Prohibited items: things that can’t be mailed

Many items can be sent by post. However, despite the wide variety of items that can be sent legally from point A to point B, there is a short list of items that can never be sent by post, regardless of the shipping method chosen. Here is a brief summary of all the different things that you are not allowed to mail.

Prohibited Domestic/household items

Prohibited items: things that can't be mailed
Prohibited items: things that can’t be mailed
  1. Airbags – This is due to the tendency to inflate quickly after a certain impact.
  2. Ammunition – Includes all types of ammunition for firearms.
  3. Explosives – This includes bombs, grenades, rockets, dynamite, etc. Obviously, the United States Postal Service cannot ship items that could easily be turned into weapons or cause accidental explosions.
  4. Gasoline – gasoline is extremely flammable. It also has a very strong smell that is extremely difficult to get rid of when it hits something.
  5. Marijuana – Regardless of whether it is medical marijuana or not, the USPS will not allow you to ship marijuana domestically or internationally due to the many legal restrictions against it.

International Prohibited Items

  1. Aerosols – This includes propane, butane, fire extinguishers, etc.
  2. Air bags
  3. Alcoholic beverages
  4. Ammunition
  5. Cigarettes
  6. Dry ice
  7. Explosives
  8. Fresh fruits and vegetables – because they are extremely perishable.
  9. Gasoline
  10. Marijuana – Both recreational and medicinal are prohibited.
  11. Nail Polish
  12. perfume
  13. Poison

In addition to prohibited items, there are items with restricted shipping capabilities. Here is a quick summary of which items are restricted for domestic and international shipping.

Restricted household items

  1. Aerosols
  2. Alcoholic beverages
  3. Cigarettes and tobacco
  4. Cremated remains
  5. Firearms
  6. Lithium Batteries
  7. Dry ice
  8. Matches
  9. Departures
  10. Glues
  11. Adhesives
  12. Paint
  13. Live animals – live animals need to be dispatched from time to time, but shipping requires certain permissions from the Post Office and the government.
  14. Perishable items – perishable items are at great risk of breaking down and becoming moldy very quickly. When this happens, they are a health and safety risk and the people who send them can also lose a lot of money. That is why they are restricted.
  15. Nail Polish
  16. Fragile Items
  17. Perfumes
  18. Poisons
  19. Prescribed drugs

Restricted International Items

  1. Cigars
  2. Lithium Batteries
  3. Medical devices
  4. Medicines or Drugs – Medicines and drugs are carefully controlled by governments and are designed to be dispatched only by qualified people. So if you have a prescription for a painkiller and try to send some painkillers across the country, to your summer home or to a friend, you may soon find yourself in a series of legal problems.

All packages need to be well packaged with the proper shipping supplies, but the items above simply cannot be protected, even when packaged perfectly. If you attempt to ship any of the items banned nationally or internationally, you may face criminal charges. Many of these items are very dangerous and can pose a threat to the Post Office or to the recipients of deliveries.

When sending items through the USPS or a private courier, you should always make sure that none of the items you plan to send are prohibited. If they are restricted, you should call the carrier and ask what the rules are for sending them. In some circumstances, you may send restricted items and in others you may not.

As a general rule, if the item is illegal for you to own or sell, there is a good chance that it is also illegal to transport it.

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