International Shipping Instructions

Due to the critical nature of environmental samples, it is important to take all possible measures to reduce Customs hold time and expedite international shipments. We recommend that you do not send your shipments through DHL International. We have clients who have experienced excessive shipping delays – please select an alternate carrier. Shipments must contain proper documentation. 

Click the appropriate button below for your specific shipping location information and sampling protocols.


Key Points to Remember When Sending Samples

    • Always package samples securely to prevent breakage/spillage
    • Always include enough ice to keep samples around 4°C (especially during summer months)
    • Be sure to include a completed COC form with all the necessary information for both reporting & invoicing. If you are unsure of the analyses information please contact us (
    • Make sure all samples are labeled correctly to correspond with the COC form

All samples shipping internationally need to be shipped to the following address:

Sampling Reception
Microbial Insights, Inc.
10515 Research Drive
Knoxville, TN 37932-2536
(865) 573-8188

Please place the following documents on the outside of the box:

  1. Each shipment must include three copies of the commercial invoice. Creating your commercial invoice:
      • Open the pdf file below that corresponds with the type of sample you are submitting.
      • When the file opens click the “highlight required fields” button at top right of the screen.
      • Fill out the boxes highlighted in red.
      • After all of the highlighted fields are completed make sure to fill in the “No. of Units” section informing Customs how many samplers you are shipping
      • Print out Commercial Invoice and include three copies with your shipment.
  1. Soil samples must be accompanied by a USDA permit. See info here.

The MI soil permit should be placed on the outside of the box in a way that it is clearly visible to customs. Please mark shipment for non hazardous items.

Soil Import Permit

Provide a copy of the soil permit to the shipper to include in the entry paperwork from the shipper and indicate this on the Airway Bill (AWB) description, stating: “Soil Samples, Permit Enclosed, for analysis.

  1. Include a signed copy of the Toxic Substance Control Act form:


Shipments lacking these documents are subject to delay due to additional clearance processes.

      • Attain the tracking number no matter the carrier so that we can contact Customs with paper work if necessary to prevent delays.
      • Please email a copy of all required documents to This will allow us to notify the shipper’s International Trade Office to assist in a smooth customs process.

MI Sample Cancellation Policy

MI understands that on rare occasions our clients may want to cancel an order or individual samples.  However, because samples are processed promptly upon receipt the following cancellation surcharges will apply. If cancellation is within 24 hours of sample receipt there will be no charge. If cancellation is requested 24 hours up to three (3) working days there will be a 50% surcharge to cover our processing to that point. After three (3) working days the full charge will apply.


How to Pack a Cooler