Which Items are Couriers Unable to Carry?

If you ever thought you would be able to send just about any item via a courier service it’s time you thought again! There are a number of things which are on the prohibited list, some of which are perhaps perfectly understandable, while a few others may create a raised eyebrow or two in surprise. As always, if you are in any doubt, you should consult the experts at the earliest possible opportunity.

It will come as no great shock to discover firearms and explosives on the list. Such items require specialist handling, and have no place on scheduled delivery vans, cars, trucks and airplanes. Even air rifles, which are less dangerous but still a matter for concern, are a no-no for couriers. Incapacitating sprays, such as those used by members of the law enforcement community, will also be met with a stern ‘NO’ by any self-respecting carrier.

Although matches and cigarette lighters aren’t usually thought of as controversial items, they could cause problems in transit, and are therefore on the prohibited list. Ignitable gas, compressed gases and flammable liquids are also banned, as are corrosive liquids such as bleach and all acids. Under the same umbrella you will also find batteries which contain liquids, and even perfumes, nail varnish and after shave products. Despite the rather pleasant smell and look they inspire, they can of course also be harmful.

Art for art’s sake

There are several high-end items which would fall foul of a courier service nowadays. These can include valuable works of art, precious stones, gold, silver and even some antiques. Which items will fall into these categories can sometimes be a grey area for the average person in the street, so it’s always best to make enquiries first if you’re not sure. Finding out the hard way could prove to be a horrendously expensive mistake.

As you might expect, the transportation of live animals is an absolute no. There are special laws and statutes in place for such activities, and the minutiae of such arrangements really are best left to the experts. There are also laws covering the international passage of animal skins and furs, ivory, live plants and seeds and even meats and other animal products. Ask any self-respecting, law-abiding carrier about such items and you will be met with a firm no.

Many of the items which feature on the refusal list are perhaps self-explanatory, but they are worthy of a mention nonetheless. Pornographic materials are perhaps the most obvious, but it should be pointed out that tobacco and tobacco products are also prohibited. Even sums of cash are forbidden. If you plan to send money to someone in another country, you would be well advised to use a bank transfer system instead, if only for the added security.

Amid all this negativity, it’s worth remembering that courier companies all over the world carry millions of perfectly legitimate items on a daily basis. Whether you’re sending books, toys, clothing or video games, you can be sure of a reliable and efficient service. Compared to the thousands of items on the yes list, the ones on the no sheet are relatively few.

However, if you are an international arms dealer who is heading to the courier office with a parcel full of after shave, pornography, nail varnish and bleach, you should probably turn around and head straight home instead! For a list of prohibited items please click here

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One thought on “Which Items are Couriers Unable to Carry?

  1. The history of creating the prohibited list is interesting. Tere is the fact that the USPS outlawed the mailing of construction materials after a man building a house in Alaska found it was cheapest to send every brick by U.S. mail (http://sco.lt/6Lp1ph ).

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