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Shipping Specimens in ethanol between US and Canada by ground and air carriers:

Shipping by ground courier:

This method of shipping has proven to be more economical and less involved.

Please see you courier's web site for required documents. 

Shipping by air courier:

Shipping Instructions and Documentation Required for air transport

 for Aquatic Specimens preserved in 70% ethanol

 (70%  Ethanol : Class 3   UN # 1170  Packing Group: lll)


 Each package must contain LESS than 1 L of 70% ethanol in total and must be divided in smaller containers of no more than 30ml. inside the protective outer container.

  • There must be enough absorbent material  (e.g., paper towel) to take up any and all amount of spillage within the package while not interfering with the integrity of the outer packaging.
  • The package must withstand a drop from shoulder height and have inner containment.
  • The packages must be handled through a courier (Canada Post & USPS will not handle Dangerous Goods)
  • 70% ethanol is considered a Dangerous Good but by keeping the amount under 1L., it can be shipped by air courier with an  “Excepted Quantities Label”. Ethanol is Class 3 and has a UN # 1170.

Required Documents to include with shipment (from the US)

  • The shipper’s International Air Waybill #473 and a copy of  the Waybill from the shipment that was sent to you. 
  •  A “Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities” label filled out and taped to case or proper container (see link below)  
  • A Commercial Invoice (see link below for an example) 
  • Specimen shipments must have a list of genera on the outside of the package
  • the original waybill (if applicable) showing specimens are being returned, also on the outside of the package.    
  • The Customs Declaration on all forms should read:

                TO BE RETURNED  (if applicable) COUNTRY of ORIGIN


We have been told that permits are not required for these specimens as we are certain of the genera  being shipped and they do not include any endangered species.

   This shipping label (pdf file) is available at the link below and is printable on a colour printer. It must have the red boarder. Fill it in and tape it to your parcel

Required Documents to include with shipment (from Canada)

  • The shipper’s IntraCanada Air Waybill #510. 
  •  A “Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities” label filled out and taped to case or proper container (see shipping news on website).  
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