Samples arrive at the Dairy One Forage Lab from across the globe on a daily basis. Following the 5 steps below will help ensure that your samples pass smoothly through US Customs, arrive at the lab in good condition, and that you receive the analyses that you desire.
1. Send only samples of plant origin, for example, forages, grains, and grain byproducts. Do not send animal byproducts or samples that contain animal byproducts as an ingredient. These samples will be rejected by US Customs and destroyed. There is also the risk that an entire shipment will be destroyed if it is found that one sample in the shipment contains animal byproducts. Do not send animal byproducts.
- Prepare samples properly. Samples should be approximately 300-500 mg.
- Dry hay, grains, and commodities generally ship with no threat of spoilage.
- Fully fermented silage samples generally arrive in good condition if they arrive at the lab within one week.
- Wet samples such as pastures, fresh forages, and silages (if shipping will take more than one week) should be shipped frozen or pre-dried to avoid spoilage. Preferably, wet samples should be dried prior to shipping. This provides the best insurance against spoilage. Oven dry samples at 50-60C to avoid damaging the sample. Go to the following page for instructions on microwave drying.
2. The USDA and FDA have special requirements. A permit from the USDA must accompany all shipments. Complete the following form to request a USDA permit. All fields must be completed for your request to be processed. If your request is approved, you will receive a packet via email explaining the submission process.
3. Submit FDA Prior Notice.
4. Documentation must be included with all shipments.
A. Sample Submission Form and payment
B. Itemized Shipping List (List A)
C. Mixed Feed List (List B) for each sample on List A that is a mixture of ingredients
D. Complete USDA Permit
E. Web Entry Summary Confirmation
F. Letter of Compliance (Example letter)
5. Ship properly prepared samples and proper documentation to minimize the opportunity for delays in transit and ensure samples arrive at the lab on a timely basis.
Taking a Sample
- Follow sampling instructions (Taking a good sample) to obtain a representative sample. Submit 300 – 500 grams.
- It is recommended that pasture, silage and freshly harvested forages be dried prior to shipping. This will help prevent spoilage if the samples are delayed in transit. Follow the microwave drying instructions (Determining dry matter with a microwave) for drying your samples.
- If it is not feasible to dry the samples, freeze them prior to shipping. Pack the samples on ice and select a delivery option to expedite shipping.
- Samples should be securely packed in plastic bags or other sealable containers to prevent spillage and spoilage.
- Clearly label all sample bags to correspond with the description of the sample on the Itemized Shipment List (List A.) and the sample submission form. Descriptions must be consistent to avoid delays when passing through US Customs.
All shipments must include the following documentation. All sample descriptions and listings must be in English.
- USDA Permit – Apply for a copy of the permit in the section above. Once obtained, the permit may be photocopied as often as required. Be sure to include the entire permit in your shipment.
- Itemized Shipment List (List A.) – Provide an itemized listing of all samples in the shipment. The sample descriptions on this list must match the descriptions on the sample bags. (Itemized Shipment List, List A.)
- Mixed Feed List (List B.) – A listing of the individual ingredients in a mixed or blended feed (e.g., total mixed rations, grain mixtures). A copy of List B must be included for each mixed feed in the shipment. List B is only required when submitting mixtures. (Mixed Feed List, List B.)
- Sample Submission Form – This is used by the laboratory to identify the sample and the analyses to be performed. All samples must be accompanied by a submission form.
- Web Entry Summary Confirmation – Print at the end of the FDA Prior Notice Process for each shipment.
- Letter of Compliance – An example can be seen here. Replace the red font with your information and print on letterhead (if applicable). The letter must be signed.
- All samples must be in tightly sealed containers. Securely sealed plastic bags are used most commonly. If the sample is extremely wet or liquid, double bag or seal the container with heavy-duty tape to prevent leakage. Packages that leak will be rejected and destroyed by US customs.
- All sample bags must be clearly labeled and identified. The identification on the bag must be the same as on List A.
- Securely pack the samples to minimize shifting during transit. Be sure to freeze and pack the samples on ice if required.
- Place all documentation inside the box and seal.
- Place the USDA Permit, List A., and List B. in an envelope marked US Customs Documents. Securely tape the envelope to the outside of the box. Click here to see graphical shipping instructions.
Dairy One has USDA-APHIS permission to import common feeds and forages of plant origin. We do not have permission to import animal products, animal byproducts or feeds containing either of the above. Any shipment found to include any type of animal product will be destroyed or returned to the shipper. Do not attempt to ship any animal products to the United States.
Follow the accompanying guidelines to ease the passage of your shipment through US Customs. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in your samples being destroyed.