1. Choose a reliable shipping company.

Use a general courier or specialized shipping company (like FedEx, DHL, etc.) – we use FedEx whenever we can.

Please do not use a national postal service.

Ship samples to:

ETS Laboratories 
899 Adams Street, Suite A
St. Helena, CA 94574 USA
E: info@etslabs.com
T: +17079634806

The sender should be responsible for all shipping costs, including US duty, taxes, entry fees, transaction bonds, etc.

2. Label your samples clearly.

For Customs

Each sample should be clearly marked with:

  • The alcohol concentration (%w/v), or approximate if unknown.

  • The following governmental warning when samples contain more than 0.5% alcohol: 

GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems


Please include:

  • Client Name (the business name on your ETS account, or account number)

  • Sample Description (something you can refer back to)

  • Requested Analyses (our website has a full list of available analyses)

( More information about labeling samples, and links to ETS label templates)

3. Pack samples carefully.

Finished Product (commercial packaging):

Use a standard commercial bottle shipper suitable for your product. 

In-Process Samples:

  • Put samples in the most appropriate container (contact us if you are unsure)

  • Take steps to ensure sample integrity (Limit headspace for volatile analysis. Freeze juice samples, or pack with ice packs.)

  • Pack well in a padded envelope or insulated box. Include sufficient padding to prevent breakage or leaks.

4. Include the right documentation

Declare the shipment as:

Samples for laboratory analysis only, no commercial value and not for consumption

Enclose a commercial invoice:

The invoice needs to include the following information:

  • State each TYPE (style) of sample (red wine, sparkling wine, etc.) and that they are for quality control testing purposes only

  • For each type of sample, state the number and size of samples, the alcohol concentration

  • Address of manufacture

  • Nationality of manufacturer of origin

You can use this example commercial invoice

Enclose a FDA Prior Notice:

This can be created for free through the Food and Drug Administration website. 

A 'Quick Start Guide' can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/ImportsExports/Importing/ucm121048.htm

Alternatively, there are some third parties that will file on your behalf for a fee.

Enclose a TTB COLA or COLA waiver if you have one.

Note, this is not required as long as it is clear that these are samples for laboratory analysis only but if you have one please enclose it.

Enclose a copy of this explanatory letter from the TTB 

ALL Documentation should be attached to the outside of the box with the Air Waybill.

Monitor your shipment for any issues and contact the shipping company and us if you notice any unusual delays

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