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Compliance: Prohibited vs Restricted

Some packages are more difficult to ship than others. Some packages can’t be shipped at all. This is the difference between restricted and prohibited items. The carrier and the destination of the package will determine if there are any restrictions or items that cannot be shipped. Here we’ll compare prohibited and restricted items.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited means that these items are not allowed to be shipped under any circumstances. Normally, items are on the prohibited list because they are illegal in the destination country or they present a danger to those shipping the packages. For instance, it is prohibited to ship nail polish in most places because it is flammable, which makes it dangerous to transport.

Some items are prohibited even when it seems like they should not be. This often tends to be due to regulation. Similar to illegal items, these items may be allowed in one country but not allowed to come from other countries. So while seeds are legal in the U.S. and not a danger to the shipper, they cannot be shipped from Canada to the U.S. because they are regulated in the U.S.

Chit Chats has a list of prohibited items in addition to carrier partners restrictions and U.S. customs regulations for shipments that cross the U.S. border. For example, any food items are prohibited by Chit Chats, this includes candy, chocolates, tea and gum. Our Shipment Declaration is a good reference along with our Help & Support article.

Restricted Items

Shipping restrictions apply to items that can be shipped only if they meet certain conditions. Normally this has to do with packaging or labeling. For instance, most carriers allow the transport of lithium batteries only if they are installed in another product. A lithium battery being shipped alone is typically not allowed. These types of restrictions can be applied by the destination country or by the carrier.

Carrier Restrictions

Our partner carriers also have shipping restrictions. These are in place to ensure the safety of their employees and of course to abide by all local, state or provincial, federal and international laws. These vary by carrier so it’s important to do your research as it is ultimately the shipper’s responsibility to ensure the item being sent abides by these rules. For example, shipping with our partner carrier, Asendia requires all shipments must be TSA compliant.

We’ve compiled a list of useful resources so be sure to bookmark them.

Destination Restrictions

When shipping internationally each country has its own set of prohibited and restricted items, be sure to do research ahead of time to make sure your item can enter the country you’re shipping to. This will avoid any unexpected delays or returns. USPS offers a comprehensive list detailing any restrictions by country.

Unsure if your item can be shipped? Contact our support team as we’re always happy to help. Be sure to provide a detailed description and if possible a link to your product. Our support team can help confirm if you can ship your product with us.