and cleared for movement by regulators, scientific samples will be on-forwarded directly to the intended destination (approved arrangement) in the corresponding samples consignment (in Econ). Scientific samples destined for a non-AAD institution will not be stored in AAD facilities, unless otherwise agreed. These requirements will be discussed in the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and Sample Transport Agreement processes before project activitites commence. If you have any questions about the tranport of samples please contact