Most of the time, when you have items to ship through a courier it will be more standard goods; items such as DVDs, CDs, books, toys and electronic goods. However there are other items that can be slightly more problematic when it comes to finding a courier to ship them.

Even more so, whilst it might not be a regular occurrence in your particular company there are some circumstances that you may find yourself in when you need to send out prohibited goods either within the UK or overseas.

The first thing to know is what goods count as a prohibited items? The definition is that these are any goods or items that deemed either illegal or unsafe to transport or import into a country.

However, it should be remembered that this is a broad definition and in fact the list of items that are deemed illegal or unsafe can vary between countries and also even within couriers themselves.

As a guide here are some examples of the type of items that you may find on a prohibited list and can see issues shipping; animal skins, aerosols, explosives, live animals, knives and weapons, passports, plants and even money.

Despite there being some similarities on the lists of prohibited items across couriers, the first port of call will be to check with your own courier of choice to ensure that they are able to transport and ship your items for you. If they say that they are unable to then you may still be able to find an alternative that can legally and safely carry them.

Once you have found your courier then you will also need to check the import regulations set out by the country that you are shipping to, as this is often another pitfall that you may come across during the transportation of the item.

The importance of checking this information is further highlighted by the fact that it is the sole responsibility of the sender to ensure that the shipment complies with all of the regulations, both those set out by the courier as well as those that are set out by the destination country’s own government.

Failure to check this information before you ship may result in your item being held or possibly even destroyed with no reimbursement being made to you for your loss. Now, that time spent checking doesn’t seem quite so consuming does it?

Just like any other aspect of running a successful and legitimate business, keeping within the regulations and guidelines is the sure fire way to ensure that you are not only trouble free, but also minimise the impact of you losing money or goods that can otherwise have a cost impact on your business.

When it comes to prohibited goods, the motto should be, stay safe and stay legal!

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