International Shipping Guidance

Guidance for International User Sample/Equipment Shipments

Definitions
  • Freight Forwarder – A firm that arranges delivery of goods on instructions from a broker.
  • Broker (Brokerage Services) - A liaison company for the sender that takes responsibility for the shipment and gets it cleared through Customs.
  • Full Service Transportation Providers - Companies who ship materials and process them through Customs without going to an outside broker.
  • Importer of Record (IOR) - Refers to an importer, whether a company or individual, who is responsible for ensuring that legal goods are imported in accordance with the law. They are responsible for filing required documents, and paying the import duties and other taxes.

Shipping Guidance 

Express carriers such as FedexDHL, and UPS are full-service transportation providers that typically have in-house brokerage services to expedite delivery of materials. The advantages of using a full service provider are: comprehensive guidance, in-transit temperature monitoring, country-specific import/export requirements, and expedited customs brokerage. 

The following are additional “full-service transportation providers”:

With any carrier, please choose service that requires your carrier to pick-up your samples at your institution and deliver them to ORNL. If you choose to use a freight forwarder, please confirm they have brokerage service or will work with the broker you have selected to act on your behalf to have your shipment cleared through U.S. Customs. Advise your broker, freight forwarder or full-service transportation provider that you are the Importer of Record (IOR), or you may ask if they will act as IOR on your behalf. 

Delivery of shipments to ORNL are primarily delayed due to incomplete or incorrect paperwork, which includes generic material descriptions, missing Commercial Invoice or a Commercial Invoice that is not in English, missing Safety Data Sheet (SDS), incorrect recipient, no specified Broker, etc. The documents listed below have typically been missing from shipments sent to ORNL and have caused arrival delays: 

  1. Commercial Invoice (must be in English, with a detailed description of the materials) 
  2. TSCA [Toxic Substances Control Act] Form http://www.epa.gov/oppt/import-export/pubs/12blist.html and http://www.epa.gov/oppt/import-export/ 
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Intended Use Statement
    a. The FDA Intended Use Statement should be on the shipper’s letterhead (Importer of Record) and include:
    i. Date
    ii. Name and description of the chemical/material
    iii. Statement of the intended use of the material
    iv. Printed name and signature of shipper/subject matter expert
  4. Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
  5. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) code
    http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/bychapter/index.htm< br />a. The material will require an HTS classification code for Customs processing. Please reference the above website for more detailed information on obtaining the correct code. Your broker, freight forwarder or full-service transportation providers may be able to help you with identifying the appropriate code to use. This code should be on the shipping documents.

General Considerations

Avoid shipping around U.S. federal holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • George Washington’s Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day

Click here for specific dates of these U.S. federal holidays

Shipping times can vary widely. It is recommended to ship materials at least 7 business days before the experiment is scheduled to begin. Involving your broker, freight forwarder or full- service transportation provider early will help determine expected lead times to meet required research schedules. 

Make sure the shipping container looks professional and clean. A new outer container without an excess of tape or markings is best. Otherwise, remove or blackout pre-existing labels on the shipping container. This section does not apply to DOT Class 7 (radioactive) material. For radioactive material, please refer to the radioactive samples section below. 

These addresses must be visible on the package:
Shipper organization address plus your full name and contact information as the exporter (phone number and email address required)
ORNL’s Name and Shipping Address (provided below)

What a typical sample label should look like for non-radioactive samples:


For experiments at SNS:

Recipient: IPTS XXXXX, SNS User sample [Replace the XXXXX with your IPTS number]
Oak Ridge National Laboratory/SNS Site
9500 Spallation Drive
Bldg 8600, Rm G-201 <Special requirements (example: freezer or inert gas)>
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
SNS Sample Management Desk phone number: 865-382-8466


For experiments at HFIR:

Recipient: IPTS XXXXX, HFIR User sample [Replace the XXXXX with your IPTS number]
Oak Ridge National Laboratory / HFIR Site
1 Bethel Valley Road
Bldg 7972 Room 100 <Special requirements (example: freezer or inert gas)>
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
HFIR Sample Management Desk phone number: 865-576-9030

If the carrier (like UPS) REQUIRES a ship-to person, ship to "Sam Pell". 

 

Radioactive Samples (DOT Class 7) 

Unless samples are fissile materials, special nuclear materials, or require something beyond a typical commercial carrier, ship them to the address below with the proper DOT packaging, placarding, and/or and labeling for the radionuclides and activity. Please include your facility's report of radionuclide composition, as this will aid us in handling the sample. 

These addresses must be visible on the package:

Shipper organization address plus your full name and contact information as the exporter (phone number and email address required)
ORNL’s Name and Shipping Address (provided below)

 

For experiments at SNS:

Recipient: IPTS XXXXX, SNS User sample [Replace the XXXX with your IPTS number]
Oak Ridge National Laboratory / SNS Site
1 Bethel Valley Road
Bldg 7120 <Special requirements (example: freezer or inert gas)>
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
SNS Sample Management Desk phone number: 865-382-8466
 

For experiments at HFIR:

Recipient: IPTS XXXXX, HFIR User sample [Replace the XXXX with your IPTS number]
Oak Ridge National Laboratory / HFIR Site
1 Bethel Valley Road
Bldg 7120 <Special requirements (example: freezer or inert gas)>
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
HFIR Sample Management Desk phone number: 865-576-9030
 

Samples that are fissile materials, special nuclear materials: 

For samples that are fissile materials, special nuclear materials, or require something beyond a typical commercial carrier, please contact: 

SNS: neutronlabs@ornl.gov or (865)382-8466
HFIR: samplemgtdsk@ornl.gov or (865) 576-9030 

We will coordinate with ORNL Radiation Protection.

Download this guide as a PDF.

Download the Flowchart for International Shipments.