The "No-No Items" in Shipping

Sure it’s cool to break the rules a little bit sometimes. You know, to live in the “gray zone” or “walk on the wild side”, yeah you little rebel I like your spunk. You know what’s not cool though, to get your package sent back because it had a lithium battery in it. Trust me, we know because we’ve been there. Believe it or not, with shipping there are several restricted items that can’t be sent by mail. The tricky part is finding out what can’t be sent, and keeping track of it all. We’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of the main restricted items from some of the major carriers to help you keep your shipping smooth, and hassle-free. That’s our goal after all. Use this list to help you keep some of the main “no-no items” out of your boxes. 




Alcoholic Beverages, 

Cigars & Tobacco, 

Dry Ice, 


Fragile Items,


Lithium Batteries, 



Nail Polish, 


Perishable Items.

See more -

(“USPS Shipping Restrictions”, 2020)



FedEx - General Restricted ITEMS:

Hazardous Material, 



firearms (parts or ammunition),


money orders, 


credit/debit/ATM cards, 


works of art, 

lottery tickets, 



pornographic materials, 


narcotics and psychotropic substances, 

fragile glassware. 

More at - or


* FedEx shipments cannot be addressed to a PO Box.


(“FedEx Terms and Conditions”, 2020)


General Prohibited items UPS 

Ammunition (except as expressly provided in the "UPS Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service - United States" beginning on page 136)

Bank bills, notes or currency (other than coin)

Corpses, cremated or disinterred remains


Hazardous waste


Marijuana, including marijuana intended for medicinal use

Postage stamps

Shark fins

Shipments prohibited by law

Watches exceeding the value of 500USD

More at -


(“List of Prohibited Articles for Shipping”, 2020)


Different carriers have different restrictions, so be mindful when checking these lists to be sure what your sending isn’t restricted. Also, it is important to note that these lists are NOT full and complete, but rather some of the main restricted items. Please check out the links below each segment to learn more!



Note – Military Shipments also have additional restrictions beyond carrier restrictions based on where someone is stationed. Here’s a link to learn specific Military Restrictions based on zip code provided by USPS and linked to in the Shipthrifty software.