Prohibited and restricted items

A guide to what you can and cannot send in the mail. Are you posting safely?

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Prohibited and restricted items 

 

To comply with national and international regulations governing the carriage of mail, and ensure that mail in transport does not present a danger to the general public, we restrict or prohibit certain items from our network. We want to ensure the mail is safe for everyone. Many everyday items, such as aerosols, nail varnish and perfumes are considered dangerous goods under transport legislation. You are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited or restricted.

 

If you're sending your item at the Post Office®, you will be asked at the counter what the contents of your parcel are to make sure the items are safe to post.

For more information, download our prohibitions and restrictions leaflet.

 

In addition, a number of countries and international organisations, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, impose certain restrictions, also known as sanctions, on what you can send to certain individuals, organisations or countries.

 

If you send prohibited goods or restricted goods (and you do not comply with the relevant terms and conditions), Royal Mail may deal with your items as they see fit, including but not limited to, disposing of the parcels concerned (in whole or in part).

 

The comprehensive A-Z list below gives you detailed information about the things you cannot post with us, or where restrictions are in place and covers all our UK mail and International mail services.

 

If you are not sure about the item you wish to post, please call Royal Mail Customer Services on 03457 740 740. Textphone users should call 0345 600 0606.

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Please remember 

You’re responsible for finding out if an item is prohibited or restricted. 

If you send prohibited or restricted goods without complying with the right terms and conditions, we may deal with the goods as we see fit, including destroying or disposing of the relevant goods in whole or in part.

If you’re not sure about the item you wish to post, please contact Royal Mail. Textphone users should call 0345 600 0606.

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Sending valuables safely 

Make sure you send anything valuable, like jewellery, cash or vouchers, by Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®. You’ll get end-to-end tracking, a signature on delivery, and guaranteed next-day delivery. Plus, there’s compensation in the unlikely event it’s lost or damaged. If you send them using any other service, you won’t be eligible for compensation – so don’t take the risk.

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Sending valuables: tips and definitions 

Package all money, vouchers or jewellery you’re sending securely. Make sure it isn’t visible from the outside. And don’t indicate what’s inside anywhere on the packaging. Don’t send coins in envelopes. Automated sorting machines could damage the envelopes and cause delivery to be delayed or the contents to be lost.

We define money as:

  • Coins and bank notes – of any currency – which are currently legal tender
  • Postal orders, cheques and dividend warrants uncrossed and payable to bearer
  • Any unused postage stamps, revenue stamps and National Insurance stamps
  • Exchequer bills, bills of exchange, promissory notes and credit notes
  • Bonds, bond coupons and any other investment certificates
  • Coupons, vouchers, tokens, cards, stamps and other documents which can be exchanged in whole or in part for money, goods or services

We define as jewellery:

  • Any precious metal manufactured to add value to the raw material, including coins used for ornament
  • Diamonds and precious stones
  • Watches – the cases of which are made wholly or mainly of precious metal
  • Similar articles with an intrinsic value other than the value of the workmanship
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Prohibited and restricted items

 

Here’s a full list of items that can’t be sent through our network. We also 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.


Aerosols

Aerosols for toiletry or medicinal purposes (including deodorants, body sprays, hair sprays, shaving and hair removal creams and medicinal aerosols for prevention or cure such as flea sprays). - for Asthma inhalers see Prescription medicines.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Valves must be protected by a cap or other suitable means to prevent inadvertent release of the contents during transport.
  • Volume per item must not exceed 500ml.
  • No more than two items in any one parcel.
  • Aerosols must be tightly packed in strong outer packaging and must be secured or cushioned to prevent any damage.
  • An ID8000 label must be applied (see an example of an ID8000 label).
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.

Aerosols for any other purpose (including spray paints, lacquers, solvents, air fresheners, oven cleaners, etc.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages and liquids containing more than 70% alcohol by volume (ABV).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK -  Not allowed in the mail

Alcoholic beverages and liquids containing more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol by volume (ABV) (e.g. gin, rum, vodka, whisky)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Volume must not exceed 1 litre per item.
  • No more than two items in any one parcel.
  • Wrap in polythene and seal with tape. Surround with absorbent material and cushioning to prevent breakage.
  • Mark as 'FRAGILE' when sending glass bottles.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.

