Companies who ship items abroad on a regular basis need to be aware of what can and cannot be shipped internationally. Many items pose problems when it comes to the environment, while others may not travel well due to their dangerous nature. Most shipping companies who transport items from country to country have a detailed list of items they are not allowed to carry as cargo. The list may differ somewhat depending on the mode of transportation, but for the most part, the restrictions are put in place by the countries and international shipping agencies similar to the Customs Department in the United States.
A few of the most commonly restricted items include, but are not limited to the following:
- Nail polish
- Alcoholic beverages
- Dry ice
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Air bags
While most of these items may seem harmless, there are reasons behind the restrictions. Fresh fruits and vegetables for example, cannot be shipped for fear of introducing ravenous insects or rodents into areas where they may wreak havoc on the local produce. Air bags, ammunition and explosives contain volatile substances that can have disastrous results if something would trigger an explosion during transit.
Before putting together a shipment, a business should contact the international shipping company they will be using to transport the cargo and find out what types of items are restricted. If an order has been placed requiring the shipment of restricted materials, permits will have to be obtained through specific government agencies and certain tariffs, taxes and fees may have to be paid before the product can eventually be shipped. It is important to have all of the information prior to shipping and make sure all of the necessary steps have been taken or the product may be returned.