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International Forwarding Association Blog » Intermodal transport in Europe » Types of Freight That Are Prohibited

Types of Freight That Are Prohibited

Certain types of freight are prohibited and cannot be shipped by air, sea, or land, depending on the destination and mode of transport. Prohibited goods may include items such as dangerous and hazardous goods, antiques, and firearms.

Prohibited Cargo and Risks

Certain goods cannot be shipped or are subject to approval because of the risk of damage to vessels and containers, risk of pilferage, and risk of casualties. For example, a lashing plan and cargo details are required for the shipment of aluminum and steel items in coils in order to secure cargo. There are also requirements for the safe distribution of weight and the maximum loading weight. Stone items are often too heavy to be safely shipped in containers and may not be permitted onboard unless a guarantee of payment for potential damages is provided and a condition survey is conducted to ensure safe shipping.


Prohibited Goods

The types of goods that cannot be shipped by air usually include aerosol sprays and cans and weapons, firearms, ammunition, and explosive devices. The list of items also includes gear boxes, generators, and engines, life jackets, and fire extinguishers. Items that are made from ivory and fur as well as ivory and furs cannot be shipped by air. The same applies to fine art and items such as bronzes, marbles, statuary, and antique or valuable rugs. The list of works of art also includes:

  • Tapestries
  • Etchings
  • Bric-a-brac
  • Rare glass
  • Porcelain
  • Manuscripts
  • Rare books
  • Paintings
  • Clippings
  • Collections of books

At IFA members strictly observe the restrictions on items that are prohibited to be shipped by air, including items such as precious metals and stones like sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.

There are also restrictions on items that are shipped by sea in an international move. Individual customers are not allowed to ship flammable items, weapons, drugs, pharmaceutical products, and cleaning products. Other items that are not allowed include perfumes, drinks, plants, and live animals.

In general, prohibited cargo includes tissue samples, bodily fluids, blood, and diagnostic specimen. Examples of prohibited cargo are also bullion, endangered animal products, and animal skins. Freight forwarders may not ship items such as lithium batteries, car batteries, corrosives, pesticides, poisons, and oxidizers depending on the country of delivery.

The list of prohibited goods for which permission may be required also includes biological agents, antibiotics, and adrogenic and anabolic substances. Goods that are exported and imported and are subject to approval and permission fall in different categories, including cultural items, consumer products, therapeutic substances and medicines, and plants and animals. Depending on the destination, items such as some chemicals, precursor substances, and growth hormones may not be allowed.

Prohibited items also include chemical weapons, hazardous waste, daggers and knives, radioactive substances, and nuclear material. Obviously, items such as suicide devices, psychedelic substances, and counterfeit credit cards are not allowed. Depending on the type of goods, volume, and other factors, imported goods may also be subject to taxes or duties except in cases when concessions or exemptions apply.