If you’re just using FedEx to ship business documents or the occasional birthday present, then you don’t need to worry too much about shipping restrictions. But what do you do if you own a jewelry or tobacco business? Can you send these items through FedEx?
In this article, we’ll do our best to demystify FedEx’s shipping restrictions and prohibitions. More specifically, we’ll look at which items are always banned and which can be sent under certain conditions, so keep reading to learn more!
What Are FedEx’s Shipping Restrictions In 2023?
FedEx restricts and prohibits a number of items from being shipped both domestically and internationally in 2023. Restricted items may be sent provided they gain approval and come with licenses and/or permits. Prohibited items are always banned, regardless of the package’s origin or destination. Prohibited items include fine art, fine jewelry, fur, and weapons.
We’re just getting started with FedEx’s shipping restrictions, so make sure you keep reading to get all of the information you need!
Does FedEx Have Shipping Restrictions?
While FedEx gives customers a lot of leeway when it comes to shipping, it’s not a free-for-all. There are a variety of items that are either restricted or outright prohibited from being shipped.
Restricted items may be sent with prior approval from FedEx’s Regulatory Compliance, Risk Management, and Legal departments and/or after receiving special permits or licenses.
Prohibited items cannot be received, stored, shipped, or imported/exported due to regulatory, hazard, safety, or other reasons, regardless of the package’s origin or destination.
These restrictions and prohibitions vary depending on whether a shipment is domestic or international. There are also a number of country-specific rules to be aware of when shipping.
Which Items Are Restricted in FedEx Shipments?
Restricted items are those that can be sent through FedEx, provided they receive approval and are accompanied by any necessary permits or licenses.
We’ve provided a partial list of restricted items below (t see a full list, visit FedEx’s website):
- Artwork, archaeological artifacts, and antiquities
- Fresh food
- Gems (cut or uncut)
- Hazardous materials/ dangerous goods and radioactive materials
- Lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries
- Microchips, computer chips, microprocessors, central processing units (CPUs), and mobile phones
- Retail tobacco products
Which Items Are Prohibited in FedEx Shipments?
There are a number of items that FedEx refuses to accept, regardless of the origin or destination. We’ve included an abridged list below, but you can check out the full list here:
- All commodities valued over $20,000 without approval
- One-of-a-kind/irreplaceable articles valued over $500,000 each
- Fine art
- Fine jewelry
- Pornography/obscene material
- Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum in the form of bullion, coins, or ingots
- Weapons and weapons accessories
- Contraband such as illicit drugs and counterfeit goods
- Livestock, bloodstock, and living animals
- Human remains
Which Items Are Prohibited in Domestic FedEx Shipments?
In addition to the items listed above, there are a number of other items FedEx will not ship within the United States.
Here is a list of some of the items that cannot be sent domestically with FedEx. You can see the full list here:
- Cash and currency
- Live animals (with the exception of edible seafood, provided the shipper is in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws)
- Animal carcasses (does not apply to properly packaged meat or poultry intended for human consumption)
- Ghost guns and other firearms without a serial number
- Lottery tickets and gambling devices that are prohibited by law
- Hazardous waste (including hypodermic needles or medical waste)
- Live insects
- Hemp plants, leaves, oil, and CBD derived from hemp
- Waste and garbage for disposal
Which Items Are Prohibited in International FedEx Shipments?
Besides the items already listed, different countries have different restrictions. Some require additional documentation to pass through customs.
If you’re going to be shipping internationally, we recommend using FedEx’s Country and Territory Specific Lists to learn about prohibited items for your destination country.
Which Items Cannot Be Sent to the US Through FedEx?
Most of this article has focused on sending items domestically through FedEx or sending items from the US to another country.
That’s all well and good, but it’s important to note that there are certain items that FedEx restricts from entering the US as well.
Some restricted items include:
- Clocks and watches (wristwatches, pocket watches, wall clocks, and table clocks)
FedEx has a number of shipping restrictions and prohibitions, so it’s always a good idea to check out the company website if you have a doubt about sending something.
It’s also a good idea to ask a FedEx employee before you plan to ship in order to avoid any last-minute surprises.