Help and advice

General Prohibitions and Restrictions

The below sets out the requirements that apply to Retail customers only.  For full details of the requirements that apply to Account customers, please see our Account Prohibitions and Restrictions

Prohibited and restricted items

Item

UK

International

Aerosols for toiletry or medicinal purposes. Aerosols for personal grooming or medicinal purposes, (including deodorants, body sprays, hair sprays, shaving and hair removal creams, medicinal aerosols for prevention or cure such as flea sprays,etc). Packaging guidelines: Valves must be protected to prevent inadvertent release of contents. Volume per item must not exceed 500ml. No more than two items in any one parcel, tightly packaged. Must be presented at the counter. The senders name and return address must be clearly visible on the parcel.

Yes

No

Aerosols for any other purpose (including spray paints, etc.)

No

No

Alcoholic beverages containing more than 70% alcohol by volume (ABV) No No
Alcoholic beverages containing more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol by volume (ABV) e.g. gin; rum; vodka; whiskey; Packaging guidelines: 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. Must be presented at the counter. Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel. Yes No
Alcoholic beverages containing 24% alcohol by volume (ABV) or less (e.g. beer; wine; and champagne). Packaging guidelines: Volume must not exceed 1 litre per item. Wrap in polythene and seal with tape. Surround with absorbent material and cushioning to prevent breakage. Mark as 'FRAGILE' when sending glass bottles. Yes Yes
Arms and Ammunition All firearms, other than low-powered air weapons sent within the UK (air rifles, air guns and air pistols), including imitations and antiques; paint-ball or toy guns; taser guns; components of firearms and all other items similar to, or resembling, the foregoing are prohibited. All ammunition other than lead pellets and other air gun and airsoft projectiles is also prohibited. No No

Arms and Ammunition - low powered air weapons Low-powered air weapons (air rifles, air guns and air pistols), together with lead pellets and other airgun and airsoft projectiles, can be sent but are subject to the following conditions:

  1. These items must be sent on an express48 service only
  2. These items must be sent via the Post Office only
  3. Enhanced compensation cover is not available
Yes No
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 hybride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd), zinc-air batteries, and damaged batteries of any type). No No
Batteries, specifically new alkaline metal, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cadmium (NiCd) and zinc-air Packaging guidelines: Must be new and sent unopened in their original retail packaging. Surround with cushioning material e.g. bubble wrap. Yes Yes
Batteries, specifically new and used lithium batteries when not sent with or connected to an electronic device. No No
Batteries - new wet, non-spillable (e.g. sealed lead acid batteries, absorbed glass mat and gel cell batteries). Packaging guidelines: 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'. Yes No

Biological Substances (Diagnostic specimens including blood, urine, faeces and animal remains). 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 Organisation (ICAO).  The total sample volume/mass in any parcel must not exceed50ml/50g. All biological substances must be posted in packaging that complies with Packaging Instruction 650. The sender’s name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

Yes No
Christmas Crackers Yes No
Clinical and medical waste (e.g. contaminated dressings, bandages and needles). No No
Controlled drugs and narcotics (such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate, leaves from the Catha Edulis plant, morphine, opium, pyschotropic substances etc). Those discovered in transit will be stopped, and handed to customs or the Police, who may take legal action against the sender and/or recipient. No No
Corrosives (including dyes, acids, corrosive paint and rust removers, caustic soda, mercury and gallium metal). No No
Counterfeit currency Counterfeit currency and counterfeit stamps are prohibited. No No
Dry Ice No No
Electronic devices sent with lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc) where the battery is not connected to the device. Packaging guidelines: 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 or batteries that are defective or damaged are forbidden. Cells and batteries must be packed in inner packagings 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. Must be presented at the counter. Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel. Yes No
Electronic devices connected to lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc) where the battery is connected to the device.
Packaging guidelines: 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. Cells or batteries that are defective or damaged are forbidden. 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. Must be presented at the counter. Sender's name and address must be visible on the parcel. Country restrictions apply, please see our worldwide directory for details.
Yes Yes
Environmental waste (including used batteries and used engine oil). No No
Explosives (including fireworks, flares, blasting caps, party poppers). No No
Financial documents Any financial documents (money, bankers drafts, cheques, dividends, bonds, securities etc). which can be exchanged themselves, or with any other document, for money, goods or services, cannot be sent on Parcelforce Worldwide international services. They can be sent on a Parcelforce Worldwide UK service, but are excluded from compensation. Yes No
Flammable liquids (including petroleum, lighter fluid, certain adhesives, solvent based paints, wood varnish, enamels, acetone and all nail varnish removers). No No
Flammable solids (including magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, zinc powder and fire lighters). No No
Gases, including flammable, non-flammable, toxic and compressed gases Gases including flammable, non-flammable toxic and compressed gases, new, used and empty gas cylinders, butane, ethane, refills for lighters, fire extinguishers and scuba tanks, life jackets, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide canisters (culinary foaming devices and soda stream). No No

Human and animal remains Human remains (including ashes) and dead animals (including preserved animal parts and skins) are prohibited.

