- Our shipping address is:
25 New Hampshire Avenue,
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone: (603) 259-4452 ext. 1
- Please be sure that your tubes are clearly labeled using permanent ink and include a copy of the order confirmation with your samples.
- DNA samples can be shipped overnight at ambient temperature, but during warmer months shipping with ice packs is recommended. You may also send your samples frozen on dry ice if you prefer.
- Samples requiring nucleic acid extraction should be sent as sealed, pre-grown agar plates at room temperature or as frozen cell pellets on dry ice.
- For all shipments, please ship your samples in a rigid box and/or multiple packaging layers to protect them during transit. Follow instructions from your shipping vendor for proper packaging of dry ice.
- We recommend sensitive samples be shipped Monday-Wednesday for overnight delivery to avoid delays on weekends. We are not responsible for samples lost, delayed, or damaged in shipping. We will send confirmation of receipt.
- We will retain extracted DNA for 6 months in case you decide to perform additional sequencing.
International Shipping Tips
Most often, biological materials that are sent to us via courier from outside the US are delivered on time and are well preserved, if the package documentation is clear and complete. In cases where samples are detained for special handling by US Customs and Border Protection, we have noted that the documentation was the cause (e.g., not complete, not clear, or confusing to the Agent).
We recommend that you take time and make an effort in preparing your documentation so that the government agent who inspects your package will find it understandable, clear, complete, and thorough. Most often, these agents are generalist inspectors and do not have scientific or research backgrounds.
Here are two links to US Agencies responsible for the processing of imported biological materials:
A proactive communication technique for facilitating the Agent’s inspection:
Consider this proactive communication to the USDA/Boarder Agents. When packages are detained for further screening, we have noted that the Agents will request a written statement from the shipper (you) with the information listed below. Consider preparing and enclosing this document with your shipment.
- Statement is drafted on the company letterhead and, if letterhead does not include physical address, please add it to the statement.
- Signature of person submitting documentation
- FedEx AWB number or invoice number
- Written in English
- Must answer the following questions:
- What is the sample?
- What is its usage? Is it for [Vitro (lab) use Only]? TIP: as applicable, include a specific “Guideline Code” from the USDA’s list of materials that do NOT require a USDA Import Permit USDA APHIS | Guidelines: Animal Products That Do Not Require An Import Permit
- Does the material come from a lab that works with exotic viruses affecting avian species or livestock?
- Is it recombinant?
- Is the source human or animal (what kind of animal)?
- Original Certificate / Certificate of origin if applicable
If of human source, please have more information include on the contents from the below, directly from CDC website:: https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/ipp/etool.htm
Other practical considerations when drafting your documentation:
- The shipping manifest should clearly indicate the quantity of samples, type of samples (e.g., purified DNA), and purpose of the samples (e.g., sequencing analysis for research purposes).
- Where appropriate, the package should indicate that the contents are non-toxic/non-hazardous/non-infectious etc.
- Shipments are more likely to make it through customs if they are not assigned a high dollar value (we frequently see $1 to $10, total value), and include documentation describing exactly what is in the package and what its intended purpose is.
- Where applicable, you should mention that the samples are non-hazardous, non-infectious, for research use only, hold no commercial value, etc.
- We also recommend checking the status of your shipment regularly, as there is not a lot of turnaround time for action if it does get hung up incustoms.
- You may want to use a Licensed Customs Broker. Note that most of our customers do NOT use Customs Brokers, instead using resources provided by the courier services (e.g., FEDEX, DHL, etc.) for questions and support in preparing their documentation.
For example, here are some snippets from fast-clearing shipping documents:
- This package contains RNA samples resuspended in water, enclosed in 1.5ml tubes. (Yours might say something like “This package contains benign algal cultures transported on agar growth medium. The contents are non-toxic, non-hazardous, and non-infectious.”)
- This shipment does not represent a commercial transaction value and is for research purposes only.
- The contents do not present any risk if manipulated, but they should not be opened as it may affect their viability.
SeqCoast is not a licensed customs broker, nor do we have dedicated relationships with those US government agencies who are responsible for monitoring the importation of biological materials into the US. However, if your samples are delayed by these US agencies, we are committed to working with you and the agencies in responding to their requests.