Items you’re not allowed to send in the post
We reserve the right to refuse any other item banned by law or that in our opinion may be harmful or dangerous to our customers or employees. If you send dangerous goods and do not comply with the applicable terms and conditions and legal requirements then we may deal with the goods as we see fit including destroying or disposing of the relevant goods.
Customers posting items overseas should note that other postal administrations may have different prohibitions. We cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to items if the articles inside are prohibited in the country you’re posting them to. If you need to know more, go to the A-Z country specific information.
|Aerosols||Including spray paints, lacquers, solvents, air fresheners, oven cleaners, deodorants, body sprays, hair sprays, shaving and hair removal creams.|
With an alcohol content greater than 24% ABV including spirits such as gin, vodka and whisky.Alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content no greater than 24% ABV including beer, lager, wine and champagne, are allowed. Please see the International Restricted Items page.
|Ammunition||Except lead pellets and other airgun and airsoft projectiles.|
|Balloons filled with non-flammable gas|
Batteries that are classed as dangerous goods* by the latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions are prohibited. This includes lithium ion/polymer/metal/alloy batteries sent in isolation or with equipment.
*Classified in the latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Technical Instructions.
Lithium ion/polymer/metal/alloy batteries when sent contained in equipment such as a mobile phone or digital camera are allowed. Please see the International Restricted Items tab.
Lead acid batteries (e.g. car batteries) and sealed lead acid batteries are also prohibited.Alkaline, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries may only be sent when new and in their original packaging. Please see the International Restricted Items page.
|Biological Substances (Category B)||Human or animal material including, but not limited to, excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluids.|
|Clinical and medical waste||For example contaminated dressings, bandages and needles.|
|Controlled drugs and narcotics||Including cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate.|
|Corrosives||Substances which can cause severe damage to living tissue, other freight or transport by its chemical action are prohibited including aluminium chloride, caustic soda, corrosive cleaning fluid, dyes, acids, corrosive paint and rust removers, mercury and gallium metal.|
|Counterfeit currency, bank notes and postage stamps||Including any false instrument, or copy of a false instrument (within the meaning of section 5 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981) except copies of old denominations, which are now obsolete and worthless except for collectable value and cannot be passed as tender. Please see the International Restricted Items page.|
|Dry ice||For example UN1845 when used as a coolant for UN3373 or for other perishable items.|
|Environmental waste||Including used batteries and used engine oil.|
|Electronic items sent with lithium ion/polymer/metal/alloy batteries||
Electronic items sent with lithium ion/polymer/metal/alloy batteries where the battery is not contained in electronic equipment are prohibited.Lithium ion/polymer/metal/alloy batteries when sent contained in electronic equipment such as a mobile phone or digital camera are allowed. Please see the International Restricted Items page.
|Electronic items containing any batteries exceeding 100Wh||Including some high performance laptops and power tools.|
|Environmental waste||Including used batteries and used engine oil.|
Any chemical compound, mixture or device capable of producing an explosive or pyrotechnic effect with substantial instantaneous release of heat and gas is prohibited e.g. ammunition, blasting caps, fireworks, flares, fuses, igniters and nitro-glycerine.
|Items that appear to be prohibited explosive ordnance||All munitions containing explosives, nuclear fission or fusion materials, and biological and chemical agents may be subject to additional checks and delays.|
|Flammable liquids||This includes mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids in solution or suspension which give off a flammable vapour. Any liquid with a closed cup flash point below 60.5° C is prohibited e.g. acetone, benzene, cleaning compounds, gasoline, lighter fuel, paint thinners and removers, petroleum and solvents, certain alcoholic beverages, perfumes and aftershaves, varnishes and enamels including nail varnish.|
|Flammable solids||Solid materials which are liable to cause fire by friction, absorption of water, spontaneous chemical changes or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or which can be readily ignited and burn vigorously e.g. adhesives, calcium carbide, cellulose nitrate products, fire-lighters, matches, metallic magnesium, nitro-cellulose based film, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, sodium hydride, zinc powder, zirconium hydride.|
|Frozen water||Including packs of ice.|
Gases that are compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure, permanent gases which cannot be liquefied at ambient temperatures, liquefied gases which become liquid under pressure at ambient temperatures, dissolved gases which are dissolved under pressure in a solvent.
1. All flammable compressed gases are prohibited e.g. blowlamps; butane; lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas; ethane; gas cylinders for camping stoves; hydrogen; methane and propane.
2. All toxic compressed gases are prohibited e.g. chlorine; fluorine etc.3. All non-flammable compressed gases are prohibited e.g. air bags; scuba tanks, carbon dioxide; fire extinguishers; neon and nitrogen.
|Goods made in foreign prisons
||Except those imported for a non-commercial purpose, of a kind not manufactured in the UK, or those in transit.|
|Human and animal remains||These items are prohibited by Parcelforce Worldwide and cannot be sent using a Parcelforce Worldwide service
Human or animal ashes can only be sent using a Royal Mail service please see "Restricted items" for full details
|Infectious substances UN2814 or UN2900||Category A Infectious Substances are prohibited e.g. Ebola, Anthrax, Foot and Mouth disease as detailed in the latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions. For more information please see the Royal Mail’s IATA Guidance Document on Infectious Substances .|
|Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas||
Including used butane and petrol cigar and cigarette lighters.
New and unused empty lighters are allowed. Please see the International Restricted Items page.
Liquids over 1 litre
|Living creatures Such as insects used to feed exotic pets, animals and reptiles||
Except certain insects and invertebrates. Please see the International Restricted Items page.
Live creatures, insects and invertebrates cannot be sent using a Parcelforce Worldwide service.
They can only be sent using a Royal Mail service. Please see "International Restricted items" for full details.
|Magnetised material||Magnetised material with a magnetic field strength of 0.159A/m or more at a distance of 2.1m from the outside of the package.|
|Matches||Of any kind, including safety and windproof matches.|
|Nail varnish, polish or gel|
|Obscene publications and unlawful indecent images||Including obscene or extreme pornography as detailed in Part 5 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a child as detailed in section 160 and 161 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.|
|Oxidising materials and organic peroxides||These are substances such as disinfectants that may cause or contribute to combustion of other substances. They may also be liable to explosive decomposition, react dangerously with other substances and injure health e.g. bromides, chlorates, components of fibreglass repair kits, disinfectants, nitrates, per chlorates, permanganates and peroxides, including hair dyes and colourants containing peroxide.|
|Perfumes and aftershaves||Including eau de parfum and eau de toilette|
|Pesticides||Including weed killer and any chemical that is used to kill pests and insects such as fly sprays.|
|Poisonous, toxic liquids, solids or gases||
Including substances that are liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled or by skin contact, such as arsenic,beryllium, cyanide, fluorine, rat poison.
|Radioactive materials||Radioactive materials and samples that are classified as radioactive using Table 2-12 of the latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions e.g. fissile material (uranium 235, etc), radioactive waste material, thorium or uranium ores and luminous dials from aircraft.|
|Solvent-based paints, wood varnishes and enamels||Including gloss paint|
Tickets and related advertisementsfor illegal lotteries
|Waste, dirt, filth or refuse||Including household waste or rubbish.|
Including Section 5 firearms, CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives, tasers and stun guns. Items that appear to be prohibited weapons may be subject to additional checks and delays.Guns for sporting use - including Section 1, Section 2 firearms and low-powered airguns - are allowed subject to applicable export controls on the shipment of firearms. Please see the International Restricted Items page.