Can You Send Food Internationally by Courier?

Shipping food internationally and domestically

Find out about safe and cost-effective shipping options if you want to send food in a parcel locally or internationally. Before you send food anywhere via courier, read our packaging tips and take a look at the restrictions involved. Consult our logistics specialists if you cannot find the information you need for sending food home or abroad.

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What services can you use for sending food overseas by courier

What services can you use for sending food overseas by courier:
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* Please bear in mind that some courier companies may include food in their list of prohibited items. For any clarifications, please contact our team of specialists via chat.


How to pack food for shipping overseas

Make sure you go through this checklist before sending food items through the mail or via courier:

  1. Wrap each food item in plastic foil. Pack the items in a plastic or insulated food container.
  2. Place a cold pack under the container, if applicable. Make sure the cold packs you use cannot leak and would not damage the cardboard box or other parcels during transport.
  3. Wrap the food container with ordinary or thermal bubble wrap and pack it in a sturdy cardboard box.
  4. Fill empty spaces with cushioning materials.
  5. Close the box and seal with adhesive tape.
  6. Attach the shipping label if required. You can also add a sign “Perishable” or “Handle with care” on the top.

When shipping frozen food items that require a temperature-controlled environment, cold packs should never be replaced with ice or anything else that could melt or leak, causing damage.


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What should you keep in mind before sending food abroad?

International food shipping is a common practice, even though different restrictions apply to many types of products in different countries across the globe.

For businesses

Licensed companies working in the consumer products sector can ship all types of food internationally, provided they comply with safety, packaging, labelling and import regulations of the destination country. They must also have all the necessary certificates and pack food items properly for shipping with authorised transporters only.

It is crucial to check whether certain types of products can be legally exported to another country. EU companies willing to send food to the UK after Brexit must know that besides general EU requirements, they must fulfil the criteria for exporting such type of goods and possess the necessary international certifications. Read more about international customs clearance.

For individuals

If you are an individual, it may be easier for you to send canned and non-perishable food items that do not present the risk of leaking or expiring. In some cases, vacuum-sealed products may also be accepted by some transporters. As a rule, shipping food requiring time and temperature control internationally is a real challenge for individuals because this is a specialised shipping service, which is not in accordance with the strict standard policies adopted by most courier companies. Additionally, you should bear in mind that some food additives, such as BVO, may be legal in the USA, but illegal within the EU and vice versa.


FAQ about international food shipping

Can I ship food with every courier company?
It is important to note that not all courier companies will ship food internationally. For example, DHL, TNT and UPS will not ship packages that contain food within the content. Each courier has specific rules and requirements for different shipments and services, so we recommend checking this further with the designated courier for your route. When booking Express or Regular Plus shipping services, please make sure not to include these items as the courier will refuse to collect the parcel. If you need further assistance, you can reach us by chat, phone or email before shipping to discuss your options further.
Can I send fresh food through the mail?
Shipping fresh or perishable foodstuffs is not recommended by postal services or couriers, as it is not possible to maintain a controlled temperature in the case of Standard or Express shipments. For this reason, fresh and perishable foods are included in the list of prohibited or restricted items by couriers and it is, therefore, not recommended to ship packages containing fresh foods locally or internationally.
Can I send non-perishable food internationally?
It is possible to send non-perishable food internationally provided that there is no chance it would spoil or expire in transit. Food is normally classed as non-perishable if it has a shelf life of longer than six months. Bear in mind that food is not covered by shipping insurance and therefore can only be sent at your own risk.
Can I ship snacks internationally?
Even though food and snack items are listed as prohibited by most courier companies, people still frequently ship snacks in parcels with other personal items. You can follow our packing tips above to ensure your snacks properly packed for shipping.
Is it possible to send food to the UK after Brexit?
For businesses: Although shipping after Brexit is now more complicated than before, it is still possible for companies to send food to the UK from the EU and vice versa. Food shipments to the UK are subject to international logistics rules and customs inspections. This means that you will have to pay VAT charges and duties, aside from preparing all the required documentation for the authorities.
For individuals: Food is included in the restricted and prohibited items list of most courier companies. If you decide to ship food in a package, bear in mind that every shipment sent to the UK will pass through customs and if any prohibited item is discovered, the package may be returned to the sender instead of being delivered to the recipient.
Is there any insurance for shipping food items internationally?
Almost every service booked on the Eurosender platform is covered by basic insurance, which is already included in the price. However, food and other restricted items are not covered by shipping insurance. Therefore, if you decide to ship food as an individual across Europe or internationally, you do so at your own risk.
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Take these guidelines into consideration when sending food locally or internationally. Nevertheless, please consider that following them does not guarantee that the courier company will transport your package without restriction. If you decide to send food overseas in the mail or by courier, Eurosender will not be held responsible for any damages caused by the transport of your shipment.