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Prohibited items to USA by mail

(23 Posts)
Coolgran65 Tue 07-May-19 22:02:41

I've been painting little rocks for folks to find and rehide, did 4 tonight It's all the go here at the moment and brings a smile when they turn up.

One is a ladybird and I'm thinking of sending it over to my dgs in the USA. Raw plant materials aren't allowed to go because of the risk of disease. I'm wondering if it is ok to send a pebble bearing in mind it came from the soil or in this case from a sandy beach. I'm guessing there is a yes or no answer never mind whether or not it would have been scrubbed and bleached, before painting it.

I have checked the Royal Mail web site and nothing like this is referred to.

Perhaps someone here works on a post office counter and will know the answer.

rosecarmel Tue 07-May-19 22:23:42

Prohibited International Items

Air Bags
Alcoholic Beverages
Dry Ice
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Marijuana (medical or otherwise)
Nail Polish
Perfumes (containing alcohol)

rosecarmel Tue 07-May-19 22:26:13

rosecarmel Tue 07-May-19 22:26:51



Ammunition (excluding lead pellets and other airgun and airsoft projectiles)


Balance Boards (including Hoverboards, electric scooters, electric bicycles and all battery powered vehicles and equipment (UN3171))

Balloons filled with non-flammable gases

Batteries not connected to or posted with the device it is intended to power

Biological substances (Category B) (diagnostic specimens including urine, faeces, livestock and equine semen collection and animal remains)

Christmas crackers - see Explosives for cracker snaps when not part of a made-up cracker

Clinical and medical waste (e.g. contaminated dressings, bandages and needles)

Controlled drugs and narcotics (such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate)

Corrosives (including aluminium chloride, caustic soda, corrosive cleaning fluid, dyes, acids, corrosive paint and rust removers, mercury and gallium metal)

Counterfeit currency, bank notes and postage stamps (except copies of old denominations, which are now obsolete and worthless except for collectable value and cannot be passed as tender)

DNA samples (limited to saliva swabs and samples)

Dry ice and liquid Nitrogen (For example Dry ice and liquid Nitrogen UN1845 when used as a coolant for UN3373 or for other perishable items.)

Electronic cigarettes

Electronic devices sent with or connected to lithium batteries (including mobile phones, digital cameras, etc).

Environmentally hazardous substances

Environmental waste (including used batteries and used engine oil)

Explosives (including fireworks, flares, blasting caps, party poppers, Cracker snaps)

Flammable liquids (including petroleum, lighter fluid, certain adhesives, solvent-based paints, wood varnish, enamels, acetone and all nail varnish removers also see; Alcoholic beverages, Perfumes and aftershaves and Nail varnish)

Flammable solids (including magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc powder, sparklers and fire lighters)

Frozen water (including packs of ice)

Gases, including flammable, non-flammable, toxic and compressed gases (including new, used and empty gas cylinders, ethane, butane, refills for lighters, fire extinguishers and scuba tanks, life jackets, nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide canisters including culinary foaming devices & soda stream)

Goods made in foreign prisons (except those imported for a non-commercial purpose, of a kind not manufactured in the UK, or those in transit)

Guns for sporting use

Human or animal ashes

Infectious substances and pathogens (UN2814 or UN2900)

Lighters and refills containing flammable liquid or gas (including used butane, petrol cigar and cigarette lighters)

Lighters - empty, new or unused

Liquids not classified as dangerous goods

Live creatures, insects and invertebrates

Lottery tickets

Magnetised material

Matches (including safety matches and windproof matches)

Nail varnish, polish or gel (solvent and water-based)

Obscene publications and unlawful indecent images

Oxidising materials or organic peroxides (including disinfectants, nitrates and hair dyes or colourants containing peroxide)

Paints, wood varnishes and enamels
Patient Specimens

Perfumes and aftershaves (including: Reed diffusers; body sprays; room fragrance sprays (non-Aerosols only); essential oils; eau de parfum and eau de toilette but excluding non-flammable perfumed creams, gels oils or lotions)

Perishable items (including flowers, fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen or chilled foodstuffs)

Pesticides (e.g. weed killer and any chemical used to kill pests and insects including fly sprays)

Poisons, toxic liquids, solids and gases (including substances that are liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled or by skin contact, including arsenic, cyanide, fluorine, rat poison)

Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes

Radioactive materials and samples

Sharp objects (including knives, kitchen utensils and gardening tools)

Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries


Waste, dirt, filth or refuse (including household waste)

Weapons (including Section 5 firearms, CS gas and pepper sprays, flick knives and other knives that are banned under UK laws, tasers and stun guns)

Coolgran65 Tue 07-May-19 22:48:07

Yes, I saw these lists when I was checking Royal Mail web site and didn't see anything relevant.

