College of American Pathologists

Additional Information for
International and Non-Continental
US Customers


Updated October 10, 2013

What you need to know before your PT Product is shipped:


Many countries require import permits or certificates of origin for customs clearance (regardless of dangerous goods status of a program).

  • Work with your local authorities to determine if any permits are required.
  • As a recipient, you are responsible for obtaining any import permits/documents and forwarding these to the CAP for inclusion with the program shipment. Provide these same documents to your broker or the local Federal Express (FedEx) office.
  • Use program descriptions in the CAP catalog to prevent discrepancies in permit preparation and customs clearance documents.
  • Programs with dangerous goods materials may require special permits and incur additional charges.
  • You are responsible for monitoring permit expiration dates and submitting a new permit six weeks prior to the scheduled ship date.
  • Program materials will not ship without required documentation.

Submit permits at the time of ordering, preferably with an extended expiration date of December 31, in order to cover all shipments. At a minimum, submit permits six weeks prior to the stated program ship date to ensure timely delivery.

Additional Documentation

Contact the CAP if you require additional documentation to place orders or receive shipments. Examples of available documentation include: US IRS Form 6166 Certificate of Residency, Articles of Incorporation, and the CAP’s tax status.

Canadian Permits

Canadian regulations require permits to import animal and human pathogens. Permit applications should list the CAP program code and full program name. Do not list the Program Fulfillment Group (PFG). Do not list the mailing designation (A, B, C).

These permits must be obtained by the recipient for all infectious modules from:

Canadian Broker Requirements

Canadian customers must designate a broker for customs clearance. FedEx may be designated as your broker by signing a Power of Attorney with FedEx. Provide your Goods and Services Tax (GST) account number and CFIA number to your designated broker. Requesting Pre-Arrivals Release System (PARS) clearance will expedite clearance of your proficiency testing kits.

Saudi Arabian Permits

Current Saudi Food and Drug Authority regulations require import permits for all programs. You may obtain permits through the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. Submit permits to the CAP, your local FedEx office, and other appropriate agencies.

Additional International Permit Information

Information for other countries can be found on

International Shipping and Handling

Fees are collected for shipments sent to locations outside the United States to cover shipping costs and handling requirements. Additional fees, duties, and taxes not reflected in the CAP list price may be imposed on proficiency testing orders; participants should contact their local customs office and local FedEx office regarding any additional charges that may be imposed.

Local duties and tax charges may apply to shipments within your geographic area. The CAP recommends contacting your local FedEx office to:

  • Discuss your local delivery requirements.
  • Identify your broker if you will not be using the included FedEx brokerage services.
  • Consider establishing an account with FedEx for direct billing of duties and taxes. It is common practice for carriers to charge additional fees for advancing duties and taxes due to your government.
  • Inquire whether signing a power of attorney for brokerage services will expedite clearance of your shipments.
  • Inquire if there are documents you can prepare in advance and place on file for the program year.

Note: The CAP cannot issue a refund for any CAP-charged fees once the shipment has been released. Participants are responsible for all cost and expenses related to the return of shipments to the CAP or its designated packagers if the reason for such return is late program cancellation, refused shipment, or invalid ship-to address.

Please contact CAP for estimated shipping and handling charges.

Other Fees for Program Materials Categorized as Dangerous Goods

Programs listed in the table titled Permit Requirements and Dangerous Goods Classification (See the CAP catalogs for more information) may require special handling, special import permits, additional CAP shipping fees, and other fees.

International shipments of program materials E and E1 (Mycobacteriology) always require special handling. Check with your local customs office to verify what type of import permit is necessary for your geographic area.

International transportation regulations, local requirements, and carriers determine how dangerous goods can be transported to your geographic region. Depending upon your geographic region the appropriate type of service can be established. Service availability noted below may change during a CAP program year due to government regulatory or carrier changes.

Please contact CAP for estimated shipping and handling charges.


Some programs have limited stability and may be difficult to transport to some locations (See the CAP catalogs for more information).

The CAP strives to deliver all program materials in a stable condition. Surveys that must be kept cold will ship with frozen cold packs or dry ice as needed. If transportation to your location cannot meet these conditions, please note, replacements may not be available.

If the CAP accredits your international laboratory, the CAP requests that your laboratory perform testing on these materials. If unacceptable results are achieved and it is established it is due to shipping conditions, your laboratory may review options with CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program staff.

Dry Ice

Some shipments are packed on dry ice to maintain stability. Dry ice shipments are shipped as UN1845 dangerous goods shipment. Due to sublimation, there may not be any dry ice present when you open your kit. This is not an indication that the program material has been compromised. If your country does not allow dry ice shipments, your Surveys will be packaged with cool packs that may not be as effective in maintaining a cool environment. When you receive your shipment, follow the kit storage instructions as soon as possible.


The CAP will send all standard proficiency testing program shipments via FedEx. If your organization is specifically requesting shipment via a freight forwarder at your expense, provide the CAP with your final shipment address, account number, and the freight forwarder’s US domestic address and contact information.

Tax Identification Number

Provide the CAP with your federal tax identification number if your country requires that number be listed on the commercial invoice.

Special Requirements

Discuss any special shipping requirements or updates with the CAP Customer Contact Center staff.

Communicate all requests for special shipping arrangements to the CAP a minimum of six weeks prior to the stated program ship date.

Duties and Taxes

  • Duties and import taxes imposed by countries outside of the United States are the responsibility of the customer and cannot be waived by the CAP.
  • Other government fees imposed by your country are the responsibility of the customer and cannot be waived by the CAP.
  • Shipments are processed CPT Destination.

Commercial Invoice

Commercial invoices are affixed to packages as required by international shipping conventions. The commercial invoice is an official transaction record between an exporter and an importer. Customs officials use this form to clear your shipment.

The invoice total listed on the commercial invoice is not an amount due to the CAP or your country. The invoice total is listed for the purpose of computing duties and taxes.


CAP programs are shipped door-to-door service whenever possible. In instances where your country does not allow delivery to your door, the CAP can only arrange shipment to an airport. In these instances you will be notified when a program has been cleared and is ready for pickup. You must pick up your shipment at that point. If you refuse to pick up your shipment, your order for any remaining shipments may be canceled.

Carrier Contact

Carriers or customs officials may attempt to contact you if there are issues regarding clearing your shipment. Please respond to these requests for additional information as soon as possible. Contact the CAP if you need additional information to expedite clearance.

If you fail to respond to information requests from carriers and customs officials, the following may occur:

  • Your organization may incur additional charges for storage and management fees.
  • You may incur additional fees due to disposal or return of your shipment.

Related Links Related Links