No No
Illegal lottery tickets Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries are prohibited. No No
Indecent, obscene or offensive articles Indecent, obscene or offensive communications, prints, photographs, books or other articles, and packets bearing grossly offensive, indecent or obscene words, marks or designs are prohibited. Those discovered in transit will be stopped, and handed to customs or the Police, who may take legal action against the sender and/or recipient. No No
Infectious substances and pathogens (UN2814 or UN2900) 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). No No
Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas (including new, used and empty butane, petrol cigar and cigarette lighters). No No
Liquids over 1 litre Liquids over 1 litre (containing liquids not classified as dangerous goods). Packaging guidelines: Items must be securely closed and placed in a leak proof liner, such as sealed polythene bag. Mark as ‘Fragile’ when sending glass bottles. Some liquids, such as alcohol or paints, have their own additional restrictions or prohibitions. Must be sent be express48 only. Maximum 5 Litres per box or container. Yes No
Live creatures, insects and invertebrates Certain living creatures are accepted only if enclosed in packs constructed so as to prevent injury to Parcelforce Worldwide staff or its agents, or damage to other packages. The following are accepted: bees, destroyers of noxious pests and other insects sent to or from officially recognised institutions, leeches and certain parasites, silkworms. In addition the following may be sent to destinations in Zones 1 to 3: caterpillars, earthworms, fish fry and eggs, lugworms, maggots, mealworms, pupae and chrysalides and ragworms. To send any of the above, express9, express10, expressAM or express24 services must be used for Zones 1 to 3. No other living creatures are acceptable. No living creatures can be sent through the globalexpress service and to certain destinations on the globalpriority and globalvalue services. Items must be clearly marked “URGENT - LIVING CREATURES - HANDLE WITH CARE”. Yes Yes
Magnetized material (with a field strength of 0.418A/metre or more at a distance of 4.6 metres from the outside of the package). No No
Matches (including safety matches). No No
Miscellaneous manufactured articles Goods made in foreign prisons, except those imported for a non-commercial purpose of a kind not manufactured in the United Kingdom, or those in transit. No No
Misleading endorsements Parcels must not bear words, marks or designs which are unauthorised and which may reasonably lead the recipient to believe that the parcel has been sent On Her Majesty’s Service. No No
Nail varnish, polish or gel Packaging guidelines: Volume per item must not exceed 30ml. No more than four items in any one parcel. Must be placed in strong outer packaging and cushioned to prevent breakage. Must be presented at the counter. Sender’s name and address must be visible on the parcel. Yes No
Oxidising materials or organic peroxides (including disinfectants, nitrates and hair dyes or colourants containing peroxide). No No
Perfumes and aftershaves (including eau de parfum and eau de toilette). Packaging guidelines: 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. Must be presented at the counter. Sender’s name and address must be visible on the parcel. Yes No
Perishable foodstuffs and articles Fresh fruit, meat, fish and other perishable articles should be able to withstand transit times of at least 48 hours and must be sent by a guaranteed next day service as a minimum requirement within the UK. Packages must be clearly labelled “PERISHABLE”. Packages of fish should be smoked or chilled, and sealed in vacuum packs before consignment. In all cases they must be enclosed in adequate polystyrene containment to prevent contamination. It is the responsibility of the shipper to package all perishable articles in such a manner that during transport within the system the contents are kept at an appropriate temperature that is unlikely to give rise to a risk to health. Frozen water and dry ice are prohibited. Perishable articles cannot be sent using our globalexpress, globalvalue or globaleconomy services. Certain international destinations prohibit the import of perishable articles, including perishable and non-perishable foodstuffs. Please check individual country restrictions before sending consignments containing perishable foodstuffs or articles (including plants, flowers, medicines, seeds and other vegetable products intended for further processing) using our globalpriority service. For more information about service availability, or for country-specific prohibitions, exclusions or licence requirements, please refer to parcelforce.com or ask at the counter. Yes Yes
Plants Live plants may only be sent in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in ‘Perishable foodstuffs and articles’ above. Yes Yes
Pesticides (e.g. weed killer and any chemical used to kill pests and insects including fly sprays). No No
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). No No
Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes (non-toxic and non-flammable including asthma inhalers). Packaging guidelines: 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. Yes Yes
Radioactive materials and samples (Classified as dangerous goods such as luminous dials from aircraft). No No
Sharp objects These items may only be posted if they are packaged appropriately so that they do not present a risk to employees, other packages or recipients. Yes Yes
Waste, dirt, filth or refuse Waste, dirt, filth or refuse (including household waste). Soil samples sent for analysis are permitted provided they are packaged so that any leaks and spills are contained in the outer packaging. No No
Water-based paints, wood stains and enamels Volume per item should not exceed 150ml. There is no restriction on the number of items than can be sent in each package. Wrap in polythene and seal with tape. 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. Any item which resembles a restricted item may be subject to additional scrutiny which may cause delays. Yes Yes
Weapons Weapons (including Section 5 firearms, CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives, and other knives that are banned knives under UK laws, tasers and stun guns). No No
Works of art Works of art cannot be exported to certain destinations on the globalpriority and globalvalue services. Works of art are excluded from compensation for loss and damage with globalexpress although they can be sent using this service. Yes Yes

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