Packaging and Shipping Evidence

  1. Prior to packaging and shipping evidence, call the pertinent unit of the Laboratory for specific instructions.
  2. Take precautions to preserve the evidence.
  3. When requesting latent print examinations, place nonporous evidence in individual protective coverings such as thick transparent envelopes or suspend in a container so that there is minimal surface contact. Place porous evidence in individual protective coverings such as paper envelopes. Stabilize the evidence to avoid movement or friction during shipment.
  4. Wrap and seal each item of evidence separately to avoid contamination.


  5. Place the evidence in a clean, dry, and previously unused inner container.
  6. Seal the inner container with tamper-evident or filament tape.


  7. Affix EVIDENCE and appropriate BIOHAZARD or HAZARDOUS MATERIALS labels to the inner container.


  8. If any of the evidence needs to be examined for latent prints, label LATENT on the inner container.


  9. Affix the evidence examination request and all case information between the inner and outer containers.


  10. Place the sealed inner container in a clean, dry, and previously unused outer container with clean packing materials. Do not use loose Styrofoam™.
  11. Completely seal the outer container so that opening of the container would be evident.
  12. Label the outer container with appropriate BIOHAZARD or HAZARDOUS MATERIALS labels.


  13. Address the outer container as follows:

    WASHINGTON DC 20535-0001


  14. Ship evidence via U.S. Postal Service Registered Mail, United Parcel Service, or Federal Express. Record the method of shipment and the tracking number or numbers on the chain-of-custody form.
  15. Rendered-safe explosive devices must be shipped via United Parcel Service.
  16. Live ammunition must be shipped via Federal Express. The following guidelines must be followed to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations:
    • Live ammunition must be packaged and shipped separately from firearms.
    • Pack ammunition in a cardboard container.
    • Label invoices FEDERAL EXPRESS.
    • The shipper's certification for restricted articles must be included.
    • The outside of the container must be labeled ORM-D AIR, CARTRIDGES SMALL ARMS.
    • The shipping papers must also include the weight in grams.


    fbi_package6 fbi_package7


  17. The Interstate Shipment of Etiologic Agents (42 CFR Part 72) provides packaging and labeling requirements for etiologic agents (viable microorganisms or toxins that cause or may cause human disease) shipped in interstate traffic. For additional information, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (404) 633-5313 in Atlanta, Georgia.
    • Package and label etiologic agents in volumes of less than 50 ml as shown in the drawings above. Place dry ice outside the secondary container.
    • Affix the regulation label shown below to all shipments of etiologic agents.