A Guide to Shipping Self Test COVID Kits (ART) from Singapore to Hong Kong, Australia, US, UK and worldwide
In the past few weeks, JustShip received a huge surge in requests to have Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits shipped from Singapore to US, UK, and Australia. This was very likely due to recent news of the nationwide shortage of kits in Australia, US, and UK. Meanwhile, ask any Singaporean and they would know from browsing their nearby Watsons or Guardian that there is still a stable supply of test kits available in Singapore. Seeing this surge in requests, the team in JustShip wanted to write up this quick article to hopefully help any stressed or anxious reader get more clarity and awareness on how to ship COVID rapid tests to Australia, US and UK. The principles here will also be transferrable to shipping test kits to other countries.
Should I ship test kits via sea or air?
The quick answer is to ship by air.
Firstly, air shipping is faster. Depending on which courier you use, air shipping can take anywhere from 1 to 14 days (excluding customs delays) while sea shipping can take 1-2 months. In the case of shipping test kits to your relatives or loved ones, there is an understandable urgency so sea shipping just wouldn’t make the most sense.
Secondly, air shipping is cheaper. Some may raise their brows at this, isn’t sea shipping definitely cheaper? Generally speaking, sea shipping is a service for larger volume shipments in large containers. When shipping small items like test kits, air shipping can lend itself better as a more affordable and available service.
Thirdly, air shipping is generally safer, with less cases of lost or damaged parcels.
How much does it cost to ship rapid test kits by air?
Air shipping is charged on actual weight (how heavy the parcel is) or volumetric weight (how much space the parcel takes up), the higher of the two. Typically, test kits are large and light, so you can expect the test kits to be charged by volumetric weight. Prices also increase with every 0.5kg (0-0.5kg, 0.51-1kg, 1.01-1.5kg etc.)
Volumetric weight = [ length (cm) x breadth (cm) x height (cm) ] / 5000
When measuring your parcel, do ensure that the dimensions are measured at the largest cross sectional area as couriers are very strict on this. We’ve listed two examples of test kits below and how much they cost to ship with JustShip. Do note that for the same brand of test kits, they also come in different box sizes, so if you want to take the price we calculated, make sure your box has the same dimensions! Otherwise, do measure your own boxes and use the below examples as a helpful way to understand the calculations required to arrive at the final prices.
Case Study 1 – Panbio
Panbio box of 20 tests
This Panbio test kit has 20 tests in it and weighs 0.4kg, and its dimensions are 24cm x 13cm x 8cm. Volumetric weight is 0.50kg. Assuming that you pack the Panbio test kit into a well fitting and light box, it could increase both actual and volumetric weight by about 20-30%, that then safely places the test kit into the chargeable weight range of 0.51-1kg.
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to US = $55.82
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to UK = $53.71
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to Australia = $53.63
If you opt for our packing services, it will cost an added $4.50 for us to pack that for you.
If you pack it yourself, each test in it would essentially have cost about $2.75 to ship across the globe. Not bad! (Pro tip: as you add more test kits, it gets cheaper and cheaper. See the paragraph below about getting more value out of your shipment for more details)
Case Study 2 – Flowflex
This Flowflex test kit weighs 0.027kg, and its dimensions are 12cm x 7cm x 3cm. Volumetric weight is 0.05kg. Assuming that you pack the Flowflex test kit into a polymailer, which will keep its actual and volumetric weight around the same, that then safely places the test kit into the chargeable weight range of 0 – 0.5kg. (Pro-tip: this means 1 Flowflex test kit would cost the same amount to ship as 10 Flowflex test kits that are stacked together, since in both cases they would be within the 0 – 0.5kg range)
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to US = $48.09
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to UK = $48.55
Shipping cost of this Panbio test kit to Australia = $47.51
If you opt for our packing services, it will cost an added $4 for us to pack that for you. See how some of our customers have saved money from our packing services. Alternatively, see some packing tips if you want to pack your items yourself!
If you pack it yourself, and you had shipped 10 Flowflex test kits, each test would essentially have cost about $4.80 to ship across the globe. Not bad as well!
Case Study 3 – Your own test kits
If you would like to get a custom quote for your own box of test kits, measure the actual weight and dimensions of your parcel and enter it into our rate calculator on our home page.
If you are opting for our packing services, you can add a buffer of 20-30% to your item dimensions to estimate the weight and dimensions of your final packed parcel. Once we’ve packed the parcel, we will contact you for payment adjustments if the chargeable weight of your parcel is different from what you initially estimated
If you are shipping more than one test kit, stack them and measure them as one box combined to get your prices.
