Can I Send Cigarettes in the Mail?

How to ship cigarettes | All you need to know

Before booking a shipping service, check the rules and restrictions for sending cigarettes by post or courier. Mailing cigarettes is a complex process with specific regulations in place. Read below the guidelines on how to ship cigarettes in the UK, Europe or internationally as an individual or a business.

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Regulations on shipping cigarettes for companies in 2023

  • Shipping cigarettes within the EU

    Licensed cigarette manufacturers and retailers can legally ship cigarettes if they have a contract with authorised carriers. VAT and excise duty must be paid before these goods are sent to the destination country.

  • Shipping cigarettes outside the EU

    European companies can mail cigarettes internationally to recipients based in non-EU countries, if they have an official license, pay VAT, excise duties, and conclude relevant agreements with authorised courier services.

Regulations on mailing cigarettes applicable in 2023

  • Shipping cigarettes within the EU

    It is important to distinguish between mailing cigarettes and travelling with cigarettes. While carrying cigarettes for personal use is possible, shipping cigarettes between individuals is not permitted in the EU. When mailing cigarettes to each other, individuals do so at their own risk.

    EU citizens can buy cigarettes online in another EU member state as long as the retailer has concluded a relevant agreement with an authorised courier company. Excise duties and VAT will still apply.

  • Shipping cigarettes outside the EU

    European citizens can receive parcels containing up to 50 cigarettes from non-EU countries under the EU Council Directive 2006/79/EC.

    However, sending any quantity of cigarettes to individuals is still prohibited by most courier companies. When choosing to send cigarettes to private consumers in the mail, individuals do so at their own risk.

    The same rule applies to cigarettes shipments sent to and from the UK after Brexit.


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How to pack cigarettes for shipping internationally

When shipping cigarettes internationally, you should make sure that you know how to properly prepare your package for transport, especially because the delivery will not be protected by insurance since this is an item considered prohibited for shipping by individuals.

These simple instructions will help you prepare to send cigarettes by post or courier:

  1. Place the cigarette packs inside a plastic bag to avoid contact with water.
  2. Use several layers of bubble wrap as protection. If you are posting cigarettes internationally together with other items, like clothes, you can use them as cushioning.
  3. Prepare a sturdy cardboard box. Fill it with cushioning materials, then place the cigarette packs and all other items in the box.
  4. Seal the box.


FAQ on how to ship cigarettes internationally

Can I ship cigarettes internationally with every courier company?

No, each courier company has its own rules regarding shipments with restricted and prohibited items. For example, DHL, FedEx, TNT and UPS will not ship parcels that contain cigarettes within the content.
Before booking any delivery service, we recommend checking the rules of the designated courier for your route. When shipping with Eurosender, please know that these items are not allowed when booking the Express or Regular Plus shipping services. The courier may refuse to collect the parcel if it contains prohibited items such as cigarettes. If you need further assistance, you can reach us by chat, phone or email before shipping to discuss your options further.

Is it legal to mail or ship cigarettes as a gift?

The answer depends on the status of cigarettes at your specific location. Before sending cigarettes by post or courier, we recommend checking all the regulations that apply in your case to avoid any problems.
Bear in mind that there is always a risk of confiscation by customs officers if you decide to send cigarettes internationally in the mail or by courier. Read more about how the customs procedures work.

Can I send cigarettes to Ireland?

Sending cigarettes and tobacco between private individuals is not allowed in most EU countries, including Ireland. However, many people routinely ship cigarettes with other items via courier or the post office. Usually, those who decide to ship cigarettes wrap the packets in clothing to avoid detection – and do so at their own risk.

How many cigarettes can I post or send internationally?

Every country has different national policies regarding the number of cigarettes allowed to be sent for personal use. To learn more, you will need to check the official customs or government pages of the pick-up and destination countries. You will also have to check the rules of postal and courier companies about shipping cigarettes before booking their services.

What happens if I send cigarettes in the mail?

Since shipping cigarettes is strictly regulated in many locations, one of the following scenarios may happen if cigarettes are detected in your shipment:
  • The parcel may be returned at your expense
  • The cigarettes may be disposed of
  • You may be reported to the authorities

Is there insurance for shipping or mailing cigarettes internationally?

Insurance applies only when licensed companies ship cigarettes internationally, provided they have all the necessary documents and organise the delivery through authorised carriers.
For C2C shipments, there is no insurance coverage for cigarettes shipped internationally, as they can only be mailed at the sender’s own risk. If the courier finds the prohibited items such as cigarettes inside the parcel, they may refuse the shipment.

Take these guidelines into consideration when posting cigarettes internationally. Nevertheless, please consider that following them does not guarantee that the courier company will transport your parcel without restriction. If you decide to send cigarettes by mail or courier, Eurosender will not be held responsible for any damages caused by the transport of your shipment.


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Please make sure your shipment does not include restricted or prohibited items, including cigarettes.