International Shipping Restrictions – A Practical Guide

Are you involved in international trade? Maybe you are moving overseas? Or are you just trying to ship a package to your friend in a foreign country? Surely you will be interested to learn about international shipping restrictions. If that is the case, before your package gets lost or you get in some kind of trouble, learn what you can about international shipping. What you can and what you cannot send overseas. There are items that could travel by ship. But you cannot send it by plane. Or there will be packaging requirements that you will have to meet if you want your package to go through customs. All of this can be very complicated, especially if you have no prior experience in shipping. So maybe it would be best to hire Easy Move Kuwait to help you. We will handle everything for you.

If international shipping restrictions confuse you, hire a professional company to handle everything for you

International shipping is a very complicated game. If you are involved in it professionally and earning your money that way, then there is no excuse for you not to learn everything about it. On the other hand, maybe you are moving. And this is just a one-time deal for you. In that case, spending time learning about such a complicated business can be hard. There are so many different laws and regulations. Different for each country. So it can be hard even for an international shipping Kuwait company with plenty of experience to really track everything.

Man reading a book
There are many things to learn in this business.

If you are just shipping one package, book the customs clearance service Kuwait companies provide. They will help you with all the paperwork. But they will also help you with packing. So all you have to do is to give them your items, and you can consider that your goods will be packed securely. Moreover, they will arrive in the shortest time possible.

If working in the worldwide trade industry, learn everything there is about international shipping restrictions

If you are involved in the import and export business, knowing what you can and cannot ship is a must. Therefore, you cannot make deals, invest money, and gamble with your business, not knowing what can or cannot go through customs clearance. Of course, laws regarding international shipping differ from country to country. So you cannot have complete knowledge as logistic companies do. However, there are items that are on almost every country’s prohibited lists. Here is the short list of items that you cannot ship overseas:

Items that are not allowed in international shipping

Medical items

  • Prescription drugs, including dental & veterinary medications
  • Prescription medical machines and tools
  • Medicinal devices that are not approved by FDA
  • Prohormones and Human Growth Hormones
  • Stem cell treatments and steroids or synthetic versions
  • Human remains
  • Live or dead animals or insects
  • Items that do not have labels in English. Also, items that are not FDA approved. Like Non-prescription medications and also dietary supplements

    International shipping restrictions COVID mask
    Due to the recent COVID pandemic, international shipping restrictions have become even tighter.

Food and cosmetic products

  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Any food, supplement, drug or cosmetic that is under a Consumer Safety Advisory Warning
  • All kinds of perishable food products
  • Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
  • Agricultural products involving certain seeds, live and dead plants. But also incomplete or untreated wood and soil
  • Sturgeon or Beluga caviar
  • Items containing animal products controlled under the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, or requiring a permit under CITES

Toxic substances

  • Lab reagents, biologics, and cultures. But also similar medical specimens
  • Poisonous substances of all kinds
  • Toxic substances and other inhalation hazardous elements
  • Infectious substances
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • Radioactive elements or products
Warning sign
There are many restricted items.


  • Explosives
  • Fireworks
  • Gun powder
  • Firearms, guns, and accessories. But also weapon replicas
  • BB, pellet, airsoft, paintball guns, parts, and their projectiles
  • Ammunition, magazines, and bayonets
  • Stun guns and teasers
  • Tear gas, mace and pepper sprays
  • Gas masks and gas mask filters
  • Law enforcement strikes weapons. Also, sap, batons, and clubs
  • Handcuffs of any material
  • Plastic zip-tie restraints
  • Straitjackets
  • Body armor, helmets or personal defense objects. Also, objects with Kevlar or ballistic assessments
  • Military, tactical and police shields
  • Government, police or military uniforms, IDs and Badges (genuine or replica)
  • Army training gear
  • Military and/or dual-use flight helmets and aeronautical jumpsuits
  • Army and law enforcement equipment
  • Thermal imaging, Infrared or other night vision gadgets
  • Riflescopes, laser pointing. Also, aiming devices for weapons


  • Flares
  • Matches
  • Gasoline
  • Diesel or other fuels
  • Fuel for lighters
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Lithium batteries
  • Oxidizing agents

Nature and animal commodities

  • Skin or leather of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, stingrays, but also other reptiles and amphibians
  • Skin, fur or leather of nearly all animals, but especially wolves, bears, elephants, rhinos and certain deer and foxes
  • Brazilian rosewood
  • Corals


  • Lottery tickets
  • Gambling devices & accessories
  • Counterfeit products
  • Self-propelled vehicles
  • Lock picking devices
  • Rough diamonds
  • Contraband or illegal substances
  • Any unidentifiable material, substance or chemical

Get to know each country’s specific shipping restrictions

Knowing each country’s specific shipping restrictions is essential for any individual or business that plans to ship goods internationally. Shipping restrictions can vary from country to country, and it is important to be aware of these restrictions to avoid issues with customs and potential fines. Failure to comply with shipping restrictions can lead to delays in shipping, damage to goods, or even seizure by customs officials. Knowing these restrictions can help ensure that items are shipped legally and safely. There are many examples around the world where a seemingly harmless substance or product is banned from international shipping. That’s why when shipping to Bahrain, you shouldn’t risk getting your shipment returned back, even if there is a high monetary value behind the shipment.

International shipping port
Each country has unique shipping restrictions and laws, so make sure to get to know them in advance.

Overseas and long-distance shipments have the highest amount of shipping restrictions

By familiarizing oneself with each country’s specific shipping restrictions, individuals and businesses can ensure that their shipments arrive at their destination safely, on time, and without issues. This knowledge can also help avoid costly mistakes and potential legal issues, making it essential to international shipping. Just imagine a potential bureaucratic nightmare if you were shipping from Kuwait to UK or some other very long distance without knowing all the regulations and customs rules.

Learning about shipping regulations could also help you maximize your profit

The list of restrictions for international shipping is quite long. However, if you do not want to keep it all in your head, you can always hire one of the international shipping companies in Kuwait to help you out. But you should be aware that their services are not always cheap. Being an expert on international shipping restrictions is no easy feat. It can oftentimes be overwhelming, as the pressure involved in this business can be quite high. That’s why using their help is, at the same time, a smart investment but still an expense. By working with a reliable logistics company, you will definitely have a high return on investment. They would save you a lot of time and money you would otherwise spend dealing with customs alone!

A person point at what is needed to have when learning about international shipping restrictions
Learn about international shipping restrictions. It can also help your business grow.

Some items need special packaging

Some items also have special packaging requirements. Especially if you will be shipping them by plane, also, those are usually items that contain batteries. So, your list will be long and packing complicated. Therefore, if you want to ensure your items arrive at their destination, hire professional packers to do it for you. Nevertheless, the packaging won’t do any good if your items are on the restriction list.

But even if an item is not on the international shipping restrictions list, it doesn’t mean you can ship it just like that. For a lot of them, there are special rules and regulations on how to pack them properly. Only when those packing requirements are met will you be able to ship the item. These items are sometimes called partially restricted. If you have a big business deal in place, learn all the requirements for packing each type of item. When shipping from Kuwait to Qatar or a similar country, these restrictions can be even more strict.