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Prohibited Items


Prohibited items are based on our preferred courier list of items they will not courier under EU & UK legislation.

Any queries regarding possible prohibited items can be directed to


Total prohibitions - UK , import, export and transit

Dangerous goods are defined as those goods which meet the criteria of 1 or more of 9 UN hazard classes. These classes relate to the type of hazard and are detailed below.

All dangerous goods are prohibited goods.

Class 1 - Explosives

Any chemical compound, mixture or device capable of producing an explosive-pyrotechnic effect, with substantial instantaneous release of heat and gas. All explosives are prohibited. Examples: Ammunition, Blasting caps, Christmas cracker snaps, Fireworks, Flares, Fuses, Igniters, Nitro-glycerine etc.

Class 2 - Gases compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure

Permanent gases, which cannot be liquefied at ambient temperatures; liquefied gases, which can become liquid under pressure at ambient temperatures; dissolved gases, which are dissolved under pressure in a solvent.
  1. All flammable compressed gases are prohibited.Examples: Blowlamps, Butane, Cigarette lighters, Ethane, Gas cylinders for camping stoves, Hydrogen, Methane, Propane etc.
  2. All toxic compressed gases are prohibited.Examples: Chlorine, Fluorine etc.
  3. All non-flammable compressed gases are prohibited,Examples: Carbon dioxide, Neon, Nitrogen, Fire extinguishers containing such gases etc.
  4. All aerosols are prohibited.

Class 3 - Flammable liquids

Liquids, mixtures of liquids, or liquids containing solids in solution or suspension which give off a flammable vapour. Any liquid with a closed cup flash point below 60.5°C is prohibited.
Examples: Acetone, Benzene, Cleaning compounds, Gasoline, Lighter fuel, Paint thinners and removers, Petroleum, Solvents etc.

Class 4 - Flammable Solids

Substances liable to spontaneous combustion. Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases. Solid materials which are liable to cause fire by friction, absorption of water, spontaneous chemical changes, or retained heat from manufacturing or processing, or which can be readily ignited and burn vigorously. Examples: Calcium carbide, Cellulose nitrate products, Matches (any type including safety), Metallic magnesium, Nitro-cellulose based film, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Sodium hydride, Zinc powder, Zirconium hydride etc.

Class 5 - Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

Though not necessarily combustible themselves, these substances may cause or contribute to combustion of other substances. They may also be liable to explosive decomposition, react dangerously with other substances, and be injurious to health. All oxidizing substances and organic peroxides are prohibited.
Examples: Bromates, Chlorates, Components of fibreglass repair kits, Nitrates, Perchlorates, Permanganates, Peroxides etc.

Class 6 - Toxic and infectious substances

Substances liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled, or by skin contact. All toxic substances are prohibited.
Examples: Arsenic, Beryllium, Cyanide, Fluorine, Hydrogen Solenoid, Infectious substance containing micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or suspected to cause disease, Mercury, Mercury salts, Mustard gas, Nitrobenzene, Nitrogen dioxide, Pesticides, Poisons, Rat poison. Pathogens in Risk Groups 4, and selected Risk Group 3 pathogens listed in Schedule 9, part 5 of the latest edition of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations are prohibited.
Examples: Ebola, Foot and mouth disease, Environmental, clinical and medical waste.

Class 7 - Radioactive material

All material and samples that are classified as radioactive using Table 2-12 of latest edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's Technical Instructions are prohibited.
Examples: Fissile material (Uranium 235, etc), Radioactive waste material, Thorium or Uranium ores, etc.

Class 8 - Corrosives

Substances which can cause severe damage by chemical action to living tissue, other freight, or the means of transport. All corrosive substances are prohibited.
Examples: Aluminium chloride, Caustic soda, Corrosive cleaning fluid, Corrosive rust remover/preventative, Corrosive paint remover, Electric storage batteries, Hydrochloric acid, Nitric acid, Sulphuric acid etc.

Class 9 - Miscellaneous dangerous goods

Substances which present dangers not covered elsewhere.
Examples: Asbestos, Dry ice (solid carbon dioxide), Magnetised material with a magnetic field strength of 0.159 A/m or more at a distance of 2.1m from the outside of the package.


