Shipping Instructions for Returning Instruments

Use our On-Line Service Request Form to get an RMA number and let us know what instrument(s) you are sending. Include a copy of the form with the instrument when you ship it.

Please obtain a Returned Materials Authorization (RMA) number from Sea-Bird before sending instruments to Sea-Bird for servicing. Include the RMA number on the outside shipping label and on the documentation (Service Request Form or other document detailing work to be performed) inside the box.

Please read instructions on:

Shipment Methods

1. DOMESTIC SHIPMENTS (USA) - SHIP PREPAID (via UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.) directly to:

Address (directions):
SEA-BIRD ELECTRONICS, INC.
13431 NE 20th Street
Bellevue, Washington 98005, USA
Telephone: (425) 643-9866
Fax: (425) 643-9954

2. INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS

International Shipment Option A — Ship via PREPAID AIRFREIGHT to SEA-TAC INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (IATA CODE "SEA"):

Address (directions):
SEA-BIRD ELECTRONICS, INC.
13431 NE 20th Street
Bellevue, Washington 98005, USA
Telephone: +1 (425) 643-9866
Fax: +1 (425) 643-9954
E-mail: service@seabird.com
 
NOTIFY: MTI WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS for Customs Clearance
Seattle, WA, USA
Telephone: (+1) 206-431-4366
Fax: (+1) 206-431-4374
E-mail: brokerage@mti-worldwide.com
 
Please e-mail the flight details and airway bill number to service@seabird.com and MTI Worldwide (brokerage@mti-worldwide.com) when your shipment is en-route to Sea-Bird. Include your RMA number in the e-mail.

International Shipment Option B — Ship via EXPRESS COURIER directly to Sea-Bird Electronics

Address (directions):
SEA-BIRD ELECTRONICS, INC.
13431 NE 20th Street
Bellevue, Washington 98005, USA
Telephone: +1 (425) 643-9866
Fax: +1 (425) 643-9954

If you choose Option B, we recommend shipping via UPS, FedEx, or DHL. Their service is door-to-door, including customs clearance. It is not necessary to notify our customs agent, MTI Worldwide, if you ship using a courier service.

Please e-mail the airway bill / tracking number to service@seabird.com when your shipment is en-route to Sea-Bird. Include your RMA number in the e-mail.

FOR ALL INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS:

Include a Commercial Invoice showing the description of the instruments, and Value for Customs Purposes Only. Include the following statement:

"U.S. Goods Returned For Repair/Calibration. Country of Origin: USA. Customs Code: 9801001012."

Failure to include this statement in your invoice will result in U.S. Customs assessing duties on the shipment, which we will in turn pass on to the customer/shipper.

Instrument Crates

Background

Some years ago, emergency measures for coniferous (soft wood) Non-Manufactured Wood Packing Materials (NMWP), also referred to as Solid Wood Packing Materials (SWPM), went into effect in China and the European Union (EU). These measures, applicable to all wood crates, pallets, skids, drums, cases, etc., were designed to prevent the introduction of the pinewood nematode, a microscopic eelworm that has caused extensive mortality in pines in Japan and China. These measures applied to all coniferous woods in shipments originating from the United States, Canada, China, and Japan.

In response to those regulations, Sea-Bird substituted mahogany (a tropical hardwood that was exempt from the regulations), or Manufactured Wood Product such as plywood (also exempt from the regulations), for the fir previously used for the edges of our crates.

Regulations

In 2002, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published "International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures, Publication #15, Guidelines for Regulating Wood Packaging Material in International Trade" (ISPM 15). ISPM 15 regulations require that any wood packaging material be heat treated to the approved standard. Check your local laws for implementation of these regulations.

The American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) developed a U.S. standard that meets or exceeds the requirements of ISPM 15 (https://www.ippc.int/publications/regulation-wood-packaging-material-international-trade-0). Packaging that meets the requirements of ALSC is marked with the ALSC stamp on a minimum of two opposing faces of the completed packaging product.

Starting in 2004, all packaging leaving Sea-Bird for international shipments of new products met the new standards. Packaging is either:

  • marked with the approved certification stamp, or
  • built entirely of Manufactured Wood Products (such as plywood), and is therefore exempt from the treatment and marking requirements

By early 2007, Sea-Bird used up inventories of existing non-compliant boxes, and switched to using approved packaging for all shipments (including in the U.S.) using wood boxes.

Beginning in 2004, the United States started enforcing ISPM 15. If a customer tries to send in equipment for servicing in a non-approved wood box, it may not be allowed into the U.S. If it does reach Sea-Bird, we will return the instrument in a new crate that meets the requirements of ISPM 15. We will charge $50 to $150 for the replacement crate, based on the crate type. These prices are valid only for crate replacement required in conjunction with return of a customer's instrument after servicing, and only when the instrument was shipped in a crate originally supplied by Sea-Bird.

Additional Information