Items to Avoid In Domestic Or International Courier Delivery

While international package and courier delivery services are very versatile and convenient in terms of what you can ship, there are certain items that simply don’t belong in packages. Whether you’re sending items into Australia or another country, it’s important to be wary of the local laws that may outright prohibit certain items from being shipped.

This article will go through a few of the most widely prohibited items, all of which have good reason to be avoided! If you are looking to send your items and wondering if your goods are okay to send nationally or overseas, this article will help guide you.

If you have any doubts regarding the shipping of your consignments, then take into account the following questions first:

  1. What to know before sending items using courier delivery?

  2. Are your products ready to send?

  3. What are the prohibited objects to send in a courier delivery?

  4. What happens to the avoided items?


What to know before you send your items using Courier Delivery?

Before sending your documents or products, there are some points to take into account to make your Courier delivery experience smooth and comfortable. You need to be aware of the following before sending your items:

  • First, check whether your article is prohibited or restricted. The product you are planning to send may look free from hazards at first glance, yet may still be barred. You can follow the dangerous goods guidelines to ensure that your products are harmless and ready to send.
  • If you are planning to send your parcel out of Australia, make sure that the Customs department of the destination country will also accept your shipped items, as restricted items vary between countries. You will also need to check the recipient country’s customs regulations for a list of their restricted shipping items.


Are your products ready to send?

How do you know that your product is fully prepared to deliver?

No matter how excellent a service a courier provides, if your product is not ready to send, you will encounter problems like damage or spoiling of the product.

While preparing your parcel to ship, be sure that you do the following three things:

  • Clean your products thoroughly, especially if you are planning to mail products like footwear, or sporting or fishing equipment. Make sure that your product is dry and free from soil, seeds or plants.
  • Particularly for fragile items, you should pack your products carefully to avoid the risk of damage or wastage. Also, pack your goods with new boxes to ensure that they do not carry any harmful materials.
  • When cleaning and packing are done, fill out the declaration label carefully, including detailed information of the items inside your parcel.


What are the prohibited objects to send in a courier delivery?

Wondering if your items can be mailed from Australia or not? Let’s know the prohibited objects to send in domestic and international courier delivery:

Live animals and animal products

The shipping of a live animal is usually avoided by courier services, although there are exceptions: by following some rigid conditions designed for handling biosecurity risks, you can import pets such as cats or dogs.
Commonly, the following live animal and animal by-products are avoided for courier delivery:

  • Cats and dogs
  • Pet birds, horses, rabbits, laboratory animals, reproductive animals
  • Unique or exotic pets (Turtles, snakes, lizards, live coral etc.)
  • Animal horns, teeth or bones etc.

Certain insects such as bees, silkworms and leeches are exempted from this list.

Food items

You cannot send any food items that are perishable or can be damaged during transport.
Listed below are the food items that are classified as prohibited for courier delivery:
Meat and meat products (all canned meat including fresh, dried, frozen or cooked, smoked etc.)

  • Dairy, eggs and egg products (cheese, milk, butter, packaged meals, etc.)
  • Fresh and dried fruit and vegetables
  • Plants and soil (plants containing bulbs, roots, flowers, stems, gift ornaments containing soil or sand etc.)
  • Seeds and nuts (raw nuts, raw coffee beans, vegetable and flower seeds etc.)
  • Plant materials (dried herbs or leaves etc.)

Counterfeits goods

Any forgery product that carries a significant risk to health and safety are also avoided for shipping. The following items are identified as counterfeits products:

  • Counterfeit sporting equipment
  • Fake electronics containing hazardous components
  • Unregulated pharmaceuticals and cosmetics that are produced under unhygienic conditions

Prohibited medicinal drugs

The following medicinal drugs are classified as banned medicinal drugs, as they contain harmful substances.

  • Antibiotics
  • Drug and narcotics
  • Tobacco
  • Therapeutic drugs
  • Substances of human or animal origin
  • Prescription medicines

You can import or export these medicinal drugs with a special permit from the Office of Drug Control.

Ivory and ivory by-products

You can buy and sell ivory products within Australia, but there is a ban on importing from other countries. Concern with the excessive poaching of elephants and rhinoceroses in other parts of the world has led to Australia banning imports of ivory goods.

Dangerous goods

For domestic and international courier delivery, these are the products that contain harmful substances and are known as dangerous goods. They are classified into nine categories. Some of these goods are as follows:

  • Aerosols
  • Chemicals
  • Cleaning compounds
  • Flammable and toxic products (fuels, engine oils, gasoline, alcohol, coal gas etc.)
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Radium
  • Corrosive cleaning liquids
  • Paint or varnish removers


The following list is comprised of valuable items for local and international shipping. The acceptance of these goods varies between countries. While sending items to other areas, be sure to inform yourself about these restricted items:

  • Banknotes and coins
  • Bullion
  • Keys
  • Jewels and precious stones
  • Travellers’ cheques
  • Sculptures
  • Passport and National ID cards

Other Prohibited Items

This list contains other prohibited items that are commonly avoided by logistics service providers:

  • Natural heritage items (e.g., archaeological and anthropological objects; works of art, books and documents, biological materials, fossils, etc.)
  • First aid kits
  • Untreated furs and skins
  • Weapons
  • Magnets or magnetic materials


So, what happens to these products when they are discovered?

Following its rules and procedures, the courier service generally follows this series of activities.

  • The courier service may take the avoided items out of the package and continue the delivery process or send the goods back to the sender.
  • If any illegal items are found in the parcel, the courier service will report to the police, the courier may send the item back to the sender’s location or they dispose of the items.


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