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International Forwarding Association Blog » Specialized transportation » Shipping Liquid and Food Products
Shipping Liquid

Shipping Liquid and Food Products

Shipping liquids and food products safely can be tricky because of the risk of leaks and spills. Many logistics services providers ship liquids and food across Europe and overseas except for items that are considered unsafe or dangerous. IFA members strictly follow all relevant shipping regulations to ensure safety while in transit and at delivery.

Liquids That Can Be Shipped

Some liquids are safe to ship while others are prohibited or can only be sent in limited quantities. Alcoholic beverages, for example, are allowed to be shipped in some EU countries provided that certain criteria are met. Items such as juices and soups can be shipped as well as other items that are non-hazardous and non-flammable. In general, there are fewer restrictions on national shipments, and the reason is that they are usually shipped by land transport.


Shipping Food Products


Products That Are Prohibited

Certain items are not allowed to be shipped, including liquids that are illegal or can cause injury or accidents. The list of liquids that cannot be shipped includes pepper spray and other self-defense sprays, gaseous liquids, fuels, enamels, and paint. Food products that are not acceptable for carriage include perishable items that require environmental control or registration. The same goes for packages that emit odor or are leaking or wet. In general, all hazardous goods, whether liquids or food, are not acceptable for carriage.

Foods That Are Subject to Control

Freight forwarders also refuse to ship items that are considered high-risk because they may contain salmonella, pesticides, or contaminants such as aflatoxins or mycotoxins. High-risk foods are subject to import restrictions, including certain breakfast cereals, dried fruit, nuts, and spices that are high in aflatoxins. There are restrictions on the level of aflatoxins in food products that can be imported. For this reason, some food products are subject to testing. Products that are subject to control in different EU member-states include wild mushrooms, peanut butter, hazelnut paste, turmeric, ginger, and saffron. Wild mushrooms from countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Norway are subject to control because of radiation from the Chernobyl incident. Hazelnuts and hazelnut paste imported from Azerbaijan are also subject to control because they contain aflatoxins. The same goes for groundnuts and peanut butter imported from China, Egypt, and Brazil and nutmeg imported from Indonesia and India. In addition, honey from certain countries is considered an at-risk product, including countries in Africa, South America, and Asia. Certain spices are at risk of contamination and may contain illegal dye, including palm oil, curry powder chilli products, and dried chilli.

Packaging for Products That May Leak

In order to ensure safe delivery, products that may leak must be shipped in waterproof bags that are sealed. Waterproof bags must be placed in cardboard boxes that contain foam peanuts, biodegradable starch peanuts, or other packaging materials. Every side of the box should be marked with Fragile or Liquid. Perishable liquids must be placed in Styrofoam coolers if allowed to be shipped.