Prohibited items for international moves
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What things are banned from shipping overseas?

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Asked by Cindy

December 14, 2012 under International Moving

Im going to be moving overseas and shipping my belongings, but Im not sure what things Im allowed to ship and what things are prohibited. I dont want anything to be confiscated and I dont want the moving process to be held up or delayed because I shipped something I shouldnt have, so what kind of things should I avoid shipping?

Answered by Robert Moreschi

December 14, 2012
When you're shipping your belongings overseas, it's helpful to think of your shipment as your luggage that would carry with you when you are going through the security checkpoint at an airport for an international flight. If you think about the kinds of things that are typically prohibited from being carried onto an airplane, then you'll have a generally good idea of what is prohibited from being shipped overseas.

Of course there are differences, and there are always a few exceptions, however for the most part, the items that are normally banned from being shipped overseas are items that can potentially be harmful or illegal.

Every moving company has its regulations, and of course customs regulations are different in each country, but the list of prohibited items tends to stay relatively the same no matter where you are.

Here is a list of the most commonly prohibited items:
- Firearms (assembled or disassembled)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Poisonous animals
- Animal-fighting paraphernalia
- Anything emitting a foul or noxious odor
- Weapons (knives, swords, bows, etc.)
- Controlled substances (drugs)
- Hazardous materials (explosives, flammable liquids, poisonous substances,combustiblematerials, 
   infectious   substances, hazardous waste, etc.)

To make sure that you are not shipping anything that is banned from shipment or is potentially hazardous or even illegal, carefully go through each item on your moving inventory, and always check with the company who will be handling your overseas shipment if you have any doubts about any of your belongings in question. This will help avoid any potential headaches down the road with customs and the country you are going to be moving to.

There are a lot of different intangibles to consider when you move overseas, so it helps to learn as much as you can beforehand. You can do that by visiting and taking a look at our moving guides section with helpful moving resources that will answer any question you have about your upcoming relocation.
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