International Shipping Prohibitions & Restrictions
When shipping internationally, you must comply with USPS® international shipping regulations and the regulations of the destination country. Some items are prohibited (completely forbidden) and some are restricted (allowed under certain conditions). Use the resources here to help you make sure that your shipment complies with USPS and foreign country regulations.
If you’re shipping within the U.S., see Domestic Shipping Prohibitions & Restrictions.
USPS International Shipping Regulations
Anything that may not be shipped in the United States you may not ship internationally. Also, you may not mail certain items, like cigarettes, internationally even though you may mail them within the United States. USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, & Perishable Mail and the International Mail Manual provide full explanations on USPS regulations of prohibited and restricted items.
Foreign Country Regulations
Foreign countries also have their own prohibitions and restrictions regulating the shipping and receipt of certain items. When shipping to APO/FPO/DPO locations in foreign countries, USPS treats the mail as domestic mail, but shipping is still subject to those foreign countries’ prohibitions and restrictions. Be aware that size and weight standards may differ from USPS standards. Review the country-specific information for more information on the destination country’s prohibitions and restrictions.
All USPS customers are responsible for:
- Reviewing USPS Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, & Perishable Mail and the International Mail Manual to find out if your item is mailable, and reviewing the Individual Country Listings page to discover if the destination country permits its receipt.
- Complying with Postal Service™ regulations, U.S. related laws and regulations, and the laws of your destination country.
- Packing your package securely and marking it as required.
Internationally Prohibited Items
These items may not be sent from the United States to any country:
- Air Bags
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Dry Ice
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
- Nail Polish
- Perfumes (containing alcohol)
USPS® is the only shipping company that ships cremated remains (human or pet ashes). You may ship cremated remains internationally (if the destination country permits) but must use Priority Mail Express International® and the appropriate customs form. You are required to use a properly sealed funeral urn as the inner primary container. For the outer shipping package, you must use one of our two Cremated Remains Kits or use your own strong, durable container properly packaged and labeled with Cremated Remains Label 139 on all four sides of the box, plus top and bottom. Order free cremated remains shipping supplies on The Postal Store®.
Only licensed manufacturers and dealers may mail or receive handguns. Many countries have distinct domestic laws impacting the shipping and receipt of firearms.
Only lithium cells and batteries that are properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate may be mailed internationally or to APO/FPO/DPO locations if the destination country and APO/FPO/DPO permit their receipt.
Prohibited Lithium Battery Shipments
- Lithium batteries packed with, but not installed in, equipment
- Lithium batteries sent separately from equipment
- Damaged or recalled batteries
Except in limited circumstances, pets and warm-blooded animals may not go in the mail. Shipments of live animals, including poultry, reptiles, and bees, have very specific packaging requirements. Although you can drop these animals at any Post Office™ location, they are only shipped when the right transportation is available.
Safety matches have treated match heads that will only ignite when struck against a specially prepared surface like a match book, card, or box. Safety matches must be sent via ground transportation and cannot be mailed internationally.
Strike-anywhere matches will light from friction against any surface. Strike-anywhere matches may not be mailed domestically.
When sending medicine or drugs through the mail, mailers and shippers must know the characteristics of the items they are sending and treat them correctly. Medicines are controlled substances and are subject to strict regulations. Prescription medications may only be mailed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered distributors. Similar regulations apply to some over-the-counter medications.
Flammable or combustible paint and paint-related items may not be shipped internationally. Latex Paint or a similar water-based paint product that is not flammable or combustible is not regulated as a hazardous material, and therefore, is not restricted.
Perishable items are materials that can deteriorate in the mail, such as live animals, food, and plants. Permissible perishable items are sent at the mailer’s own risk. These items must be specially packaged and mailed so that they arrive before they begin to deteriorate.