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. This post is to help 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.
With regards to Prohibited Items, these items are split into 3 sub-categories. All of these items are prohibited from leaving the United States, but some items can ship by air or ground within the United States, some items can only ship by ground within the United States, and some 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:
- Money items (Coins, paper money, gift cards, debit cards, credit cards, etc.)
- Perishable items
- Firearms accessories (parts and optics)
Secondly, here are a few items that we can ship within the United States, but only by ground methods:
- Aerosols (Spray cans)
- Alcohol-based perfume
- Nail Polish containing Acetone
- Flammables and Combustibles
Lastly, 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
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 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, that restriction being that we are only permitted to have 2 installed batteries per package. If there are any loose batteries, we cannot ship the package. If your package contains more than 2 batteries, the batteries will need to be split up in order for us to ship the package to you internationally.
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 AA and AAA batteries, 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.
What we’ve listed above are rules and regulations we have for goods in the United States, but your country’s rules may be 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, however 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, thankfully there are a wealth of resources in regards to this issue. Check out FedEx’s page (at the bottom) where you can see a list of prohibited items by country. Your destination’s prohibited/restricted lists may contain something that the United States doesn’t have limitations on. USPS also has a similar resource.
Also, you can reach out to us and we’d be happy to help. Send us an email at email@example.com, use our live chat on our website (available Monday-Friday 9AM-5PM CST), or give us a call at +19529412452.