Will customs stop me from shipping Self Test COVID kits?
One consideration that border forces takes is to prevent unapproved or counterfeit test kits from being imported into their country, so expect more scrutiny at your shipment if you are shipping a large amount of test kits. In such situations, they may ask for paperwork that can help them verify if your test kits are unapproved or counterfeit.
To get full assurance on whether the customs of the country you are shipping to will allow that shipment, it’s best to do your own research online, whether by contacting customs directly or looking up forums where others have shipped the test kits to the country of your interest.
Anecdotally, JustShip has not experienced any issues with shipping test kits to US, Australia, UK, or Hong Kong, especially if the test kits are being sent in relatively small amounts and as care packages mixed with other items.
Some times, the countries will request for more information depending on the customs officers’ requirements. Here are the common things they may request for customs clearance:
– Proper Item description (include brand name and model no)
– Manufacturer declaration
– Purpose of shipment
– Quantity of kits
– Manufacturer details
– Consignee details
As long as you are mentally ready to handle simple paperwork if it comes your way, you’re good to go!
How do I declare the items when I ship them?
Make sure to be specific about the brand and quantity!
Example of a poor declaration:
Qty -> 2
Item Description -> Antigen Rapid Test
Example of a good declaration:
Qty -> 2
Item Description -> Box of 25 Panbio Antigen Rapid Test Kits
How do I avoid hidden costs when shipping rapid tests?
As with all international shipping, always check if you will incur taxes or duties from customs. In the case of Australia and US, you will very likely not have taxes or duties. This is because their tax thresholds are very high (1000 AUD and 800USD) respectively, so unless the value of your shipment exceeds that threshold, no taxes will be incurred. For UK, expect taxes that will range at about 25% of your shipment value.
To get certainty on the taxes you’ll have to pay, simply make an order with us on our shipment form. If taxes are to be incurred, they would be listed in the quote on the shipment form. Our advice is to opt for “Duties paid by Sender” to spare your recipient the trouble of having to handle taxes and duties if taxes are due! P.S for couriers like SingPost, they only offer “Duties paid by Sender” to larger customers like medium sized businesses, so consider getting that value when you ship with JustShip.
Any other ways to get more value out of my shipment?
Ship more! A 1kg parcel to US with JustShip costs $55.82 while a 5kg parcel costs $129.29. Slightly more than double the price, but 5 times the amount of items you could ship. In international shipping, shipping more tends to return better value. Other than sending test kits to your loved ones, it’s not a bad idea to also throw in some of their favourite local snacks as well as a handwritten card. Some popular snacks that are a go-to are Irvin’s Salted Egg Yolk Fish Chips, as well as Instant Noodles. Given that Lunar New Year is coming, you can also see our 2022 guide to new year goodies to US, UK, Australia and worldwide. In times like these when our loved ones may be feeling scared and lonely in another country, practical gifts like test kits are complemented well with less practical gifts like caloric heavy childhood snacks.
I want to go ahead with shipping my self test COVID kits. Where do I begin?
Choose your courier! Other than JustShip, the obvious alternatives are FedEx, DHL and UPS and SingPost/SpeedPost. Typically, the factor people use to compare and choose their courier is by price and shipping time. We’ve covered this extensively, you can see estimated prices to ship to US, prices to ship to UK, prices to ship to Australia and many other price breakdowns for other countries all over our website. The numbers could be a little dated but the long story short is that we are probably the best choice when looking at price and ship time.
More than prices, the team at JustShip takes pride in providing a seamless service, with free pick-up from your doorstep, optional packing services, and exceptional customer service. Many of our customers first come to us because of prices, but stay with us because of everything else we do.
You can also ship the Antigen Test kit to Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong has been overwhelmed by the spread of COVID -19, there has been a high demand to ship RATs Test kit to HK. Justship provides reliable shipping of Rapid Antigen Test Kit to Hong Kong. Choose Justship to Ship Rapid Antigen Test Kit to HK.
If you do go ahead with shipping with JustShip, simply submit an order before 430pm on any day and you will be able to book for a pick-up from your doorstep as early as the next weekday. Then, write your order ID on a piece of paper and place it with your items into a carrier or plastic bag and wait for us to collect it. We then proceed to pack your items at our warehouse if you require packing, then help you to print and paste your airway bill and ship your parcel out. From there, you receive a tracking number via email that allows you to check the real-time location of your parcel all the way till it reaches your recipient.
Does it sound incredibly simple? It is, when you’re shipping with JustShip. See what others are saying about JustShip, or try it out yourself to believe it. To schedule a pick-up as early as the next weekday, fill up your order form today!