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DHL Express Prohibited and Restricted Commodities

What commodities are prohibited or restricted for shipping? Here's everything you need to know

Prohibited Items

The items listed below will not be accepted for transportation by us.

The following list includes items whose transportation is prohibited under laws, regulations, or rules of any federal, state, or local government of any country from, to, or through which the items were to transit. In the context of international transportation, additional items may be prohibited by the country of destination.

DHL may, at its sole discretion, refuse to transport other items not listed below.

  • Ingots (of any precious metal)
  • Money (legal tender - banknotes and coins)
  • Complete firearms, ammunition, explosives and explosive devices, including inert explosives and test pieces, air guns, tasers, replicas and imitations of firearms, replicas and imitations of ammunition
  • Cannabis and all its derivatives
  • Human remains or ashes in any form
  • Hunting trophies (animals), animal parts such as ivory and shark fins, animal remains or ashes, or animal by-products and derivatives not intended for human consumption, the transportation of which is prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and/or local rules and regulations
  • Unlawful goods, such as counterfeit items and drugs
  • Live animals (including but not limited to mammals, reptiles, fish, invertebrates, amphibians, birds)
  • Lithium metal batteries in bulk according to IATA PI968, Section II
  • Precious and semi-precious stones in bulk  (cut or uncut, polished or unpolished), air guns, replicas and imitations of firearms
  • Asbestos
  • Waste oils

Items Subject to Restrictions

The items listed below will not be accepted for transportation unless otherwise agreed upon with DHL.

To obtain such an agreement, DHL will have to make a specific study and the items approved for transportation will have to be specified in writing with the Customer.

  • Toy guns, "non-essential" weapon parts, firearm accessories such as: silencers, night vision devices, flashlights, reviews, etc., pointing and cutting instruments not intended for attack but with specific intended use, military items
  • Antiques and works of art with a shipment value exceeding €10,000
  • Banderols/tax stickers with a shipment value of more than €500,000
  • Cigarettes, cigars, tobacco products and electronic cigarettes
  • Coins, commemorative medals, ingots embedded in commemorative cards or memorabilia, books, comics, collectible stamps, collectible cards, with value per single item or per shipment exceeding €1,000 are subject to restrictions for transportation purposes
  • Dangerous goods, including but not limited to, perfumes, aftershave lotions, aerosols, flammable substances, dry ice, biological substances, goods deemed dangerous according to the UN classification, and all goods defined as such under the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) regulations, the Agreement on Dangerous Goods by Road (“ADR”) or the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (“IMDG”) regulations pertaining to the transportation of dangerous goods by sea
  • Forms of electronic money - examples include but are not limited to, active SIM cards for cell phones, credit or ATM cards active or with pending activation, blank checks, event tickets, lottery tickets, postal payment orders or payment mandates, prepaid phone cards, (blank) tickets, traveller's checks, vouchers/tokens, unused stamps, etc.
  • Furs
  • Jewellery, precious objects and watches with a value per item exceeding €1,000
  • Coral
  • Pornographic material
  • Plants and flowers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Foodstuffs
  • Medicines and pharmaceuticals
  • Means of transportation 

Shipments of Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods, items or substances are defined as goods, items or substances which, if not properly handled, prepared, and packaged, may be hazardous from the standpoint of health, safety, property and the environment.

They can also be everyday items such as solvents, non-water-based paints, lithium batteries, lighters, perfumes, etc. If you have doubts about the contents of your shipment and want to be sure they are transportable, contact our Customer Support.

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