So, you've got your item in front of you, but you don't know if you can send it. You've asked your mate, who shrugged in reply, you googled on your phone, and now you have more questions than you had before. But, don't fear, you are have come to the right place!
At Interparcel, we have a complete list of Prohibited & Restricted items that you can filter by destination and courier. Our detailed list tells you exactly what you can and can't ship with us.
First things first, let's clarify what we mean by prohibited and restricted items:
Prohibited items: Items that are strictly banned from shipment and must not be transported through our services
Restricted items: Items that can be sent through select services but at your own risk. These items are deemed unsuitable for shipment and will not be covered for loss with our transit cover and may result in surcharges, delays or confiscation by authorities where appropriate.
Here is our handy video with some great examples:
It is also important to check the destination country's laws and regulations. We do our best to keep the list up to date, but if you are sending a parcel abroad it is best to check that the country will accept goods of that nature before booking.
However, some of these items can be sent safely if they are packaged properly, sent via a specific courier, under a particular value or prepped beforehand. Here are some common items we are asked about:
Yes, if you choose a suitable courier.
Has the bike you bought in lockdown not seen daylight in the last few months? It might be time to sell it on eBay.
Although the post office won't accept your bike, we will! Depending on the size of your bike box, courier partners such as Tuffnells, Evri Light & Large (formerly Hermes), and Parcelforce Large will be happy to send your bicycle through their trusted services.
The best thing to use is a specially designed bike shipping box, as this will be large enough to fit your bike and offer some protection against knocks and bumps in transit. Grab some bubble wrap, packing peanuts or screwed up newspaper as internal packaging and some parcel tape to secure your box.
Yes, if it is encased in cardboard.
With the nights drawing in and the knitted jumpers coming out, we all want to get away to sunnier shores or have a staycation in the UK. However, how do you prepare your suitcase for shipping with all the extra luggage to bring (thank you online sales!)?
Unless encased in cardboard, suitcases are a prohibited item and cannot be sent via our services. Like any other parcel, suitcases must be fully packaged in a robust and double-walled cardboard box to avoid potential damage and surcharges by the courier. We also advise you to wrap the wheels and handle underneath the cardboard in protective film to minimise scratches and damage for added protection during transit.
Yes, but only with APC Liquid or Parcelforce
Please note with Parcelforce:
- Alcoholic beverages CANNOT exceed 70% alcohol by volume (ABV)
- Alcohol that ranges between 24-70% (e.g. gin, rum, vodka) CANNOT be collected within the UK or sent internationally but you CAN send via Parcelforce Drop off services
- Alcohol that ranges between 0%-24% (e.g. wine, beer, champagne or prosecco) CAN be sent domestically in the UK (hurrah!)
Yes, but it must be in a hard, protective case within a cardboard box
Nothing beats a hard flight case for your guitar when sending via courier, as it provides a vital layer of protection for your instrument when in transit. Make sure your guitar fits snuggly inside and is nicely cushioned so it won't be knocked around. When choosing an outer packaging for the encased guitar we recommend you use a strong cardboard box.
Before you pop the guitar inside the case, it's a good idea to de-string the guitar or slack the strings, so they won't snap during the process of sending. Use bubble wrap or paper padding around any fragile areas to give extra protection.
Yes, if it is flat-packed.
Parents all over rejoice- prams and pushchairs can be shipped through our services! To protect your pram, you'll need to fold it down to its smallest and flattest form, making sure any detachable parts and pieces are secure. It would be best to wrap it all up in bubble wrap, so it has at least 5cm of padding to protect it.
If there are any completely detachable parts that come away from the main frame, take them apart and wrap them individually in bubble-wrap. Ensure that all of these parts are wrapped up snuggly, placed inside an outer cardboard box, and secured with packing tape.
Yes, if they are under £250 in value.
For all you magpies out there, you can still buy and sell your jewellery online, such as on eBay and Etsy, as long as it is under £250. Jewellery or watches valued over £250 will not be valid for transit cover and other guarantees- this includes any items made from gold, silver, and precious stones worth over £250. They are not covered because designer or precious material jewellery can often lead to excessive claims and is at higher risk of being lost or damaged.
Yes, but ensure you wrap it in extra protection.
For the not so fish-friendly, you may be surprised to know that the fishing industry is big business! With the price of rods ranging from £20 to over £5,000 and lengths of up to 14 feet, it will come as no surprise that fishing rods can present a challenge to send!
We don't want to carp on, but fishing rods, being long and thin, are fragile and risk snapping. It is important that you safely package it using bubble wrap, polystyrene, and packing tape. If the rod came in a tube or case, you'd still need to place this inside an outer cardboard box or tube before sending it.
Yes, but it must be flushed through.
Fortunately, with our wide range of couriers like Tuffnells who specialise in large and heavy packages, Interparcel can accommodate sending car parts and spares.
Car engines must be completely drained of all liquid and professionally cleaned before shipping. This is to ensure no hazardous fluid leaks when in transit. Once this has been done you will need to request a pallet when booking with us to successfully transport the engine for shipping. For expensive items such as these, it's worth extending your Transit cover so you can ensure the total cost of your package is covered against loss or damage along the way.
Tyres must also be placed inside a strong cardboard box. Although this is a pretty hardy item, you'll still need to pad the inside of the box for some extra cushioning and place each tyre in a separate box.
What if my item is not listed on the Prohibited & Restricted list?
If the item you wish to send is not on the list, this usually means it is suitable for shipping. Just ensure that you thoroughly check both the Prohibited and Restricted items sections.
Keep in mind that some more generic phrases are often used to detail a variety of products. For example, the term 'jewellery' can include necklaces, bracelets, rings, cufflinks etc., so make sure you carefully check. Of course, if you are still unsure, our friendly parcel experts are always here to help, just a phone call away!
How do I know where my item is during the shipping process?
With every parcel you send, but particularly with a high-value item, you'll be keen to know it arrives safely to its destination! During the booking process, choose how you want to be notified of your parcel's whereabouts via email or text message.
You can also visit our Tracking Page and enter your 12 digit tracking number to check the progress of your delivery.
Package, book, send!
If you're still unsure how or if you can send your item, please do get in touch with us! Our customer service team is available 8 am - 8 pm Monday to Friday and 9-1 pm at weekends. Our team has all the information you need on all the couriers and services to help you decide the best service to book quickly.