Which Items are Prohibited in Shipping Containers - Global Trade Magazine
  October 24th, 2019 | Written by

Which Items are Prohibited in Shipping Containers

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  • There are numerous pros of maritime shipping, but being able to ship animals and plants is not one of them by any means.
  • Knowing what items are prohibited in shipping containers is of utter importance for the success of the shipping process.

While shipping undeniably makes the relocation process much easier and significantly less complicated, the shipping practices do have some restrictions. It is extremely important to be well-informed on what items are prohibited in shipping containers, so as not to encounter any difficulties, delays, or serious problems in your attempt to bring this process to end successfully. Bear in mind that each and every container is inspected in detail prior to shipping. Thus, do not try to ignore the strict regulations regarding the prohibited items in containers. 

To help you handle the whole process with ease and without any potential inconveniences, we have made a comprehensive list that can eliminate your dilemma and clear away all your doubts on what items are prohibited in shipping containers. Having studied these closely, you can start orchestrating the shipping operation and commence a search for ways to negotiate better shipping terms.

Flammable and toxic items

Flammable and toxic items are on the top position of our list for understandable reasons. These items can considerably harm not only the belongings within the shipping container but the whole shipment as well. While some of these are easy to identify, others come as a surprise. Hence, it is always a good strategy to obtain information on allowables and non-allowables from your shipping company.

The flammable and toxic items you are to avoid putting in a shipping container are batteries of all types, aerosols, household cleaners and solvents, nail polish and nail polish remover, fireworks, various chemicals, oils, fertilizers, and similar. The list is extensively long, so once again we need to emphasize the necessity of consulting your shipping company and relevant institutions on this point. Only this way will you get peace of mind and confirmation that none of your items are among non-allowables.

Plants and animals

There are numerous pros of maritime shipping, but being able to ship animals and plants is not one of them by any means. Although it does not take too much thinking to understand the reason behind this, there are still those who are willing to give this option a try nevertheless. Understandably, the outcome of such a decision always includes severe consequences. Namely, no living being is able to survive a few-day shipping in a firmly closed shipping container without light or fresh air. Moreover, some countries have very strict regulations regarding bringing non-native plants to their territory. Apparently, they feel threatened by plants and seeds potentially infected with dangerous parasites and germs. Eventually, these might affect and endanger their existing vegetation. While it is true that this may sound like an exaggeration, we cannot deny that it is still possible.  

Illegal items 

Even though certain types of items are illegal all over the world, a lot of countries have their own regulations that define legal and illegal items in shipping terms. To avoid any problems and complications, gather enough information on this point.  

Generally, firearms, ammunition, drugs, and some medications definitely need to be mentioned when discussing what items are prohibited in shipping containers. An immense number of countries have strict laws regarding bringing weapons and ammunition across their borders and these need to be obeyed at all times. 

Perishables are prohibited in shipping containers

Although the shipping industry is intensely working on automation that will change the pace for shipping operations, it is still common for containers to be placed in storage for some time until the shipping is finally scheduled. This period is more than enough for perishables to spoil and even damage some of your belongings in the container. Hence, items that are forbidden in these containers include fresh produce, frozen and refrigerated food, and any food containers that have been opened and cannot be firmly closed anymore. 

Items that are not prohibited but yet should not be in shipping containers

Besides the items which are not acceptable because they are hazardous and potentially harmful, there are those which are not prohibited but yet should not be in shipping containers.  These usually have either high material or emotional value and are, most often, considered irreplaceable for the owner. Concerning the period of time these would have to spend in a container, it is a reasonable choice not to go for this option. Otherwise, you risk damaging, losing, or even completely destroying these items irrevocably.

Hence, all the important business or personal documents, jewelry, family albums, money, computer disks and laptops, keys, and cell phones should be kept at hand and not exposed to the risk of being shipped in a container. Depending on their number, these could easily be packed in the essentials bag or box you will take with you.

Conclusion

Knowing what items are prohibited in shipping containers is of utter importance for the success of the shipping process. Should you disobey the restrictions regarding this, you risk going through some major difficulties. In other words, your shipment may be delayed or even canceled. Hence, it is advisable to get all the necessary information and do some research prior to sending your shipping container overseas. This is the only approach to this task that guarantees a positive, completely problem- and stress-free experience.

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David Nelson had worked in the shipping industry quite sometime before he became a copywriter. He has decided to share his knowledge and experience with all those who seek advice in this field. David also follows the latest trends and can provide the necessary information to make any shipping process easy to conduct, be it a part of a relocation or a try to import cargo from Japan with ease, for example. Unsurprisingly, when he is not writing, David is traveling around the globe and exploring new areas. He is a passionate globetrotter indeed.


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