The IATA Time and Temperature Sensitive Label

time and temperature sensitive label IATA

To address the challenges in transporting healthcare products, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has identified product temperature management issues within the airline industry and have issued a manual of standards and requirements for their correct handling and transportation.  Included in these is the mandatory use of the Time and Temperature Sensitive Label.

When pharmaceutical and healthcare products are transported by air, it is vital that they are stored and handled correctly. Typical shipments can include vaccines, culture packs and biopsy materials.  Other such products may contain biological substances, raw materials, and active ingredients and they can be compromised by changes of temperature during transportation.

The IATA T&T Label became compulsory in 2012 and it’s the only shipping label that is specifically intended for use by the healthcare industry.  It should not be used on any other types of cargo.

time and temperature sensitive label IATA image

  • The label must be exactly as the above design and must be fixed to all shipments that are booked onto flights as time and temperature sensitive cargo.
  • The lower half of the label must show the external (or ambient) temperature range of the shipment and it must not be left blank.
  • The temperature range must only be shown in Celsius and the text should be in English.
  • It is permissible to write the temperature range onto the label by hand, as there is no requirement for it to be pre-printed.

The label must be fixed to at least one side of the most visible part of the containment and for packages that are transported within a wrapped pallet, the label must be plainly visible or applied to the outer package.  It is acceptable to attach the label to all sides of a shipment to enhance its visibility.

Airlines have the discretion to refuse any shipments if the Time and Temperature Sensitive Label is missing or incorrectly completed.

This article should not be used in substitute for checking the exact requirements in the applicable modal regulations.

IATA T&T Sensitive Label – FAQ