We know that sending food abroad is a topic that brings up a lot of questions – but we are here to answer them all for you. Read on to understand the restrictions of sending food in the mail locally or internationally and find out how to pack food for shipping in the safest way possible. If you cannot find the information you need for sending food home or to someone in another country, we have a team of specialists available to help you via chat.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Sending food internationally may be tricky if you are not yet familiar with the courier’s best practices and regulations. Here are a few tips on what to avoid when sending food items through the mail or courier:
Good to know: food is typically classified as non-perishable if it has a shelf life of more than 6 months.
HOW TO SHIP
HOW TO PACK
The biggest risk when sending food items in the mail or by courier is the possibility of leakage or damage, not only to your parcel but to other packages travelling together. So, the best solution to avoid any trouble during transport is to pack your food items for shipping in the most secure way possible, using impermeable bags to prevent leakage and high-quality packaging materials.
To make it easier for you, follow this checklist before sending food items in the mail to someone in another country:
Note: 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.
See more about shipping frozen food by courier.
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The current international food shipping restrictions are different for business and individual shippers. Read below the general regulations for sending food items by courier or mail, but bear in mind that you should additionally comply with the local legislation when shipping such products.
Licensed companies working in the consumer products sector can ship all types of food internationally, provided they comply with the destination country’s safety, packaging, labelling, and import regulations. 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 products can be legally exported to another country. For instance, 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 procedures.
Shipping food items between individuals is much trickier because most courier companies consider these items restricted for shipping. The main reason for doing so is that food items often cause leakage, damage to parcels, and have short expiration dates. In addition, the person who decides to ship food internationally must also comply with all the restrictions imposed by the exporting and importing countries, as some food compounds or additives may be prohibited in specific destinations.
That being said, when sending food through the mail, customers may find it easier to send canned and non-perishable food items. Some transporters may also accept vacuum-sealed products as they offer better protection. We strongly recommend avoiding shipping any food item that requires a temperature-controlled environment, as the standard shipping alternatives will not satisfy the necessary conditions.
We have compiled dedicated guides about shipping specific types of food internationally: