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Shipping DNA kits

From ISOGG Wiki

For some countries shipping of DTC (Direct to Consumer) DNA test kits is not available or is very expensive. This page gives indications and suggested alternative methods.

Shipping alternatives

You can arrange with a friend in the US to have him send you the package. If this is not an option or you prefer a carrier then you can use one of the many package forwarders from US to the world. A subset of them:

  • Addresses in California, Oregon and Hong-Kong. Already used by some genetic genealogists. Offers include good shipping rates with a variety of shipping companies and delivery times (FedEx, DHL, TNT, USPS, Airmail). Package Consolidation and virtual mailbox is also available. More Hints: use full US postal address for the kit ordering and use the same payment method for your order to avoid security alarms. DHL is considered overall as one of the most reliable shipping companies.

Returning is generally possible by simply mailing the sample tube/s to the company.

Customs forms

Most countries will require you to fill out a customs form. These forms are generally provided by the local post office. It is recommended that you write "genealogy sample" on the form. The content is genealogical material and not DNA until it is processed by the testing labs.

In some countries (eg, the Philippines) it is necessary to get an FTDNA Customs Release Form. If you don't have such a form then you will need to get an official letter from a doctor to state that the DNA kit is for genealogy testing only. This might incur significant charges. The FTDNA Customs Release Form states the following:

Family Tree DNA
Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd.
From: Patricia Olvera Date: 1/23/2013
To: Customs/Courier
Ref: Genealogy Testing
Attn.: "FDA Inspector"
Subject: Kit number
The sample in question is not medical. The sample in question contains non-infectious/non-contagious human saliva sample to obtain DNA for relationship and/or for the National Geographic – Genographic Project anthropology testing.
Our Tax ID is 76-0640295

See the United States Postal Services page for details of import restrictions per country: International Mail Manual > Individual Country Listings

DTC Kit information

Full Genomes Corporation

Full Genomes Corporation ships to most countries and adds shipping costs (Jan. 2016: $25 for US, EMS $39 for Europe, regular mail is possible and cheaper).

Package Size & Weight:

  • shipping to recipient EMS envelope: 40x30x5 cm, with two Biomatrica DNAgard Saliva Kits 14x13x4 cm, ~120 g
  • to return in own envelope: two sample tubes diameter 1.5 cm, length: ~10 cm, ~2x35 g

Returning for European customers Jan. 2016: YSEQ, Astrid Krahn, Eiswaldstr. 31, 12249 Berlin, Germany


See the section of the 23andMe article on international availability for details of 23andMe's shipping costs.

Family Tree DNA

Family Tree DNA ships kits to most countries in the world. Kits cannot be sent to Sudan and Iran because of customs restrictions. There are some countries where there are "potential issues that require special handling". These countries are Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. For further details on shipping FTDNA kits internationally see the FAQs on Shipping DNA tests to international destinations in the FTDNA Learning Center.

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