Submitting Samples From Outside Australia

On this page:

1. Sample Collection and Labelling

Where serum is the required sample, blood should be collected into serum separator tubes (SST) or plain tubes. Tubes should be centrifuged and the serum separated off into a separate plastic, sealable tube prior to submission. Prior to submission, inspect the serum to ensure it is clear, as haemolysed samples may not be suitable for testing. Please ensure that at least 1 mL of clear serum is submitted to ensure sufficient volume is available for diagnostic testing.

It is important for the purposes of quarantine compliance that all sample tubes are directly and clearly labelled with the animal’s name AND unique microchip number (where applicable). Failure to do so may result in diagnostic reports being unacceptable to quarantine authorities.

2. Submission Paperwork

All samples submitted to ACDP for diagnostic testing must be accompanied by a completed ACDP submission form. When submitting samples from multiple animals belonging to a single owner:

  • If individual reports are required, please use a separate submission form for each animal.
  • Alternatively, all animals may be included on one submission form. In this case, a single report will be issued detailing all test results.

Please ensure that the microchip number listed on the paperwork is correct and matches the number on the sample tube exactly. Please contact the relevant government agency of the importing country to determine the specific tests required. Please be as specific as possible when listing the required tests on the submission paperwork.

3. Sample Packaging

When submitting samples from outside Australia, a number of requirements apply. Please read the following information carefully.

A prepaid courier should be used for international delivery of specimens. Please consult with your selected courier regarding the specific requirements for packaging and shipment of diagnostic specimens. The cost of shipping samples to ACDP must be covered by the submitter. Prior to dispatch, please notify ACDP accessions of your submission via email, and include a copy of the consignment note provided by the courier.

All overseas submissions must be accompanied by:

  • ACDP’s relevant Australian Government Department of Agriculture import permit
  • A completed ACDP Sample Submission form
  • A written health certificate completed by the registered Veterinary Surgeon who collected the blood sample certifying that the health status of the animal complies with the requirements of the import permit for the specimens.

Please consult with the courier company regarding sample packaging requirements. IATA and Australia Post regulations allow samples collected from healthy animals, where there is no clinical suspicion of disease, to be shipped as ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that the samples meet the criteria for exemption. For further information, please refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 3.6.2 Division 6.2 or consult your chosen courier.

NB: Samples from animals with clinical disease must not be shipped as ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’ and are subject to more stringent IATA regulations. Please contact ACDP accessions if you wish to submit a case for clinical disease testing.

Samples should be packaged in accordance with IATA regulations, in consultation with the courier. As a guide, non-infectious serum samples classified as ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’ should be packaged as follows:

  • Serum should be placed into a primary receptacle. The primary receptacle must be leak-proof.
  • The primary receptacle must be placed inside leak-proof secondary packaging, along with sufficient absorbent cushioning material to absorb the entire volume of serum were it to leak during transport. NB: Multiple serum samples may be placed within one secondary receptacle provided there is sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of all primary receptacles in the event of a leak.
  • The secondary packaging must be placed into outer packaging of adequate strength to prevent damage during transport, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm × 100 mm. Sufficient cushioning material should be placed between the secondary and outer packaging to prevent the sample from damage during transport. Please ensure a completed ACDP submission form is placed inside the outer packaging.

The external surface of the outer package and/or outer wrapping should be marked with:

  • Name and address of the sender and receiver
  • Name and telephone number of the person responsible for the shipment
  • The words ‘Exempt Animal Specimen’

Please see the table below for examples of suitable containers and packaging materials.

Examples of suitable materials for the packaging of Exempt Animal Specimens

Receptable Type

Examples of appropriate containers and/or packaging materials

Primary receptacle (containing serum)
  • Screw cap sterile sample tube
  • Screw cap centrifuge tubes
  • Plain Blood tube
Absorbent material
  • Cotton wool
  • Combine dressing
Secondary packaging
  • Biohazard bag
  • Snap-lock plastic bag
  • Plastic bottle with screw lid
Cushioning material
  • Cotton wool
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Bubble wrap
Outer packaging
  • Despatch satchel
  • Plastic box
  • Cardboard box
  • Supported polystyrene box

The required paperwork should be packed as follows:

Enclose the following forms inside the outer package:

  • The Import Permit for the samples, which can be obtained by contacting ACDP Accessions
  • A completed ACDP Sample Submission form

Enclose these forms in the document envelope on the outside of the package:

  • The Import Permit for the samples
  • The Health Certificate
  • A copy of the completed ACDP Sample Submission form

To receive a copy of the required paperwork, please contact ACDP accessions.

4. Specimens should be consigned to:

Accessions Administrator
CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP)
5 Portarlington Rd
East Geelong VIC 3219

5. Registered Users

If you are likely to submit samples to ACDP regularly, please consider becoming a ‘registered user’. Registered users are able to access copies of all relevant up-to-date paperwork and are able to submit submission forms via our online portal. To express your interest in registering, please complete the online enquiry form and our accessions team will assist you.

6. Contact Details

If you have any queries relating to the sample collection and submission process, please contact ACDP accessions on:

Phone: +61 3 5227 5414


7. Request Paperwork

To receive a copy of the relevant paperwork required for international sample submission, please follow this link and under Enquiry Type please select "International: Request Sample Submission Pack".

Submission documents related to international sample submissions can be found here. Please note, the Import Permit for the samples can only be obtained by being signed into the website prior to downloading the pack or by contacting ACDP submissions, see (6. Contact Details)