Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Things you should not ship

Published:Tuesday | November 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

If you are contemplating using a courier service to ship something, before you do, here are some tips on what you shouldn't ship via a courier service. Hopefully, this will save you a great deal of time, money, and aggravation.

Any chemicals, corrosives or possibly infectious agents

This may seem obvious, but if you have an item like this that someone else wants, perhaps for scientific purposes or research, you cannot use a courier service to ship these items. That's because there are strict rules governing the shipment of anything that would be harmful in the wrong hands. It is best to deliver these things in person if absolutely necessary.

Explosives or ammunition

If you are running a fireworks or firearms shop, you should be aware that you cannot ship these items to other countries. Avoid hefty fines and even imprisonment by not attempting to ship these items via a courier service.

Human or animal remains

That's right. Even if a deceased relative or pet needs to be buried in another place, you cannot ship the ashes or the body via a courier service or the postal system. Human and animal remains must be transported by a qualified person, whether that is a coroner, funeral home, or family member. The remains cannot be insured, nor can you expect anyone else to be responsible for their safe delivery.


It is against courier or postal-system rules to ship actual cash or currency. Many people don't realise this and have guiltily sent cash inside birthday cards or other correspondence. The reason you cannot send cash via a courier is because you cannot insure

the actual cash value of the package. If that were the case, then scammers would enjoy the right to ship individual currency and then insure the packages for millions.


If you are shipping an item via a courier, you will want to find out the guidelines as far as shipping any type of weapon, whether modern or vintage. There are laws against transporting weapons, and in most cases, you won't be able to do this. If you intend to do this, make sure you check with the courier first to make sure you are allowed to do this, and if any special paperwork or fees that are required before you get yourself into trouble.

Certain medical supplies, prescription drugs, food. Couriers have rules about the kinds of medical supplies, prescription drugs, and perishable food items. In some cases, you may have to have special permission to ship these items, so be sure to ask for a listing of things that you can and cannot ship before you prepare your shipment. It's important to note that you also should not expect to be able to ship any drugs that may be considered controlled or illegal substances, so don't even try that.

With careful planning, you should be able to ship most things safely and quickly via a courier service. However, if in doubt, contact them to find out if your package meets their guidelines before initiating a pickup for shipment.