Prohibited & Restricted Items
Understanding the Process
If the air transport prohibits an item from being shipped, we as an international forwarder cannot allow these to ship by an air shipping method. While Vyking Ship strives to make your international shipments as painless as possible, sometimes we run into problems. One of the most common problems we run into is when dangerous goods or materials prohibited from air transport come through our warehouse.
Most of the time, information about dangerous or prohibited items is not clearly given by the merchant. Here, we’ll try to explain what they are and dispel any questions or concerns you may have regarding these kinds of materials.
When it comes to the types of items we can’t ship, we have broken the types into two categories: Prohibited Items and Restricted Items.
US Customs Prohibited Items
These are items that are prohibited from leaving the US but are allowed to be shipped within the USA.
With regards to Prohibited Items, these items are split into sub-categories. All of these items are prohibited to ship internationally, but some of these items we are able to ship within the USA. Some however, we can’t ship at all (typically due to requiring a special license.)
Here are a few common items that can ship by air or ground, but only within the United States:
- Perishable items
- Firearms accessories (parts and optics)
Secondly, here are a few types of items that we are prohibited from shipping out of our warehouse at all:
- Tobacco and other products that contain nicotine
- Drugs that require a prescription
- Money items (Coins, paper money, gift cards, debit cards, credit cards, etc.)
Vyking Ship Prohibits
Besides the list mentioned above, Vyking Ship cannot ship the following items abroad, though they can be shipped within the US via ground shipping methods.
- Aerosols (Spray cans)
- Alcohol-based perfume
- Nail Polish containing Acetone
- Flammables and Combustibles
Vyking Ship Allows
Restricted Items are items that can only be shipped in a limited quantity. Here at Vyking Ship, we really only deal with one restricted item frequently: batteries.
The most frequent type of battery we run into issues with are lithium-ion batteries, as they are one of the most commonly used batteries. If the device in your package is wireless and rechargeable, there is a good chance that the battery inside is a lithium battery. If your package contains a laptop or mobile device, there is a 100% chance the device contains one.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) has restrictions when it comes to these batteries. They only permit a maximum of 2 installed batteries per box and each needs to be 100 Watt hours or less in power. If there are any loose batteries, we cannot ship the package by air. If your package contains more than 2 installed batteries, the batteries will need to be split up in order for us to ship the package to you internationally.
Power banks are also considered loose lithium-ion batteries. We cannot ship them internationally by air methods.
The other type of battery we can’t ship, although we run into this much less commonly, are lead-acid batteries. Most typically, these are used as car batteries.
We can ship alkaline batteries such as standard AA and AAA, however we are seeing more frequently that some AA and AAA batteries are lithium-ion batteries instead of alkaline. If you wish to ship AA or AAA batteries with us, please ensure that they are alkaline.
International Import Regulations
What we’ve listed above are rules and regulations we have for goods in the United States, however, each country’s rules are different. One example here would be vitamins or supplements and other products marketed for health reasons. Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have been especially difficult with accepting these types of products. We suggest checking with your local customs office to see if this type of item is restricted.
If you’re unsure if your goods may be prohibited or restricted there are a wealth of resources in regards to this issue. Check out FedEx prohibited items and the USPS prohibited items list pages to get a good idea of what is being prohibited by your country.
These lists are a great resource but we have experienced situations where they did not reflect some items that are actually prohibited, so we do recommend checking with Customs in the destination country as well if you have concerns.
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