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Dec 12, 2018

Prohibited Items: What you can and can’t ship

Once upon a time, Ahmed saw a very elegant fur coat that is on sale for half the price. Her mom’s birthday is in two weeks and he bought it as a gift to her and wanting to send it back home. He is very excited because he knows that her mom will love it!

He made a booking request online and later in the day, a representative called him and informed that they will not be able to ship the fur coat as it prohibited. Ahmed ends up returning to the shop and exchanged the coat to a lovely dress so he can send it to his mom for her birthday.

Like Ahmed, you are probably not aware with such policies too. In the logistics industry, some items are considered prohibited and some are considered restricted. If you are thinking that they are the same thing, then you are wrong.

What are prohibited items?

Prohibited items are any consignment, or part of, containing items the transport, handling, import or export of which is prohibited under any applicable law, rule, convention or regulation. In layman’s term, these items are banned under the customs law or any regulation applicable in the destination.

Depending on the country of origin and destination, the list of prohibited items includes the following but are not limited to:

AnimalsLive or dead animals, insects, reptiles of any kind, animal including hair products, animal skins, meat and fur
Antiques or fine works of artObjects and items over 100 years old considered rare and of high value. Any collectible painting, sculpture or other work of Art
Negotiable CurrencyPostage stamps are prohibited unless franked or no longer usable for postage purposes.

Money – bankers drafts, current bank notes, currency notes or coins, credit cards, debit cards, uncrossed postal orders which do not state to whom they are to be paid, cheques or dividend warrants which are uncrossed and made payable to the bearer; bearer securities including share warrants, or subscription certificates, bonds or relative coupons, un-franked postage stamps, coupons, vouchers, tokens, lottery tickets, scratch cards or similar documents which can be exchanged themselves or with any other document for money, goods or services

Drugs & DerivativesCocaine, Cannabis resin, LSD, Narcotics, Morphine, Opium, Psychotropic substances, etc.
Magnetized MaterialsToner for photocopier, Asbestos, Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide), Magnetized material, etc.
ExplosivesAmmunition, Firearms (including parts), Blasting caps, Christmas cracker Explosives snaps, Party poppers, Theatrical flares, Fireworks (Skyrockets, Sparklers, Crackers), Flares, Fuses, Ignites, Nitro-glycerin, etc.
Flammable ItemsAll aerosols are prohibited (Hair Spray, Deodorant, etc.) Alcohol, Perfume, Acetone, Benzene, Kerosene, Motor fuels, Battery fluid, Gasoline, Lighter Flammable liquids fuel, Cleaning compounds (Bleach, Disinfectants, Laundry detergents, Oven cleaners, etc.), Paint thinners and removers, Petroleum, adhesive products (Glue, Silicone, etc.), Turpentine, Solvents, etc. Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides Solids

Dyes (Hair, Textile, etc.), Bromates, Chlorates, Components of fiberglass repair kits, Nitrates, Perchlorates, Permanganates, Peroxides, Fertilizers, Weed killers, Insecticides, etc.

Gambling Related ItemsLottery tickets and Gambling Devices Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries
Human RemainsHuman and animal remains, including ashes
Toxic and infectious substancesArsenic, Beryllium, Cyanide, Fluorine, Hydrogen Solenoid, Mercury, Mercury salts, Mustard gas, Nitrobenzene, Nitrogen dioxide, Pesticides, Poisons, Rat poison, Ebola, Foot and mouth disease, Environmental, clinical and medical waste
Pornography & Offensive MediaIndecent, obscene or offensive communications, prints, photographs, books or other articles, and packets bearing grossly offensive, marks or designs are prohibited.

Those discovered in transit will be stopped and handed to Customs or the Police, who may take legal action against the sender and/or recipient

Radioactive MaterialsMaterial considered radioactive with potential nuclear content and/or magnetic field potentially harmful to handle and dangerous.
CorrosiveAluminum chloride, Caustic soda, Corrosive cleaning fluid, Corrosive rust remover/preventative, Corrosive paint remover (Nail Polish), Acid (Hydrochloric acid, Nitric acid, Sulphuric acid, etc.)
MineralsFossils, stones, or stoneware, Marble or any stone derivative
ValuablesValuable goods – Precious metals and stones, jewelry and genuine pearls. Articles made largely or wholly of gold, silver or other precious metals

What are Restricted Items?
Restricted commodities are subject to approval of the authorities. They may be acceptable for transport through courier mode, if the stated condition or circumstances are complied with.

Restricted goods are allowed to enter or exit a country under certain circumstances. A written permission can help you to import or export that item.

Depending on the country of origin and destination, the list of restricted items includes the following but are not limited to:

  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Animal products
  • Foodstuff (including substances used in the preparation of food or drink)
  • Ivory
  • Liquids
  • Pharmaceutical products and samples (Blood, Urine and Tissue)
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Perfumes (Quantity not to exceed 30 ml per consignment)
  • Perishable items
  • Plants and plant products (Cotton, Seeds and Tobacco)
  • Passport to Iran will be seized by the customs.

 All restricted items can be sent on special service mode and please contact destination for more information
Custom regulations keep on changing, that’s why it is recommended to inquire directly to the country’s local office on particular items. Sometimes, it also depends on the customs official that is on-duty at the time your shipment reached to their office.

As a marketplace, we have partnered with different couriers to deliver your shipment to your preferred destination. If you have inquiries, feel free to tell us and we will consult them to enlighten you.
Now that you are aware of the prohibited and restricted items. But If you still have any concerns, you can always reach to us. You can email us at or call our hotline at 04 4043999. Any of our customer support associates will be happy to help you!

kindly check Dubai customs website for updated list

Any item that is classed as ‘high risk’ under our terms and conditions (unless we have specifically agreed in writing to carry these items and you have complied with any other conditions for the carriage of these items)

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