Recent Posts

Social media

International Forwarding Association Blog » European Logistics » EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol, Perishable Goods, and Other Regulated Commodities
EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol

EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol, Perishable Goods, and Other Regulated Commodities

Free movement of goods and people is a core value of the European Union, but this doesn’t mean that everything can be shipped. To ensure that small shipments and cargo pass customs, it is important to become familiar with the conditions under which items can be shipped between EU Member States.


The rules for shipping alcohol are different for individuals and businesses. In most EU countries, individuals are not allowed to send alcohol, whether by courier service or by post. Authorized online shops are permitted to ship light alcoholic beverages or they can be shipped as freight. Only authorized logistics providers are allowed to ship heavy alcoholic drinks.

Shipping  Alcohol

Perishable Goods

Businesses that sell or produce perishable goods such as eggs and dairy products are allowed to ship them but certain conditions apply. This is the case with importing meat, eggs, and other animal food products, which must be transported safely as to prevent the transmission and spread of infectious diseases. Individuals are not allowed to ship perishable goods due to the possibility of damaging other items and the risk of getting damaged.

Shipping  Perishable Goods


Companies that sell or produce liquids are permitted to ship them through authorized freight forwarders or under special agreements. In some countries, individuals are also allowed to mail small quantities but this does not apply to sending perfumes that contain alcohol, gasoline, nail polishes, and poisonous liquids.

Shipping Liquids

Flammable and Toxic Products

Companies that manufacture or sell farmable and toxic products are allowed to transport them through authorized carriers. Forwarders shipping flammable goods follow the provisions under the Regulation on the Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures. Individuals are not allowed to mail items that contain hazardous, toxic, and flammable substances.

EU Regulations on Shipping Flammable and Toxic Products

Arms and Munition

The transfer of munition and arms is heavily regulated and can only be done through licensed carriers. The shipping of arms is regulated under the revised Firearms Directive which bans certain semi-automatic firearms, including long semi-automatic firearms that have loading devices of more than 10 rounds. Solute or acoustic weapons can only be imported to shoot blank in cinemas and theatres.

EU Regulations on Shipping Arms and Munition

Prohibited Items

Prohibited goods are items that cannot be imported or exported due to health and safety reasons. The list of prohibited items is quite long and includes timber products and logs from Liberia, benzene containing aerosol sprays, fire crackers, bull bars, and small-sized fishing hooks. Tortoise shells and ivory are also on the list of prohibited items. The same applies to second-hand motor vehicles, including motor buses, vans, goods and dual purpose vehicles, and jeep-type, crossover, and other sports vehicles. Accessories and spare parts for second-hand vehicles cannot be imported as well, including hoses, filters, brake linings, belts, bearings, and ball joints. Obviously, illegal items and narcotic substances are strictly prohibited and cannot be exported or imported by companies, individuals, or authorized carriers. Prohibited items also include currency, notes, and bank bills.

Shipping Prohibited Items