UPS Shipping Restrictions: The Items UPS Restricts & Prohibits

A complete list of items both restricted and prohibited by United Parcel Service (UPS)
UPS Shipping Restrictions
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Like all shipping carriers, UPS has a specific set of shipping restrictions that all shippers should be aware of. There are prohibited items, which UPS doesn’t allow to be sent through its network under any circumstance—and then there are restricted items, which UPS allows on a limited basis as long as all rules and regulations are met. If you’re shipping with UPS, take a look at these two lists of items that fall under both categories!

Table of Contents

The Items UPS Prohibits

According to the UPS landing page on restricted and prohibited items, the following are items that UPS prohibits from being sent through its network under any circumstance:

  • Shipments prohibited by law
  • Bank bills, notes, or currency
  • Fireworks
  • Hazardous waste or hazardous waste service
  • Human remains, fetal remains, human body parts, human embryos, or anything containing components of these
  • Ivory
  • Marijuana, including marijuana intended for medical use, and cannabidiol (“CBD”) derived from Marijuana
  • Postage stamps
  • Shark fins
  • Vape products within, to, or from the United States

The Items UPS Restricts

Per the UPS website, the following restricted items can be sent through UPS only on a contractual basis for shippers with regular volume, and only if the shipper complies with all applicable laws and regulations:

  • Alcoholic beverages (including beer, wine, and spirits)
  • Animal products manufactured from non-domesticated animals (crocodile skin boots, for example)
  • Articles of high or unusual value
  • Ammunition
  • Biological substances (Category B) and exempt human or animal specimens
  • Dangerous goods including items that contain hazardous materials
  • Firearms and weapons (including inert and replica explosive weapons)
  • Furs
  • Gold or other precious metals
  • Hemp and CBD
  • Live animals
  • Perishables
  • Personal effects
  • Plants and seeds (you need to have a UPS account to ship these)
  • Tobacco

Shipping Software Providers May Prevent You from Sending Restricted Items with UPS

If you use online shipping software to purchase discounted postage, you may run into a scenario where you’re unable to send an item that UPS restricts but does not prohibit. For instance, some third-party shipping software companies won’t let you send any items containing hazardous materials with UPS, even though UPS technically allows for these items to enter its network.

Since this is the case, it pays to double-check with your shipping software provider of choice if you can send your item with UPS before purchasing a label for your package! If you can’t send your restricted item with shipping software, you may need to create a UPS account and generate a label directly through UPS. Just make sure you comply with all the rules and regulations for shipping your item!

If all else fails, you can always contact UPS customer support if you need help determining whether you’re in compliance with everything you need to be.

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