shipping mammalian cells from Europe to USA

Jose I. de las Heras jose at
Fri Jul 27 07:52:44 EST 2001

Bob wrote:
> I was wondering if anybody has any experience with sending mammalian cell
> lines from Europe to USA (or put this way: importing cells from Europe into
> US) and if yes, what exactly is the step-by-step procedure.
> Several European colleagues of mine (I am in USA) who tried shipping to US
> mentioned to me that USDA rejected entry of the cell lines into USA,
> although all the paperwork was attached.
> Which forms exactly do the European shippers have to fill out (USDA, CDC
> etc.), which fetal calf serum do they have to freeze the cells in, do they
> need to provide any certificates about the serum, and which forms do I as
> the US recipient have to fill out? The European shippers would ship only one
> frozen vial of a recombinant CHO or HEK 293 line .
> Thanks a million times for any useful suggestion,
> Bob

Hmmm, I had no problems in the past, and I'm about to send a couple of
vials next week to Washington DC.
There is a bit of paperwork, but I don't recall it being too hard. All I
have to do is get a bunch of forms from our office (we send the cells
via FedEx, and these forms are provided by them), and detail all the
contents, put the appropriate warning stickers, etc. We have to use a
particular container which is like a box inside a box inside a box to
prevent breakage and subsequent contamination... but that's about it.
As I said, I'll do that exact procedure on Monday, email me if you want
details of the actual forms I had to fill, etc.


Dr. Jose I. de las Heras	Email: 	Jose.delasHeras at
MRC Human Genetics Unit		Tel: 	(0131) 3322471
Chromosome Biology Section		ext: 	2121 (office)
Western General Hospital			2301 (lab)
Edinburgh EH4 2XU		Fax: 	(0131) 3432620	
Scotland - United Kingdom	

"Musha ring dum a doo dum a da, Whack for my daddy-o"

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