by Angela Delaney

Shipping banned, dangerous, hazardous and restricted items: Know your limits

When shipping goods domestically and internationally, it is important to understand that there are certain products that are deemed dangerous, banned or hazardous and are not permitted. The exact nature of these regulations depends on the carrier and where you are sending the items to, so you should always check the precise rules around each shipment before sending.

The following information should act as a guide and a brief introduction to what you can and cannot safely send.

Dangerous and hazardous

Firstly, be sure to understand the wording around this subject. Items that are listed as “dangerous and hazardous” cannot be shipped via World Options under any circumstances.

These include:

  • Adhesives
  • Aerosols
  • Airbags for Cars
  • Christmas Crackers
  • Cleaners and Solvent
  • Compressed Air and Gas Cylinders
  • Fireworks
  • Hair Curlers
  • Helium
  • Liquid Bleach and Chlorine
  • Magnets
  • Nail Varnish
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Safety Matches
  • Seatbelts
  • Ammunition
  • Batteries
  • Camping Stoves
  • Diesel, Fuel and Gasoline
  • Dry Ice
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Infectious Substances
  • Insecticides
  • Life Jackets
  • Paint and Turpentine
  • Pepper Spray
  • Perfumes and Aftershaves
  • Thermometer
  • Flammable Liquids

The reason for restrictions around these goods is that there is a risk of traffic accidents when carrying goods by road or rail. According to the Health and Safety Executive, if goods being transported by road or rail are deemed dangerous, then there is a risk that an incident could lead to them being spilled and creating hazards such as fire, explosion, chemical burn or environmental damage.

There are different classifications for dangerous goods, depending on their predominant hazard for example, Class 1 is Explosives, and regulations are in place so that consignors and carriers are able to transport these under special agreements.

Prohibited items

Prohibited items are also not allowed to be shipped via World Options and our carriers. Goods deemed prohibited include:

  • White Goods
  • Tobacco
  • Money
  • Printer Ink
  • Bullion
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Television
  • Imitation Firearms
  • Knives
  • Pornography
  • Animals and Animal Products
  • Body Parts
  • Lab and Medical Samples
  • Mattresses
  • Non Flat-Pack Furniture
  • Personal Data
  • Perishable Foodstuffs
  • Precious Metals
  • Stamps

You may well be surprised by some of the items appearing on this list and there are numerous reasons behind the decisions to include or exclude items within this category, but this is largely due to safety and whether or not the goods pose a risk to those handling and transporting your shipment.

The implications for those caught attempting to transport such items depends on the rules laid out by each carrier, but typically, goods found to be prohibited will be destroyed and your parcel will either be returned or delayed. Depending on the nature of the case, you may also be reported to the authorities for flouting these rules.

Restricted items

Finally, there are restricted items that may have different rules depending on where you have chosen to ship to. The regulations around these items varies by carrier and by country, so you should check this on a case-by-case basis.

Restricted items include:

  • Alcohol and Champagne
  • Credit or Debit Cards
  • Jewellery and Watches
  • Mobile Phones and Devices
  • Passports

Customs authorities in each country check shipments at random and there is no way to know beforehand whether your shipment will be selected, so it is the responsibility of the person sending the parcel to ensure that it complies.

If you are unsure, contact your World Options account manager to discuss your individual case and requirements. Doing so will minimise the risk of delays, loss of goods and financial penalties if you are found to be shipping anything that falls under the categories above.

For more information about shipping, take a look at our free Ultimate Guide to Business Shipping, which covers everything from packaging to regulations, or find out how here the World Options shipping services could save you time and money on your shipping costs.

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