How to get preserved ceph from Japan to US?

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by moseman23, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. moseman23

    moseman23 Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi there bioloigists. Long time reader, first time poster. Quick question: I am travelling to Japan this week and want to bring a preserved squid home in a sealed, largish jar of glycerin. What's the best and safest way to do that that won't cost an arm and a leg? I am probably buying it in a store, but might get it straight from the artist. Can they certify it for me as safe to the airport people and I can carry it on? Someone suggested Fedex but that sounds expensive.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd like to send one preserved in alcohol to Mexico so I hope someone has a suggestion.
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I have no idea. But I think being that it is a flammable liquid it is going to be very difficult to get approval to take it on the plane. Shipping maybe the only option.
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    D,

    Could you put it in a ziploc bag? Double ziploc bag? I've used plastic jars before.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    CG,
    Basically, I am looking for where to find guidelines on shipping preserved animals internationally.

    It is not the container that is the problem but shipping a preserved specimen to another country. The US mail allows a certain (the number of ounces is somewhere in the bowels of the mailing regs) amount of isopropal alcohol so I get away with it for US shipments but international is different and getting it through customs challenging. I would like to ship Monty to Colombia (I think, it has been awhile but I think I misremembered when I said Mexico) to someone who has found several new, possibly invasive, species and one of them looks a lot like Monty. He was going to check to see what he could find out about the rules but I have not heard back from him in awhile.
     
  6. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    transporting internationally depends on the countries you are transporting in and out of, but as a rule of thumb, a jar with a preserved specimen and glycerin will not be allowed on a plane. You may be able to ship it, but it will cost a lot. Even without the jar and alcohol, you will need to have appropriate papers stating what the object is, and that it has been approved as safe. (You may be able to get these from the artist).
     
  7. perke

    perke O. bimaculoides Registered

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    D,

    This is an interesting question, In the UK I can be sent octopus beaks without a problem and even whole octopus from europe without anyone worrying, but as soon as I want any sort of biological sample from the states, australasia or asia it requires a special permit under the trade in animals and related products regulations 2011. I know for us there is an issue with sending anything that is endangered or on the red list. I would have thought in the states it is the USDA that you need to get in touch with as they do all the paperwork regarding live shipments to and from the states. As for actually sending it I'm sure FedEx or UPS can do it. Hope this helps some?
     
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  8. Heather Braid

    Heather Braid O. vulgaris Supporter

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    I can't help you with the specific countries that you want to ship to and from, but I've sent tissue samples of squid (formalin fixed, ethanol preserved) to Canada from New Zealand, and I’ve also carried samples on a plane with me. There are two different things you need to look into - you may need documents that will let the sample leave the country you're in, and you will need to talk to customs in the country that you want the sample to enter. I think the cheapest, easiest thing to do is to take the squid out of the preservative, keep it moist with wet (with water) paper towel, and tripple bag it in ziplock bags. This way you can carry it onto the plane, so you don't need to pay for shipping, or ship it without needing a special courier for dangerous goods. When I was shipping my samples I called New Zealand Biosecurity, and I also got all the required documents for Canada customs by asking people at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (since they get samples shipped to them from places all over).
     
  9. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    I don't know about the specimen itself, but glycerine is (I believe) classified as a hazardous material, & as such, most likely won't be allowed on the plain with you. I'd be wary of opening the container & putting it in a bag with wet paper towels too, especially if there's any chance that it's not glycerine, but some other toxic chemical. If it was prepared in China especially, I'd be cautious about exposing myself to its contents. Shipping is probably the safest way to go, but it's most likely not going to be a cheap undertaking. I had to order cesium from the UK once several years back, & it required at least one certificate from US customs to import, one from the UK to export, then once here ANY hazmat requires a special box & metal container peDOT regulation for transport. & that's just for the preservative, I'd recommend doing your homework about the animal itself. You had mentioned it was from an artist; have you checked any scientific supply houses for a reasonable facsimile? Your whole effort may be impeded if this unit is put together for show in some "artsy" vase, & not a container 'built to spec' for housing such a sample. Good luck to you, I hope you can get what you want affordably.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    TT you bring up an interesting part of the original post that I had not thought about. Very often "art" or "artisan" work is excepted from many of the rules (as a known for instance, I can legally buy an ash tray made by artisans in Cuba). This may not apply because of the preservative but might be worth looking into.
     

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