Are there some items that can’t be sent via parcel delivery services?

When you use a standard parcel delivery service, it’s not just the delivery company’s size restrictions that you need to consider. Most delivery companies also have a list of goods that are entirely prohibited, plus a list of goods that are excluded from delivery compensation.

Standard list of prohibited goods:

  • Aerosols
  • Alcoholic liquids with an alcohol content higher than 70%
  • Batteries
  • Butane lighters
  • Clinical and medical waste
  • Drugs – prescription or illegal
  • Corrosive substances
  • Counterfeit currency, bank notes and postage stamps
  • Dry ice
  • Environmental waste
  • Explosives
  • Filth e.g. dirt or waste
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Gases that are compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure
  • Living creatures
  • Magnetised material
  • Oxidising substances and organic peroxide
  • Pathogens
  • Perfumes and aftershaves
  • Toxic and infectious substances
  • Pesticides
  • Radioactive materials
  • Sharp instruments
  • Solvent-based paints and inks
  • Infectious substances
  • Water-based paints and inks


Standard list of goods excluded from parcel delivery compensation:

  • Antiques (objects over 100 years old)
  • Dangerous,hazardous or prohibited goods
  • Articles made mainly or completely from precious metals
  • Ceramics or composites made mainly or completely from china or porcelain
  • Multiple items strapped together
  • Precious stones
  • Eggs
  • Perishable food items
  • Fossils, stones or stoneware
  • Furniture that is not flat-packed
  • Glassware
  • Human and animal remains (including ashes)
  • Jewellery (except imitation)
  • Laptops, monitors, computer equipment
  • Marble or stone derivatives
  • Money or anything that could be turned into money (credit cards, bankers drafts etc.)
  • Negotiable documents
  • Plants, seeds, flowers, plant derivatives
  • Real fur
  • Resin items, amber and composites
  • Restricted goods where the instructions have not been heeded
  • SIM cards
  • Stamps
  • Televisions
  • Watches
  • White goods (fridges, ovens, etc.)


These lists vary between different parcel delivery companies, so you should ask about exclusions and prohibited goods before trying to send your parcel.

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