A Guide to what can and cannot be Mailed
If you're a business customer, please visit royalmail.com/prohibitedgoods/business for information on what you can and cannot send in the mail via Royal Mail.
How to Post Correctly
Royal Mail restrict or prohibit certain items from our network to comply with national and international regulations.
Royal Mail wants to ensure mail is safe for everyone. Many everyday items, such as aerosols, nail varnish and perfumes are considered dangerous goods under transport legislation. You are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited or restricted.
If you're sending your item at the Post Office, you may be asked at the counter what the contents of your parcel are to make sure the items are safe to post.
For a brief overview download our prohibitions and restrictions leaflet.
If you're posting items overseas other postal administrations may have different prohibitions, see our Country Guides.
In addition, a number of countries and international organisations, including the United Kingdom and the European Union, impose certain restrictions, also known as sanctions, on what you can send to certain individuals, organisations or countries.
If you send prohibited goods or restricted goods (and you do not comply with the relevant terms and conditions), we may deal with your items as we see fit, including but not limited to, disposing of the parcels concerned (in whole or in part). Please note consequential loss cover is not available when posting any restricted items.
The comprehensive A-Z list below gives you detailed information about the things you cannot post with us, or where restrictions are in place and covers all our UK mail and International mail services.
Products bearing consumer warning symbols ARE dangerous goods and are prohibited unless specifically permitted below.
- Ammunition (excluding lead pellets and other airgun and airsoft projectiles)
- Balance Boards (including Hoverboards, electric scooters, electric bicycles and all battery powered vehicles and equipment (UN3171))
- Balloons filled with non-flammable gases
- Batteries not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power
- Biological substances (Category B) (diagnostic specimens including urine, faeces, livestock and equine semen collection and animal remains)
- Christmas crackers
- Clinical and medical waste (e.g. contaminated dressings, bandages and needles)
- Controlled drugs and narcotics (such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate)
- Corrosives (including aluminium chloride, caustic soda, corrosive cleaning fluid, dyes, acids, corrosive paint and rust removers, mercury and gallium metal)
- Counterfeit currency, bank notes and postage stamps (except copies of old denominations, which are now obsolete and worthless except for collectible value and cannot be passed as tender)
- DNA samples (limited to saliva swabs and samples)
- Dry ice and liquid Nitrogen (For example Dry ice and liquid Nitrogen UN1845 when used as a coolant for UN3373 or for other perishable items.)
- Electronic cigarettes
- Electronic devices sent with or connected to lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc).
- Environmentally hazardous substances
- Environmental waste (including used batteries and used engine oil)
- Explosives (including fireworks, flares, blasting caps, party poppers, Cracker snaps)
- Flammable liquids (including petroleum, lighter fluid, certain adhesives, solvent-based paints, wood varnish, enamels, acetone and all nail varnish removers also see; Alcoholic beverages, Perfumes and aftershaves and Nail varnish)
- Flammable solids (including magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc powder, sparklers and fire lighters)
- Frozen water (including packs of ice)
- Gases, including flammable, non-flammable, toxic and compressed gases (including new, used and empty gas cylinders, ethane, butane, refills for lighters, fire extinguishers and scuba tanks, life jackets, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide canisters including culinary foaming devices & soda stream)
- Goods made in foreign prisons (except those imported for a non-commercial purpose, of a kind not manufactured in the UK, or those in transit)
- Guns for sporting use
- Human or animal ashes
- Infectious substances and pathogens (UN2814 or UN2900)
- Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas (including used butane, petrol cigar and cigarette lighters)
- Lighters - empty, new or unused
- Liquids not classified as dangerous goods
- Live creatures, insects and invertebrates
- Lottery tickets
- Magnetised material
- Matches (including safety matches and windproof matches)
- Nail varnish, polish or gel (solvent and water-based)
- Obscene publications and unlawful indecent images
- Oxidising materials or organic peroxides (including disinfectants, nitrates and hair dyes or colourants containing peroxide)
- Paints, wood varnishes and enamels
- Patient Specimens
- Perfumes and aftershaves (including: Reed diffusers; body sprays; room fragrance sprays (non-Aerosols only); essential oils; eau de parfum and eau de toilette but excluding non-flammable perfumed creams, gels oils or lotions)
- Perishable items (including flowers, fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen or chilled foodstuffs)
- Pesticides (e.g. weed killer and any chemical used to kill pests and insects including fly sprays)
- Poisons, toxic liquids, solids and gases (including substances that are liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled or by skin contact, including arsenic, cyanide, fluorine, rat poison)
- Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes
- Radioactive materials and samples
- Sharp objects (including knives, kitchen utensils and gardening tools)
- Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries
- Waste, dirt, filth or refuse (including household waste)
- Weapons (including Section 5 firearms, CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives and other knives that are banned under UK laws, tasers and stun guns)