UPS Prohibited Items List and Shipping Restrictions 2024

International shipments with UPS: List of prohibited & restricted items

Before booking an international delivery, check what can you ship with UPS by reading the list of restricted and prohibited items below. Make sure your package follows the carrier’s and the country’s rules to avoid any unpleasant surprises.


UPS Prohibited items

The following items are prohibited for shipping by UPS in most EU countries. This list of UPS prohibited items is applicable for shipments to all countries served by this carrier.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animal skins
  • Articles of exceptional value (e.g., works of art, antiques, precious stones, gold and silver)
  • Dangerous goods/Hazardous materials (following IATA regulations for Express and Expedited, and ADR regulations for Standard)
  • Firearms
  • Furs
  • Ivory and ivory products
  • Live animals
  • Money and negotiable items
  • Perishable goods
  • Personal effects (exceptions may apply)
  • Plants
  • Pornographic materials
  • Seeds
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Unaccompanied baggage (exceptions may apply)
  • Watches exceeding the value of 500 USD (approximately 474 EUR)*
*Converted based on the following rate: 1 USD – 0,95 EUR (updated on 27/10/2023)

UPS prohibited items


UPS List of restricted items

The following list includes the items that are considered restricted by UPS in most operating countries. Please have in mind that for certain customers and locations, these items may be considered prohibited instead of restricted.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Perishable goods
  • Plants
  • Seeds
  • Tobacco and tobacco products

UPS restricted items

Disclaimer: The lists above were compiled using the current regulations on several EU countries. However, please bear in mind that the rules may differ depending on the location. We strongly advise checking the updated rules for your route directly with the carrier before shipping.

Difference between UPS prohibited and restricted items

The items considered as prohibited by UPS cannot be transported either by individuals or business customers. Items are considered prohibited based on the following criteria: not suitable/dangerous for transport, not allowed by law, or risk for other shipments. On the other hand, the list of items restricted by UPS contains commodities that can be transported under specific contracts established with customers that have regular shipping volume and the necessary certificates and approvals. Since this special contract applies only to a handful of customers, these items are included on both restricted and prohibited lists by UPS.

What happens if you ship prohibited items internationally with UPS

Since it is in the company policy that they do not agree to transport any prohibited articles, such shipments will not be covered by any form of insurance or liability. If UPS discovers any prohibited item during transit, the shipper is subject to an administration fee starting at 130 EUR, in addition to any other applicable charges. UPS reserves the right to check or scan packages being shipped on domestic or international routes. Cross-border shipments are always inspected by both the courier and the customs authorities during import and export procedures.

UPS Shipping restrictions based on countries

When organising an international delivery with UPS, it is the shipper’s responsibility to ensure that their shipment is in compliance with both the carrier and the country’s rules. The shipment should follow the shipping restrictions and not contain any item prohibited by UPS in the countries of origin, transit and delivery. To find out what you can ship with UPS on specific routes, use their digital tool to find out the list of restrictions organised per country.

Shipping with UPS via Eurosender

At Eurosender, we work with a vast network of logistics providers, including UPS and several other international couriers. To ensure your delivery goes as planned, we strongly advise making sure your shipment is fully compliant with the UPS list of prohibited and restricted items and any other shipping restrictions. Once everything is checked, use our booking tool below to instantly check the shipping price provided by multiple courier providers and schedule your delivery right away!


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FAQs – UPS International shipping regulations

How to get a contract with UPS for shipping restricted items?
Companies that want to ship restricted items with UPS need to contact the courier directly to establish a dedicated contract determining all the conditions of such transport service. To get this preferred shipping status, the customer needs to provide all the documents that certify he has the right to transport such items and has a substantial regular shipping volume. It is important to note that having a contract does not mean you are allowed to ship such UPS restricted items everywhere. Some of the listed restricted commodities are forbidden in certain countries and will not be permitted even for contract-holders.
Is this list of UPS restricted and prohibited items valid internationally?
Yes, both lists of UPS restricted and prohibited items described above are valid for international shipments to all countries available. Even though the lists remain primarily similar for most countries, some items may fall into different categories depending on local regulations. For instance, within the USA, it is possible to ship food and perishable items with UPS, but it is not allowed even for domestic deliveries in the European Union.
What happens if you ship prohibited items with UPS?
If the item prohibited by UPS is found on the package upon collection, the courier will most likely refuse to take on your parcel, and you will not be entitled to a refund.
If the item prohibited by UPS is discovered during transit, the shipper may have to pay the courier’s administration fee and other incurred taxes or charges. When this happens, the package may be destroyed, returned to the sender or sometimes apprehended by the customs authorities. The same conditions may apply for shipments containing UPS restricted items without the required documentation. In any of these cases, the courier company will contact the shipper to inform the shipper about the next steps and request the outstanding payment.
Are alcoholic beverages considered restricted or prohibited by UPS?
You may notice that alcoholic beverages are included on both prohibited and restricted items lists by UPS. The reason for that is because it may depend on the type of beverage being shipped, its alcohol level, and the country’s legislation. It is also important to consider the type of client booking such service since, for individuals, this is a prohibited item, but pre-approved companies may be able to transport alcoholic beverages with UPS under special agreements for restricted items.
Can I ship restricted or prohibited items through Eurosender?
To ensure your shipment will go through without any issues, we strongly advise against including any restricted or prohibited items inside the package. Please have in mind that any shipment that contains prohibited or restricted articles is automatically excluded from insurance, which means that you will be sending it at your own risk.
Disclaimer: The information above is the result of an online research conducted in October 2023. For more information about UPS shipping restrictions for prohibited and restricted items, we strongly recommend checking the courier company’s official website.