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Need to move some ice? Don't post it!


DID you know you can send living bees through the post? Frozen food is OK too, but ice cubes are a big no no!

With the boom in internet shopping showing no signs of slowing down we thought it was time to clarify what can and can't be legally mailed in the UK - and some of the Post Office guidance is surprising to say the least.

A Post Office spokesperson said: "For safety reasons and to comply with national and international regulations, we restrict or prohibit certain items from our network.

"You're responsible for making sure that you're not posting any restricted or prohibited items, so it's best to make absolutely sure you know what's allowed and what isn't.

"You might be surprised to learn that items such as batteries and perfumes are subject to some restrictions."

post it!

WHAT CAN BE SENT: VALUABLES THIS covers money or jewellery.

Make sure you use Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed. Not only does it include end-to-end tracking and signature on delivery, also allows you to claim compensation in the event of loss or damage.

If you send your valuables using any other service, you won't be eligible for compensation - so don't take the risk.


Alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of 70% ABV or less are allowed in the UK (including whisky, vodka and most spirits and liqueurs) but subject to packaging, volume and quantity restrictions.

CONTROLLED DRUGS AND NARCOTICS Including cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate.

FROZEN WATER Including packs of ice.

LOTTERY TICKETS Except UK lottery tickets.

Urns can't be posted LIVE ANIMALS Live animals and reptiles are prohibited, as are any creatures or insects classified as dangerous within the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 (including certain venomous spiders).

GOODS MADE IN FOREIGN PRISONS Except those imported for a non-commercial purpose, of a kind not manufactured in the UK, or those in transit.


MATCHES Including safety matches and windproof matches.

PESTICIDES Including weed killer and any chemical that is used to kill pests and insects such as fly sprays.

POISONOUS, TOXIC LIQUIDS, SOLIDS OR GASES Including substances that are liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled or by skin contact, such as arsenic, beryllium, cyanide, fluorine, rat poison.

WASTE, DIRT, FILTH OR REFUSE Including household waste or rubbish.

WEAPONS Including Section 5 firearms (eg handguns, machine guns), CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives, Tasers and stun guns.

THE following can be posted with restrictions: LIVING CREATURES, INSECTS AND INVERTEBRATES THIS includes bees, caterpillars, cockroaches, crickets, destroyers of noxious pests, earthworms, fish fry and eggs, leeches and other parasites, lugworms, maggots, mealworms, pupae and chrysalides, rag worms, silkworms, spiders and stick insects.

Must be packaged to protect the creatures, Post Office staff and customers from harm. Use 1st Class as the minimum service. Items must be clearly marked 'URGENT - LIVING CREATURES - HANDLE WITH CARE'. The sender's name and address must be visible on the outer packaging.

RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL AND SAMPLES THAT are NOT classified as dangerous goods in the latest edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods. The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

INFLATED BALLOONS filled with non-flammable gases are permitted but these must be clearly marked on the outer packaging with the words 'Balloons filled with non-flammable gas'.

COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY AND STAMPS RESTRICTED to copies of old denominations or pre decimalisation postage stamps which are now obsolete and worthless except for collectable value.

GUNS FOR SPORTING USE GUNS intended for sporting purposes - firearms, bee car low-powered air weapons and their component parts - may be sent and subject to domestic controls on the possession of firearms.

Antiques, deactivated and imitation firearms are also permitted. Use 1st Class as the minimum service. The sender's name and address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

PERISHABLE ITEMS INCLUDING flowers, fruit, vegetables and frozen or chilled foodstuffs. It should be able to withstand a journey of up to 48 hours. Use 1st Class as the minimum service. Must be suitably sealed to prevent leakage. Must be packed in a strong corrugated board box or purpose designed polystyrene pack. The sender's name and address must be visible.

SHARP OBJECTS SHARP objects like knives, kitchen utensils and gardening tools may only be posted if they are packaged appropriately so that they are no risk to employees, other postal items or recipients.

MAGNETISED MATERIALS Should be wrapped in soft packaging at least 2cm thick around each item. The sender's name and address must be visible. Material with a magnetic field strength of 0.418A/m or more at a distance of 4.6m from the outside of the package is prohibited.

bee careful on


Urns can't be posted
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 29, 2016
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