Additional general advice: Place in a suitable rigid outer container.

Alcoholic beverages and liquids containing less than 24% alcohol by volume (ABV) (including beer, lager, wine and champagne)

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Volume should not exceed 1 litre per item.
  • Wrap in polythene and seal with tape.
  • Surround with absorbent material such as newspaper and sufficient cushioning material to protect each item from breakage.
  • Mark as 'FRAGILE' when sending glass bottles.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Additional general advice: Place in a suitable rigid outer container.

Ammunition

(excluding lead pellets and other airgun and airsoft projectiles)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Asbestos
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail (except when sent as a sample fixed in a resin, plastic or glass matrix)
Balloons filled with non-flammable gases
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Must be clearly marked on the outer packaging with the words' BALLOONS FILLED WITH NON-FLAMMABLE GAS'.

Additional general advice: Ensure adequate cushioning material and place in a suitable rigid outer container.

 

Batteries

Not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power.

Batteries that are classified as dangerous goods and certain used batteries (including wet spillable lead acid/lead alkaline batteries (such as car batteries), used alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air batteries, solo lithium batteries, power banks and damaged batteries of any type).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Batteries, specifically new and used lithium batteries when not sent with or connected to an electronic device (including power banks)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

For more information on lithium batteries please see the IATA Lithium Battery Guidance Document.

Batteries, specifically new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air and zinc chloride Including D, C, 9V, AA, AAA and AAAA alkaline batteries.

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging.
  • Surround with cushioning material e.g. bubble wrap.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Batteries - new wet, non-spillable (e.g. sealed lead acid batteries, absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Batteries must comply with Special Provision 238 of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations (please check with the manufacturer or distributor).
  • No more than one battery in any one parcel.
  • Maximum weight 1.5kg.
  • Item must be protected against short circuit (by insulation of exposed terminals) and securely packaged.
  • Package must be marked. "NOT RESTRICTED" and "SPA67 / SP238".
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Biological substances (Category B)

(diagnostic specimens including urine, blood, faeces and animal remains).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Category B (UN3373) as classified in the latest edition of the Technical Instructions for Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), may only be sent by, or at the specific request of, a qualified medical practitioner, registered dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, registered nurse or a recognised laboratory or institution.
  • The total sample volume/mass in any parcel must not exceed 50ml/50g.
  • All biological substances must be posted in packaging that complies with Packaging Instruction 650, such as our Safebox product. (Note Frozen water and dry ice are prohibited.)
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Clinical and medical waste

(e.g. contaminated dressings, bandages and needles)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Controlled drugs and narcotics

(such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate)

  • Inernational - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

 

Corrosives

(including aluminium chloride, caustic soda, corrosive cleaning fluid, dyes, acids, corrosive paint and rust removers, mercury and gallium metal).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

 

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Counterfeit currency, bank notes and postage stamps

(except copies of old denominations, which are now obsolete and worthless except for collectable value and cannot be passed as tender)

Including any false instrument, or copy of a false instrument (within the meaning of section 5 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Christmas Crackers

UK & International - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:

  • Crackers can only be sent in their complete made-up form and in their original retail packaging.
Dry ice

(For example UN1845 when used as a coolant for UN3373 or for other perishable items.)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Electronic devices sent with or connected to lithium batteries

(including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc).

Electronic devices sent with lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc) where the battery is not connected to the device.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Cells or batteries that are defective or damaged are forbidden.
  • The maximum number of lithium batteries allowed in each parcel is the minimum number required to power the device plus two spares.
  • For lithium ion/polymer batteries the Watt-hour rating must not exceed 20Wh per cell or 100Wh per battery.
  • For lithium metal/alloy batteries the lithium content must not be more than 1g per cell or 2g per battery.
  • The maximum net quantity of cells or batteries is 5kg per parcel.
  • Each cell and battery must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, section 38.3.
  • Cells and batteries must be packed in inner packaging that completely enclose the cell or battery and protect them from short circuit.
  • The equipment sent with cells or batteries must be packed in strong rigid packaging and must be secured against movement within the outer packaging and packed to prevent accidental activation.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.
  • Please see our Wrapping and packaging advice for additional guidance on sending electronic items.

