Shipping Information for Laboratories based in the EU and Rest of the World

EU Laboratories

On the 1st of January 2021, the UK ceased to be part of the EU customs union and common market. This change has implications for your laboratory when purchasing goods from EMQN. Each EMQN shipment is now potentially subject to additional charges for its importation into your country, there may also be additional licensing or permission requirements for your country. As a result, there may also be additional costs to your laboratory.

EMQN is actively looking for an EU based solution to minimise any additional costs or paperwork for participants but until a solution is confirmed, there are a number of important considerations to ensure you receive samples without delay.

Rest of World

There may be national or local regulations in relation to the types of samples shipped by EMQN (Exempt Human Specimens). Most EQA scheme samples are NOT classed as Dangerous Goods. We therefore recommend that you carry out your own checks on local / national requirements associated with importing the types of samples provided by EMQN.

General points to note to ALL laboratories

1) For shipments, your primary delivery contact will receive an email from our courier (DHL, Fedex etc) containing details of the shipment and a tracking number to allow you to follow the progress of the shipment (see point 7).

2) Your delivery address information must be accurate to avoid goods being held by customs.

3) For laboratories based in the EU ONLY, EMQN will need your laboratory’s EORI number. This number is legally required by EU Customs for organisation importing goods from outside the EU. Without it, goods may be held at customs or returned to the shipper. Information on the EORI number can be found here: EU EORI Guidance. EMQN will contact you for this prior to shipping. If EMQN do not have the EORI number, we may not be able to ship the samples and you may be removed from the scheme. Please note: the EORI number must be the correct format and length.

4) Goods will be shipped Duty Paid/DDP where costs are reasonable (exceptions are Vietnam, Malaysia, India and all countries in South America which will be delivered Duty Unpaid). Duty or Tax owed will be invoiced to EMQN automatically and therefore goods should not be held at customs as a result of a demand for payment. There should therefore be no reason that you are charged these fees by the courier or customs. This does not include any other charges such as license or permit fees which are payable by your laboratory and cannot be reimbursed from EMQN.

5) All EMQN shipments will have a Commercial Invoice. This is produced by EMQN and sent electronically to Customs. The commercial invoice details the shippers name, address, EORI number, the receivers name and address, the quantity/weight of the goods, a description of the goods, the Harmonisation/Commodity Code*, and the value of the goods shipped (see point 6). The commercial invoice is NOT used for payment – it is only used to calculate any tax or duties owed on the shipment.

*The Harmonisation/Commodity Code identifies the type of product being shipped and any duty which is applicable to it. The code used by EMQN is 38220000 and there should be no duty charges applied to this product.

6) Declared value of goods – EMQN must declare a value of the goods for customs. Taxes and Duties are calculated on this valuation. The value of the goods shipped declared on the commercial invoice is different to the cost of the scheme. This is because the cost of an EQA scheme is primarily made up of marking/assessment and technical services defined as Post Importation Costs. The physical samples have a nominal value based on the costs of the manufacturing and processing those samples.

Customs may query the value of the goods or ask for an invoice from EMQN as proof of value. Please contact EMQN if this occurs as we can supply a proforma invoice and a valuation statement if required. This details the valuation of samples declared on the commercial invoice separating non-taxable costs.

7) EMQN expects participant laboratories to engage with customs, or the courier, to clear shipments if required. Shipments will be addressed to the delivery contact on the account (see point 1) – this person may also be contacted by the courier company regarding any issues. Please ensure the laboratory contact is the best person to be engage with these issues.

8) We typically expect shipments to arrive at your laboratory within 5 working days. You can track and trace the shipment using the courier tracking number (see point 1) that was sent by email to your primary delivery contact.

9) Spain/España – Spain has additional licencing requirements implemented by the Spanish Ministry of Health. These requirements are the responsibility of your laboratory and cannot be reimbursed by EMQN. However, to assist our Spanish members, EMQN has decided to send all samples via an agent based in the EU. This should remove the requirement for those laboratories to obtain licenses and pay additional fees.

España tiene requisitos de licencia adicionales implementados por el Ministerio de Salud español. Estos requisitos son responsabilidad de su laboratorio y EMQN no puede reembolsarlos. Para ayudar a nuestros miembros españoles, EMQN enviará todas las muestras a través de un agente con sede en la UE. Esto debería eliminar los requisitos para que esos laboratorios necesiten obtener licencias y pagar tarifas adicionales.

10) Italy/Italia – If you have agreed to use Diatech Labline as your EMQN distributor/agent, then you will receive samples through them. If you have not agreed this, you will receive samples sent direct from EMQN in the UK. To minimise importation issues, we strongly recommend that Italian laboratories consider using Diatech Labline as their EMQN agent. Please contact us if you wish to use this option quoting your Laboratory/Organisation number:

Se hai accettato di utilizzare Diatech Labline come distributore / agente EMQN, riceverai campioni tramite loro. Se non lo hai accettato, riceverai campioni inviati direttamente da EMQN nel Regno Unito. Per ridurre al minimo i problemi di importazione, consigliamo vivamente ai laboratori italiani di considerare l’utilizzo di Diatech Labline come loro agente EMQN. Per favore contattaci se desideri usare questo otquotando il tuo numero di laboratorio / organizzazione:

11) Shipments may be returned to EMQN if the courier is not able to deliver them to your laboratory. EMQN will not resend a shipment to you unless you assist us in resolving the issue which caused the samples to be returned to us. We will attempt to contact you if this occurs, if we are not able to contact you, or resolve the issue, your laboratory may be removed from the scheme(s).

12) Despite EMQN taking all reasonable steps to ensure samples do not get delayed, changes to regulations and uncertainty about the process across the EU may still impact on the delivery of samples. Unfortunately, once shipped, most of this is out of EMQN’s direct control. We will endeavour to solve issues where they occur, but laboratories may need to meet certain new regulations and supply information if requested by customs in their country.

If you have any questions please contact the EMQN Team:

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