How to ship tobacco products nationally and internationally

Are you an individual, a manufacturer or a reseller willing to send tobacco by post or by courier? Get informed on how to ship tobacco products safely and legally. Have a look at tobacco shipping laws and regulations and check our packaging instructions if you are planning to send this type of products to your clients, friends or family.

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What services can you use for shipping tobacco products?

Depending on the size and time-sensitivity of your shipment, Eurosender offers several options to choose from.

How to pack tobacco products for shipping?

When shipping tobacco internationally, you should make sure that you know how to properly prepare your package for transport. Products such as cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarillos must always be sent in their original sealed packaging.

  1. Place the tobacco inside a plastic bag to avoid contact with water.
  2. If you are shipping tobacco together with other items, like clothes, you can use them as cushioning. Otherwise use several layers of bubble wrap.
  3. Prepare the box. Fill it with cushioning materials, then place the cigarette packs and all other items in the box.
  1. Seal the box.
  2. If you have many boxes, prepare the pallet.
  3. Stack the boxes one onto another. Fix them with a packaging rope and wrap them in plastic foil to make sure they cannot move on the pallet.

Laws and regulations for shipping Tobacco products


Rules within the EU and the UK applicable in 2020

Licensed tobacco manufacturers and retailers are not authorized to send tobacco in the mail, but they are entitled to ship it through authorized courier services. VAT and excise duty must be paid before these goods are sent to the destination country.

Laws on shipping tobacco between EU- and non-EU-based businesses

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


Regulations within the EU applicable in 2020

It is important to distinguish between mailing tobacco and travelling with tobacco. While carrying tobacco for personal use is possible, shipping this type of products is illegal in most countries. However, many people still decide to send them among other belongings to friends and family members. Within the EU, private individuals can only send tobacco products to each other as gifts at their own risk.

Laws on shipping tobacco between EU- and non-EU-based individuals:

The good news for European citizens is that they can receive parcels containing small quantities of tobacco products (25 cigarillos (small cigars of a maximum weight of three grams each), or 10 cigars or 50 grams of smoking tobacco) from non-EU countries under the EU Council Directive 2006/79/EC. However, every EU Member State can have its own rules and restrictions in this regard.

Here are some of the EU countries officially stating that small quantities of tobacco products sent in the mail or by courier for personal use will be accepted by the customs: Austria, Germany, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. European citizens willing to ship small quantities of tobacco products to individuals outside the EU must check the regulations both in the pick-up and the destination country.


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FAQs on shipping tobacco products

Do people still post tobacco within the EU?

Even though shipping tobacco products between individuals is not allowed in almost every EU country, European citizens ship them among other items every day. Cigarillos, cigars and pipe tobacco are often posted as a gift. Senders usually carefully wrap them in their clothes or place them between other items in the parcel.

Is there any insurance for shipping tobacco internationally?

Tobacco can be insured when it is sent by licensed companies and resellers through authorised couriers. Tobacco sent by individuals cannot be covered by insurance since it is on the logistics providers’ restricted and prohibited items list.

What are the official limits for people willing to transport tobacco products between several European countries on their own?

The limits for travelling with tobacco products within the EU regulations are as follows

  • Cigarillos (cigars that do not weigh more than 3 g each): 400 items
  • Cigars: 200 items
  • Smoking tobacco: 1 kg

What is the maximum amount of tobacco that one can send abroad and where can I find this information?

Every country has its internal policies regarding the acceptable number of restricted products sent for personal use. To learn more, you need to check the official web pages of the pick-up and the destination countries’ customs agencies. One pack of cigarillos or cigars is generally not a problem, especially if packaged properly together with other items.

Take into consideration these guidelines when shipping tobacco internationally. Nevertheless, please consider that following them does not guarantee that the courier company will transport your package without restriction. In case you decide to send tobacco, Eurosender will not be held responsible for any damages caused by the transportation of your shipment.