Electronic devices connected to lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc) where the battery is connected to the device.

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Cells or batteries that are defective or damaged are forbidden.
  • Each parcel must contain no more than four cells or two batteries installed in a device.
  • For lithium ion/polymer batteries the Watt-hour rating must not exceed 20Wh per cell or 100Wh per battery.
  • For lithium metal/alloy batteries the lithium content must not be more than 1g per cell or 2g per battery.
  • The maximum net quantity of cells or batteries is 5kg per parcel.
  • Each cell and battery must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, section 38.3.
  • The equipment containing cells or batteries must be packed in strong rigid packaging and must be secured against movement within the outer packaging and packed to prevent accidental activation.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.
  • Please see our Wrapping and packaging advice for additional guidance on sending electronic items.

Electronic devices sent with new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) or nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries where the battery is not connected to the device.

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging.
  • Surround with sufficient cushioning material to protect each item from damage.
  • Wrap each item, including plugs, individually.
  • Place item in a rigid container and cushion to avoid movement.
  • Any equipment sent with batteries or cells must be secured against movement within the outer packaging and must be packed to prevent accidental activation.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • Please see our Wrapping and packaging advice for additional guidance on sending electronic items.
Environmentally hazardous substances
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Samples must not exceed 5litres/5kgs.
  • Pack in a leak proof or sift proof inner and protect by cushioning material in rigid outer packaging.
Environmental waste

(including used batteries and used engine oil)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Explosives

(including fireworks, flares, blasting caps, party poppers, Cracker snaps)

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, Christmas cracker snaps, fireworks, flares, fuses, igniters, nitro-glycerine and party poppers.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
  • Items that appear to be prohibited explosive ordnance may be subject to additional checks and delays.
Flammable liquids

 (including petroleum, lighter fluid, certain adhesives, solvent based paints, wood varnish, enamels, acetone and all nail varnish removers).

This includes mixtures of liquids or liquids containing solids in solution or suspension which give off a flammable vapour and includes acetone, benzene, cleaning compounds, lighter fuel, paint thinners and removers, petroleum, solvents, varnishes, enamels and nail varnish removers.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Flammable solids

(including magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc powder, sparklers and fire lighters).

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, sparklers, zinc powder, zirconium hydride.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Frozen water

(including packs of ice)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
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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)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Guns for sporting use
  • International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Guns intended for sporting purposes - including Section 1 and Section 2 firearms, low-powered air guns and their component parts - may be sent in compliance with UK law and subject to applicable export controls on the shipment of firearms.
  • Items that appear to be prohibited weapons may be subject to additional checks and delays.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Guns intended for sporting purposes - including Section 1 (e.g. hunting rifles) and Section 2 (e.g. shotguns) firearms, low-powered air weapons and their component parts - may be sent in compliance with UK law and subject to domestic controls on the possession of firearms. Antiques, deactivated and imitation firearms are also permitted. When sending deactivated firearms include proof of deactivation.
  • Items that appear to be prohibited weapons may be subject to additional checks and delays.
  • Use 1st Class as the minimum service. Only low-powered air weapons are accepted by Parcelforce Worldwide and must be sent using express48 via the Post Office.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.
Hoverboards

(including any type of rechargeable battery-powered: self - balancing scooter, mono-wheel, stand-up unicycle or electric skateboard)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Human or animal ashes
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • May only be sent by, or at the specific request of, a qualified medical practitioner, registered dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, registered nurse or a recognised laboratory or institution.
  • The total sample volume/mass in any parcel must not exceed 1 kg.
  • Solids only can be sent.
  • All human or animal samples must be posted in packaging that complies with Packaging Instruction 650, such as our Safebox product.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • Accepted by Royal Mail only.
Infectious substances and pathogens

(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 IATA Guidance Document on Infectious Substances.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas

(including used butane, petrol cigar and cigarette lighters)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Lighters - empty, new or unused
  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Must be unopened and in their original retail packaging.
  • The sender’s name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Lighters considered to contain residual fuel may be disposed of.

