by ShippingNews

Everything You Need To Know About Shipping Restricted & Dangerous Goods From The US

Before sending goods abroad for export, it’s vital to be aware of restrictions and rules in place from UPS and the US Customs and Border Protection agency concerning the transportation of items. Not being aware, may incur a penalty or a fine.

Below is a list of restricted and prohibited items.

Only Allowed To Be Exported From The United States on a Contractual Basis

  • Alcoholic products (International Special Commodity Alcohol agreement in place before sending a shipment. Wine shippers must sign the UPS Approved Wine Shipper's agreement.)
  • Non-domesticated animal products
  • Biological substances
  • Articles of a high or unusual value
  • Dangerous Goods (must enter into an agreement which covers the tendering of U.S. domestic and U.S. origin International Dangerous Goods (IDG) shipments to UPS.)
  • Electronic Cigarettes (must be licensed and authorized to ship tobacco products)
  • Firearms/Weapons (Export only between licensed importers, manufacturers, dealers, and collectors)
  • Furs
  • Gold
  • Precious Metals
  • Live Animals
  • (All sides of a carton containing animals must be marked in block capitals LIVE ANIMALS.)
  • Accepted types of animals include:
  • all types of fish, frogs, squid, octopus, crabs, lobsters. Bees, butterflies, Clams, Mussels, reptiles, and worms
  • Prohibited Live Animals: poisonous, venomous animals (snakes, scorpions, spiders)
  • Birds, crocodiles, mammals, Threatened and endangered species, Insects (files, locusts, mosquitoes, roaches.)
  • Perishable Goods
  • Personal Effects (Shipping labels must state that the package contains personal effects and it also must do so on the invoice and goods description. There also must be confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and are for personal use only. No items intended for retail, business purposes/distribution can be shipped this way.)
  • Plants
  • Tobacco (no cigarettes or little cigars can be shipped.)

Prohibited Items

  • Ammunition
  • Bank bills and bank notes
  • Corpses and cremated remains
  • Fireworks
  • Ivory and ivory products
  • Marijuana
  • Stamps,
  • Shark fins
  • Watches valued at more than $500
  • Any other kind of item forbidden to be shipped

fireworks manhattan new york

Restricted Items by Country

Some countries have restrictions in place on the importation of certain products from the United States. Below is a sampling of items prohibited from being exported from the United States:


  • Live Birds (parrots, pet songbirds)
  • Baby Walkers
  • Paintball Markers, airsoft guns
  • Non-commercial untreated/raw wood and products

United Kingdom

  • Knives
  • Chilli, chili products, Curcuma, curry powder, palm oil, turmeric
  • Samurai Swords


  • Asbestos and products containing asbestos
  • Knives
  • Laser Products
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Toy Guns
  • Watches


  • Cash letters
  • Knives
  • Lithium metal batteries
  • Plastic kitchenware
  • Tea(from China)
  • Tobacco Products (snus)


  • Event Tickets (football matches, pop concerts tickets have to be sent as documents. Tickets sent directly from a printing firm to an event organizer cannot be sent as documents.)
  • Food
  • Vitamins (containing melatonine, oncontonine, microtonine, hormones, or hormone products)


  • Bank endorsed shipments
  • Christmas garlands, wreaths and anything made from plant materials
  • Guns (real, toy and replicas)
  • Knives
  • Meat and meat related products (beef, bovine)
  • Plant-related products (flowers, leaves, tobacco, coffee beans, wheat, cotton, wood)


  • Gambling devices (only licensed casinos can import devices into the country from particular manufacturers.)
  • Jewelry (must contain quantity and grammas per piece on the invoice.)
  • Knives
  • Melatonin


  • Cigarettes and Tobacco
  • Credit Cards
  • Meat
  • Weapons, Knives, and explosives


  • Antiques (must come with an International Special Commodities certificate if an item is coming from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.)
  • Artwork (paintings, engravings, prints, statues.)
  • Military equipment (night vision goggles, firearms, ammunition, explosives)
  • Dietary supplements
  • Gambling devices
  • Guns and firearms (bb guns, crossbows, pistols, muzzleloaders, pellet guns)
  • Jewelry
  • Knives
  • Lithium batteries

Hong Kong

  • Drugs
  • Guns (real, toy and replicas)
  • Knives
  • Medicine (requires an import license)


  • Microorganisms and vaccine
  • Paintball guns
  • Perishables
  • Unaccompanied Baggage


  • Cash letters
  • Military equipment
  • Negotiable Bonds, Drafts
  • Toys of war and jewelry weapons


  • Airsoft guns
  • Animal organs
  • Drugs
  • Food/foodstuffs
  • Food supplements

Republic Of Korea

  • Animal skins, non-domesticated
  • Guns
  • Kitchen waste disposer
  • Knives
  • Lithium metal batteries
  • Negotiable bonds and drafts
  • Toy guns
  • Traveler’s checks

travellers cheques


  • Animal products (cows, goats, sheep, and pigs)
  • Credit cards
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Employment records
  • Food
  • Food supplements
  • Jewelry
  • Military cards
  • Items from the Russian Federation
  • Money


  • Food
  • Guns
  • Jewelry
  • Medicine (must come with a doctor’s prescription.)
  • Perfumes

New Zealand

  • Guns
  • Knives
  • Products made in Iran
  • Toy guns and replicas


  • Animal products (cows, goat sheep)
  • Used electrical items
  • Blank forms and invoices
  • Lithium metal batteries
  • Passports
  • Perishable Goods
  • Precious metals
  • Telecommunication equipment (cell phones, wireless radio sets, VoIP terminal equipment)

Dominican Republic

  • Electro used goods (TV sets, microwave ovens, radios, food processors, washers and dryers, refrigerators.)
  • Jewelry
  • Traveler’s checks


  • Medicine
  • Vitamins


  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Knives
  • Tobacco Products


  • Airline tickets (must come with a certificate of origin)
  • Gambling devices
  • Watches (require a certificate of origin)


  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Cash letters
  • Gambling devices
  • Human hair
  • Petroleum Oils


  • Consumable and Perishable goods
  • Drones
  • Maps
  • Passports
  • Used Electrical and Electronic Equipment


  • Animal products
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Bakery & Pastry Products (must come with a Phytosanitary certificate)
  • Flower bulbs
  • Cigarettes and cigars
  • Dairy products
  • Dried fruit
  • Drugs
  • Dry plants
  • Fish and fish products
  • Food supplements and vitamins
  • Smoked salmon
  • Spices
  • Tea


  • Defense equipment
  • Gambling devices
  • Playing cards

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Aircraft parts/balloons
  • Religious books
  • Chemicals
  • Fireworks
  • Gambling devices
  • Israeli manufactured and originating goods
  • Smoked salmon