All types of ammunition are prohibited from being sent using any of our services. Further information about UK firearms law can be obtained from the Home Office.Tel: 020 7035 4848Email:


Controlled drugs may not be sent by any Parcelforce Worldwide service. 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. Examples: Cocaine, Cannabis resin, LSD, Narcotics, Morphine, Opium, Psychotropic substances etc.

Foul or disgusting material is prohibited.

Human and animal remains
Human and animal remains (including ashes) are prohibited.

Indecent, obscene or offensive articles
Indecent, obscene or offensive communications, prints, photographs, books or other articles, and packets bearing grossly offensive, indecent or obscene words, 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.

Lottery tickets
Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries are prohibited.

Miscellaneous manufactured articles
Goods made in foreign prisons, except those imported for a non-commercial purpose of a kind not manufactured in the United Kingdom , or those in transit.


Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic content should not be greater than 70%. Alcohol that will result in excise duty cannot be sent on the globalexpress service and to certain destinations on the globalpriority and globalvalue services.

These articles may only be posted in their retail packaging, still sealed and in good condition.

Christmas crackers
May only be posted in complete made-up form and in their retail packaging.

Counterfeit currency and postage stamps
Postage stamps are prohibited unless franked or no longer usable for postage purposes. Counterfeit currency is prohibited

Diagnostic specimens
All diagnostic specimens must be posted in packaging that complies with Packing Instructions 650. The total sample volume/mass in any package shall not exceed 50ml/g. Diagnostic specimens are only permitted for destinations within the United Kingdom.

Infectious substances
Infectious substances assigned to Category A are prohibited.

International export licences and international packaging
Items requiring special licence or permit for transportation, importation or exportation; or consignments with a declared value for customs in excess of that permitted for the particular destination should not be sent on any international service. Please note: Any items that are wet, leaking or emit an odour of any kind cannot be sent on any of our services.

Living creatures
No living creatures will be handled by Parcel Flow.

Misleading endorsements
Parcels must not bear words, marks or designs which are unauthorised and which may reasonably lead the recipient to believe that the packet has been sent On Her Majesty's Service.

Perishable articles and foodstuffs
Fresh fruit, meat, fish and other perishable articles should be able to withstand a journey of up to 2 days and must be sent by guaranteed next day service as a minimum requirement within the UK . Packages must be clearly labelled "PERISHABLE".Packages of fish should be smoked or chilled, and sealed in vacuum packs before consignment. In all cases they must be enclosed in adequate polystyrene containment to prevent contamination. It is the responsibility of the shipper to package all perishable articles in such a manner that during transport within the system the contents are kept at an appropriate temperature that is unlikely to give rise to a risk to health. It is prohibited to export any foodstuffs, whether perishable or not, to certain destinations on our courier service list. Please email us in advance, at

Prescription drugs
Prescription drugs sent for medical or scientific purposes, for example from a medical practitioner to a hospital, must contain the address of the sender in case of non-delivery, so that they may be returned without delay. The properties of these drugs, should not meet any of the criteria of the 9 UN hazard classes when classified by the sender. Drugs in prescription quantities may be sent by private individuals in the case of emergencies. In all cases, the sender's address must be included on the inside of the package.

Sharp objects
These items may only be posted if they are packaged appropriately so that they do not present a risk to employees, other packages or recipients.

Financial documents
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, scrips, or subscription certificates, bonds or relative coupons, unfranked postage or revenue stamps, (except a revenue stamp embossed or impressed on an instrument which has been executed); 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; national insurance stamps; all tickets, including travel and events.

Works of art
Works of art cannot be exported to certain destinations on the our courier services list. Works of art are excluded from compensation for loss and damage with most couriers although they can be sent.

We do not forward life plants.

Parcel Flows priority is always to find the best suitable shipping option for ALL its customers. We have established very close relations to a select number of courier companies who provide best value for money to our members.

Transit times reflect YOUR shipping option, and will reflect in cost.

Service Transit Time
Parcel Flow Air Express 2 Days
Parcel Flow Europe by road 3-4 Days
Parcelforce Priority International 2 Days.
DHL Air Express 1 Days.
DHL Road Express 2 Days.

Note: Parcel Flow provides same day turn around on all parcels arriving at our depot. We pride ourselves in processing and forwarding parcels as quickly and efficiently as possible.