Liquids not classified as dangerous goods

Liquids over 1 litre

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Items must be securely closed and placed in a leak-proof inner liner, such as a sealed polythene bag and in a leak-proof outer.
  • Mark as "FRAGILE" when sending glass bottles.
  • Customers posting via Parcelforce Worldwide, maximum 5 litres per box per container, must be sent using express48.

Liquids under 1 litre

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Items must be securely closed and placed in a leak-proof inner liner, such as a sealed polythene bag and in a leak-proof outer.
  • Mark as "FRAGILE" when sending glass bottles.
Live creatures, insects and invertebrates

(Including bees, caterpillars, cockroaches, crickets, destroyers of noxious pests, earthworms, leeches and other parasites, lugworms, maggots, mealworms, pupae and chrysalides, rag worms, silkworms, spiders and stick insects.)

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Live animals and reptiles are prohibited, as are any creatures or insects classified as dangerous within the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (including certain venomous spiders).
  • Must be boxed and packaged to protect the creatures, our staff and our customers from harm.
  • Use 1st Class as the minimum service.
  • Items must be clearly marked "URGENT - LIVING CREATURES - HANDLE WITH CARE".
  • The sender's name and address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • Dead insects, sent as collectables, are allowed.

 

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Lottery tickets
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail (except UK lottery tickets)
Magnetised material

Magnetised material with a field strength of 0.418A/metre or more at a distance of 4.6 metres from the outside of the package

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Magnetised material with a field strength of less than 0.418A/metre at a distance of 4.6 metres from the outside of the package

  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see packaging guidelines below:
  • Should be wrapped in soft packaging at least 2cm thick around each item.
  • The sender's name and address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Additional general advice: Send individually as magnets can damage other items they travel with, i.e. discs, tapes, etc. Outer packaging - use a strong corrugated board box or purpose designed polystyrene pack.

Matches

(including safety matches and windproof matches)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Nail varnish, polish or gel

(solvent and water-based)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Volume per item must not exceed 30ml.
  • No more than four items in any one parcel.
  • Bottles of nail varnish must be placed in strong outer packaging and be so packed, secured or cushioned in such a way that they cannot break, be punctured or leak their contents into the outer packaging.
  • An ID8000 label must be applied (see example ID8000 label
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.
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.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Oxidising materials or organic peroxides

(including disinfectants, nitrates and hair dyes or colourants containing peroxide)

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.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Paints, wood varnishes and enamels

Solvent-based paints, wood varnishes and enamels

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Water-based paints, wood varnishes and enamels

  • International & UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Volume per item should not exceed 150ml.
  • There is no restriction on the number of items than can be sent in each package.
  • The items must be securely closed and placed in a leak-proof liner, such as a sealed polythene bag, so that any inadvertent leakage is contained within the outer packaging. Surround with absorbent material such as newspaper and sufficient cushioning material to protect each item from damage.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Perfumes and aftershaves

(including eau de parfum and eau de toilette and alcohol-free perfumes, but excluding non-flammable perfumed creams, gels, oils or lotions.)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Volume per item must not exceed 150ml.
  • No more than four items in any one parcel.
  • Must be sent in its original retail packaging, placed in strong outer packaging and cushioned to prevent breakage.
  • An ID8000 label must be applied (see example ID8000 label).
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • These items must be presented at a Post Office® counter.
Perishable items

(including flowers, fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen or chilled foodstuffs)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Use 1st Class as the minimum service.
  • Should be able to withstand a journey of up to 48 hours. (Frozen water and dry ice are prohibited)
  • Must be suitably sealed to prevent leakage or tainting of other items such as in sealed vacuum packs.
  • Must be packed in a strong corrugated board box or purpose designed polystyrene pack.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
  • Packages must be clearly labelled "PERISHABLE".

