International shipping restrictions – a practical guide

Are you are involved in international trade? Maybe you are moving overseas? Or you are 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 an international shipping Kuwait company. They will give you the best advice and handle everything for you.

If you are not interested to learn about international shipping restrictions, hire a professional service that will handle everything for you

International shipping is a very complicated game. If you are involved in it professionally, and you are earning your money that way, then there is an 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, it can be hard to spend time learning about such a complicated business. There are so many different laws and regulations. Different for each country. So it can be hard even for experienced shippers to really track everything.

If you are just shipping one package, hire customs clearance service Kuwait. 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.

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

If you are working in the worldwide trade industry, you should learn everything there is to know about international shipping restrictions, you will need it

If you are involved in import and export business, then knowing international shipping restrictions 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 differs from country to country. So you cannot have a complete knowledge like logistic companies do. However, there are items that are on almost every country’s prohibited lists. Here is the shortlist 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

Food and cosmetic products

  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Any food, supplement, drug or cosmetic that are 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 signs
There are many restricted items so you need to be careful


  • 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 strike 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, ID’s 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
  • 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

Learning about shipping regulations could also help you maximize your profit

An international shipping restrictions list is quite long. However, if you do not want to keep it all in your head, you can always hire professional shippers to help you out. But, you should be aware that their services are not cheap. So, if you want to maximize your profit, you better start learning.

Man learning about shipping
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 is 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 make sure that your items arrive at the destination hire professional packers to do it for you. Nevertheless, the packaging won’t do any good if your items are on the international shipping restrictions list.