International shipping restrictions can be complicated. The rules vary by country, although some things are universally prohibited. Individuals moving their own personal belongings face different, and generally less restrictive, international shipping regulations than companies shipping goods around the world. Rules for individuals tend to operate on the assumption that your items are for your own use or personal gifts, whereas those for companies also consider trade regulations. For example, you can certainly pack your own clothing and ship it to the USA but a company exporting clothing from Ireland to sell in the USA must pay some very steep tariffs.
Part of the complexity is down to who regulates international shipping. There is not one organisation that determines all shipping rules. No one list covers all prohibited items to ship internationally.
Each country has their own regulations about what can be imported or exported. However, some dangerous items are banned or strictly regulated by all countries and some shippers will not handle certain dangerous substances or items, such as weapons, explosives or flammable substances including some cleaning products and cosmetics.
Can You Ship Over the Counter Medications Internationally?
It’s one thing to have to replace things like household cleaners, nail polish remover, paints and the like because they can’t be shipped safely, but what about the over the counter medications you use? Can you ship vitamins internationally? What about herbal remedies? If you’ve moved overseas, you will find that some familiar items from the chemist or health food shop simply don’t exist in your new home.
It’s tempting to ship a large quantity to ensure you have what you want, but be careful. You could be violating the law. Because regulations about over the counter medicines, herbal remedies and even vitamins are different in different places, it is best to check with the authorities in your destination country before you ship any type of medication or remedy – even basics such as children’s fever remedies, teething aids, headache tablets or antiseptic ointment. Peru, for example, forbids shipping even vitamins into the country.
Understanding International Shipping Regulations for Individuals
If you are relocating internationally and want to bring over the counter medications, liquid cosmetics, perfume, herbal remedies, cleaning products, etc., the best thing to do is to contact the nearest embassy and ask them for guidance.
Some of the international shipping restrictions out there are truly surprising. Kinder Eggs are illegal in the USA because regulations there deem them a choking hazard. Other countries ban certain types of publications, particularly political ones although some also ban fashion magazines. Restrictions on food and agricultural items extend from cooking spices to pencils in some places.
International shipping regulations can be extremely confusing. Spratt Personal Shipping has decades of experience shipping to every corner of the world. We’re happy to help you understand how these regulations affect you. Why not contact us today with your questions?