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International Shipping Restrictions

March 13th, 2013

Know what products are allowed into a country BEFORE you ship!

prohibited-symbol2Every country has restrictions as to what products they will allow into their borders. Often times these restrictions are based on cultural or religious beliefs for the local community.  Other times, the restrictions are enacted to protect local industry.

Each country’s list can be very complex and can change quickly based on political or public safety issues.

Make sure you know if the products you sell are on a restricted list BEFORE you start selling to a specific country.  Buyers are often unaware of their country restrictions and can purchase products from sellers who have not done the proper research.  This mistake can become costly as Customs will normally seize any restricted products — you then are out the product and shipping costs and your buyer is unhappy and could leave negative feedback.

Odd Prohibited Items from Select Countries:

Germany

Playing cards

Italy

Clocks, shoes, non-wood toys

Ireland

Straw hats

China

Used clothing

Mexico

Jewelry

Canada

Wine, pens valued over $5

Norway

Pharmaceutical products of any kind

Turkey

Cosmetic products

Peru

Used Tires

If you are a Stamps.com customer, the program makes international shipping easy with real-time restrictions on the “International” tab for all 180 countries the USPS delivers to.  Or you can get more info from the Postal Explorer.

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