3 restricted items you probably didn’t know were restricted and how to post them

Think you can send almost anything through the post? Think again. While most items can be sent, some fall into the category of prohibited (can’t be sent at all) or restricted (can be sent, but you must meet certain packing guidelines).

We’ve outlined three examples of restricted items below, some of which you might not have realised were designated as such. Thankfully, we also tell you how to post them – so you keep on the right side of the law and they reach your customer intact.


The mainstay of children’s birthday parties, school proms, university balls and office Christmas parties are classed as restricted. This is because some balloons carry flammable gas. So, only balloons filled with non-flammable gases are allowed.

How to send

Pack them as normal but clearly mark the following text on the outside of the parcel: ‘BALLOONS FILLED WITH NON-FLAMMABLE GAS’.

Cigarette lighters

Lighters filled with flammable liquid or gas are not allowed to be sent at all. First things first: make sure your lighters don’t contain these.

How to send

You can send new, unused and empty lighters, but they must be sent unopened and in their original packaging.

Perishable items

Grocery items like flowers, fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen or chilled foods are becoming increasingly popular online purchases. But they’re classed as restricted.

How to send

First, the items should be able to last a journey of up to 48 hours, so ensure you send them 1st class, at least. Seal them up properly so they don’t leak out or damage other items (sealed vacuum packs are great for this) and then send them in a sturdy corrugated board box or polystyrene pack. Ensure you put your name and address on the packaging, in case the worst should occur.

Restricted goods – what you need to know

Remember, it’s your responsibility to check whether an item is classed as restricted. And you must ensure you comply with the guidelines for sending them appropriately. If you send restricted goods incorrectly, they could be disposed of by your delivery provider.

Oh, and if you’re sending internationally, check with your provider – the rules may be different for international post.