Additional general advice: Outer packaging - use a strong corrugated board box or purpose designed polystyrene pack. When sending flowers, arrange in layers separated by tissue paper and use waterproof wrapping if including damp moss or phials of water.

Pesticides

(e.g. weed killer and any chemical used to kill pests and insects including fly sprays)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
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Poisons, toxic liquids, solids and gases

(including substances that are liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled or by skin contact, including arsenic, cyanide, fluorine, rat poison).

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

 

Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes

Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes - non-toxic and non-flammable including asthma inhalers.

  • Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes - non-toxic and non-flammable including asthma inhalers
  • UK & International - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • May only be sent by, or at the specific request of, a qualified medical practitioner, registered dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, registered nurse or a recognised laboratory or institution.
  • Inner packaging can be blister packs of tablets or capsules of liquid (each pack not to exceed 50ml/50g per tablet/capsule), or small bottles of liquid up to 50ml.
  • Net quantity in any parcel not to exceed 1litre/1kg. Medicines must be securely closed and placed in a sealed polythene bag (for liquids) or a siftproof container (for solids).
  • Must be tightly packed in strong outer packaging and cushioned to prevent breakage.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.

Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes - toxic, flammable or toxic and flammable.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • Inner packaging can be blister packs of tablets or capsules of liquid (each pack not to exceed 50ml/50g per tablet/capsule), or small bottles of liquid up to 50ml.
  • Net quantity in any parcel not to exceed 500ml/500g.
  • Medicines must be securely closed and placed in a sealed polythene bag (for liquids) or a siftproof container (for solids)
  • Must be tightly packed in strong outer packaging and cushioned to prevent breakage.
  • Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel.
Radioactive materials and samples

Radioactive materials and samples 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.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Radioactive material and samples that are not classified as dangerous goods in the latest edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) such as samples of granite rock.

  • UK & International - Allowed with restrictions
  • Surround with cushioning material e.g. bubble wrap.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Sharp objects

(including knives, kitchen utensils and gardening tools)

  • International & UK - Allowed in the mail, see packaging guidelines below:
  • Sharp objects like knives*, kitchen utensils and gardening tools may only be posted if they are packaged appropriately so that they are no risk to employees, other postal items or recipients. *Excludes knives that are banned under UK laws - see Weapons.
  • Wrap heavy cardboard around sharp edges and points, strong enough to ensure that the contents do not pierce the outer packaging. Wrap each item with cushioning material. Place in a suitable outer container such as a padded envelope.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries
  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Vaccines
  • International & UK - Allowed in the mail, see restrictions and packaging guidelines below:
  • May only be sent by, or at the specific request of, a qualified medical practitioner, registered dental practitioner, veterinary surgeon, registered nurse or a recognised laboratory or institution.
  • The vaccines must be securely closed and placed in a leak-proof liner such as a sealed polythene bag (for liquids) or a sift-proof container (for solids).
  • Must be tightly packed in strong outer packaging and must be secured or cushioned to prevent any damage.
  • The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.
Waste, dirt, filth or refuse

(including household waste)

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

Soil samples sent for analysis are permitted provided they are packaged so that any leaks and spills are contained in the outer packaging

Weapons

(including Section 5 firearms, CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives and other knives that are banned under UK laws, tasers and stun guns)

Items that appear to be prohibited weapons may be subject to additional checks and delays.

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail
Gases, including flammable, non-flammable, toxic and compressed gases

(including flammable, non-flammable, toxic and compressed gases (including new, used and empty gas cylinders, ethane, butane, refills for lighters, fire extinguishers and scuba tanks, life jackets, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide canisters including culinary foaming devices & soda stream).

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. *includes new, used and empty gas cylinders International - Not allowed in the mail UK - Not allowed in the mail.

*includes new, used and empty gas cylinders

  • International - Not allowed in the mail
  • UK - Not allowed in the mail

 

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