To be honest I'd think it was not ok to send a pebble as there could be microscopic traces of material no matter how thorough it was cleaned but would like to send it if possible. Will check with my local post office tomorrow. Just hoped to package it tonight.

It's a pebble with a ladybird on it.... Very cute.

BradfordLass72 Tue 07-May-19 23:58:33

Here it's Customs not NZ Post who decide (although the NZ Post site has a abbreviated list of prohibited items.
Who could guess one was not allowed to send bombs by mail? grin.

I have just had a tiny slap on the wrist for sending for what I thought was a plastic Bonzai tree for a display my group is doing.

It turned out to be seeds! Nothing in the advert led me to believe I was sending for seeds, which I knew very were not allowed to be imported.

The other thing to remember is that despite extensive advertising by companies offering to send cheap or unavailable meds from USA or Canada - these too can be stopped at Customs and the buyer (not the sender) could be fined.

My daughter in law wanted serotonin (freely available otc in many countries but not here) and sent for some, only to get a letter to say it had been impounded by NZ Customs on entry and would be released only IF her doctor could confirm it was needed. It was and her doctor signed the form.

So be wary and check with Customs if you can, rather than the Post Office.

ninathenana Wed 08-May-19 06:53:32

You can't send lottery tickets ? shockconfused

Esspee Wed 08-May-19 07:36:26

Just send the ladybird. I cannot imagine any reason for it being impounded. Describe it as a ladybird paperweight.

Lilyflower Wed 08-May-19 09:36:29

I don't know if you can send a pebble through the post but I know you can't take one from the beach. When the writer , Ian Mc Ewan, wrote 'On Chesil Beach' I read that he confesssed to having a pebble and there was a kerfuffle in the press about that.

stella1949 Wed 08-May-19 09:46:27

I'm with Esspee. Send it - and describe it as a decoration.

David1968 Wed 08-May-19 09:50:48

I post items to my DGC in USA on a regular basis, so I am very aware of the restrictions. Personally I would risk posting a small, painted pebble. It might be best to describe it (on the customs form) as: "a clay ornament"? (Wikipedia defines clay as "a finely-grained natural rock or soil material".)

sweetcakes Wed 08-May-19 10:33:57

There was a company called story stones they were on Facebook and Etsy I've had some myself for family, but she use to sell them all over the world I believe. You will probably have to declare what it is your sending on a form when you post it.

4allweknow Wed 08-May-19 10:40:40

You could have microscopic stuff on your shoes and you are allowed in to the USA wearing shoes! Send your pebble. Class it as art/craft work. Only tine I found USA touchy about transporting micrscopic particles was when UK had foot and mouth outbreak. Had to walk over soggy mats before entering arrivals area.

25Avalon Wed 08-May-19 10:44:50

You will have to declare what is in the package when you send it. You have to do this for even inland parcels in UK. If it is not acceptable somebody should pick it up but I can't see it should be a problem.

Growing0ldDisgracefully Wed 08-May-19 10:52:50

Can you cover it in spray varnish, which wold seal in both your art work and anything else which you are worried about?

Pippa22 Wed 08-May-19 11:35:17

If you spray it with varnish it might be a fire risk ! Or combustible! ...

Also the stone is theft from the beach.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 08-May-19 11:39:55

How about boiling it or sticking it in the freezer first to kill of any bacteria?

The OP didn't say where she got the pebble. If it was in her own garden then it wasn't theft to pick it up.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 08-May-19 11:44:13

Just dawned on me that the American Embassy ought to be able to answer your query.

GrumpyGran8 Wed 08-May-19 11:52:25

I don't know if you can send a pebble through the post but I know you can't take one from the beach. When the writer , Ian Mc Ewan, wrote 'On Chesil Beach' I read that he confesssed to having a pebble and there was a kerfuffle in the press about that.
That's because Chesil Beach is a Marine Protected Area; as well as being an important wildlife habitat, it's also a natural sea defence that protects nearby villages from storm flooding. It's entirely built up from pebbles, so if all visitors started taking a few pebbles away with them, it wouldn't last long!
I should imagine that taking the odd stone from an an ordinary shingle beach is fine.

GrannyHaggis Wed 08-May-19 12:42:13

Grumpy's an offence to take pebbles from any beach!

25Avalon Wed 08-May-19 15:17:57

You can buy pebbles from the garden centre, all washed and clean.

Ailsa43 Wed 08-May-19 18:45:48

All the pebbles in my garden were bought from the Garden centre !

What's the deal with not being able to send Lottery tickets?

instagran Wed 08-May-19 22:20:21

Do we know where the garden centre got them from? Most likely a beach, surely!