When looking to send items abroad using international parcel delivery services, it’s important to be aware that the individual destination country you are sending to may have a list of prohibited items that could result in your parcel being delayed or destroyed.
Items that are generally prohibited from any type of courier service tend to fall under the Dangerous Goods List, the full details of which are typically available on most parcel company websites. Items such as explosives, corrosives and flammables that can cause damage and are harmful or toxic make up the list and are restricted by law. The list also contains items of high value, such as antiques and artwork, which can be transported through specific services, but the cost of transit would be expensive and would need to be negotiated directly with the parcel company in question.
It’s safe to assume that most destination countries will have the same prohibited list as the UK at the core of their restricted items for import. But in each individual case, there are further items potentially on the list that might surprise you. Food, for example, is a big issue to send abroad depending on the destination, as a lot of foreign countries, including the US and Australia, have restrictions on the food that can be accepted across their borders.
Most parcel companies have information available on the types of restrictions available for each destination country, usually found on their website. But for full, up-to-date information on what can and can’t be sent via parcel, your best bet is to check with the customs and border protection services for the country in question.
Most country’s have an online presence for their customs and excise departments, with full details available on any restrictions and the specifics of what can and can’t be transported across their borders. If you’re having trouble finding the site, just do a quick search for the country name and ‘prohibited imports’ in the search engine of your choice and details should pop up. If you can’t find the information on the site, or prefer to speak to someone direct then use the contact information listed to telephone for further information.
Parcel companies should be able to advise you if the contents of your parcel could potentially cause problems at customs, so if you have any problems finding the information elsewhere then simply give them a call for clarification. Details of your package’s contents will be listed on the Air Waybill in order to notify customs at the destination and allow a quick process through assuming it doesn’t contain anything restricted. Failure to correctly declare the contents or complete the Air Waybill could result in your package being delayed in quarantine or destroyed.