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When Mailing Back the Kit - Question

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  • When Mailing Back the Kit - Question

    I just mailed back a Kit - and just went "No" when the PO asked a whole string of questions, including -- any liquid, was it fragile, etc.

    But was "No" the correct answer?
    [I think the little vials do in fact have liquid in them - so should I have said "Yes" - and what would have happened if I did? Are they fragile? Didn't really register all the other questions - any others I should be aware of for future?]

    I have another relative I want to encourage to complete the Kit sitting in his place and mail it back - and I want to be able to correctly tell him what to do when he bumps into those questions.

  • #2
    Originally posted by loobster View Post
    I just mailed back a Kit - and just went "No" when the PO asked a whole string of questions, including -- any liquid, was it fragile, etc.

    But was "No" the correct answer?
    [I think the little vials do in fact have liquid in them - so should I have said "Yes" - and what would have happened if I did? Are they fragile? Didn't really register all the other questions - any others I should be aware of for future?]

    I have another relative I want to encourage to complete the Kit sitting in his place and mail it back - and I want to be able to correctly tell him what to do when he bumps into those questions.
    Boy! I have mailed dozens of these kits and I never had a USPS ask me any of those questions. After taking a picture of the tracking number on the package, I hand it to the employee at USPS, they scan it, give me a receipt, and I leave.

    So, I would just tell them to do the same and not worry about asking any questions of the USPS employee. They have probably seen many, many of this type of kits going to the different labs at ftDNA, 23andMe, ancestry, etc....

    Anyway, my 2 cents for what it is worth.

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    • #3
      Somewhere I read FTDNA or National Geographic (same type of sample, both run by FTDNA) and one of them said that it is simply a "cotton swab" for post office purposes. Mostly true... there is barely any liquid. I will go with that as the answer!

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      • #4
        It is Exempt human specimen and can be declared as Exempt human specimen.

        That designation comes from International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods regulations. Although it is recognized by FedEx, UPS, USPS etc., I have no idea whether the same designation is used for ground shipments within the US or some equivalent name. For any international shipment (postal mail or courier), Exempt human specimen designation guarantees hassle free sending.

        Two caveats.

        It has to be a package, it cannot be a letter.

        One must observe packaging used by FTDNA: a closed vial in a closed plastic bag and that inside of a sealed envelope, as triple packaging is mandated in order to qualify for the exemption.

        Mr. W

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