Prohibited and Restricted Items

What is the difference between a Prohibited and Restricted item?

  • Prohibited items cannot be sent via the postal service under any circumstances.  These items will be seized by customs and may be destroyed.
  • Restricted items can be sent via the postal service, but must comply to very strict guidelines.

A comprehensive list of Prohibited and Restricted items can be found directly on the NZ Post Website

It is your responsibility to check whether an item is Prohibited or Restricted.

What may appear harmless to you at first glance, may still be Prohibited or Restricted. Importantly, acceptance of the item by us for sending does not free you of this responsibility.  

If you are unsure if the item you wish to send is prohibited or restricted, please contact the NZ Post National Contact Centre on 0800 501 501. 

The New Zealand Government prohibits or restricts the export of various types of items (such as prescription medication). You must ensure that your item is not prohibited from export or that you meet any export restrictions on the item you are planning to send. For further information, contact the New Zealand Customs Service or the appropriate government authority.

If NZ Post finds a Prohibited item it will not be delivered and we will not refund postage costs. NZ Post is not obliged to return the item to you but may; at their discretion, and at your cost:

  1. make the item safe;
  2. return the item to you by a licensed dangerous goods carrier or security firm;
  3. destroy the item;
  4. dispose of the item; or
  5. deliver the item to the appropriate authorities.

Some countries have additional rules, with their own unique restrictions.  This includes information about goods being posted, along with restrictions to postage due to network disruptions and restrictions set by these countries themselves.


Examples of Prohibited Items

The items listed here are examples of items within each category. Please check carefully every time you send an item.

Ammunition and Weapons

- Air guns
- Ammunition
- Bullets
- Firearms
- Firearms parts1
- Grenades (inc. imitation ones)
- Weapons, including bows, crossbows and arrows, harpoons, spear guns, sling shots, catapults
- Stun guns, tasers and stun batons

Bleaches and Poisons

- Alkaline
- Ammonia-based products
- Asbestos
- Bleach (including hair bleaches)
- Chemicals (inc. chlorine for swimming pools)
- Dyes (including hair and textile dyes)
- Insecticides
- Noxious substances
- Poisons (e.g. cyanide, lead, arsenic)
- Sodium
- Weed killers
- Zinc powder

Batteries & Corrosives

- Acid (of any type)
- Batteries (car or wet cell)
- Electronic/electric appliances, devices & toys containing Non-Lithium-ion batteries*
- Electronic/electric appliances, devices & toys containing Lithium-metal or Lithium-ion (inc. Lithium-ion polymer) batteries*
- Powerbanks

Combustion Engines

- Generators (fuel powered)
- Purged engines

Compressed Gas

- Compressed air
- Fire extinguishers
- Gas cylinders (e.g. camping – full or empty)
- Oxygen cylinders including compressed air
- Paint guns
- Shock absorbers (gas or compressed air)

Explosives & Fireworks

- Christmas crackers
- Fireworks (e.g. skyrockets, sparklers, crackers)
- Party poppers

Flammable Gas

- Aerosol cans (e.g. hairspray, deodorant)
- Air bag (car)
- Alarm devices (gas or battery powered)
- Gas (e.g. propane, butane, hydrogen, helium)

Flammable Liquids

- Adhesive products (e.g. quick drying glue)
- Alcohol (more than 5 litres or 70% alc/vol)
- Anti-freeze
- Barometers
- Battery or Brake Fluid
- Cleaning materials (inc. disinfectants)
- Dry ice (or Liquid Nitrogen)
- Essential oils (e.g. eucalyptus, tea tree)
- Fertilisers
- Fibre glass repair kits
- Kerosene
- Lighter fluid
- Mercury (incl. thermometers and barometers containing mercury)
- Motor fuels and petrol
- Oven cleaners (containing caustic soda)
- Paint (oil based)
- Perfume (inc. aftershave, cologne)
- Peroxides
- Polish (inc. nail polish and nail polish remover)
- Polyester resin kits
- Solvents (any)
- Turpentine
- Varnish (inc. removers, thinners)

Flammable Solids

- Camphor
- Carbon paper
- Caustic soda
- Charcoal
- Cleaning materials (inc. laundry detergents)
- Phosphorus
- Toner (e.g. photocopier; inc. cartridges)

Matches and Lighters

- Blasting caps (including caps for starting or toy guns)
- Fire and flint lighters
- Flares (inc. theatrical, distress and smoke signals)
- Igniters
- Matches and cigarette lighters


- Bank (eg debit, EFTPOS or credit) and gift cards*
- Bullion, coins*, currency, traveller’s cheques, bonds and shares
- Collectables, antiques, paintings, sculpture or other works of art*
- Jewellery2, precious metals or stones, watches*
- Keys*
- Negotiable instruments (inc. bearer securities, bills of exchange or uncrossed cheques)
- Numismatic items*
- Passports and National ID cards*
- Original copies of other identity, travel, ownership or legal documents*
- Stamps (unused)*
- Vouchers, activated cards (loaded with monetary value), tickets for games of chance, event tickets

Other Prohibited Items

- Animals (except correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects)
- Drugs or Narcotics (unless in prescription quantities and packaged correctly)3 *
- First aid kits
- Furs and skins (untreated)
- Human or animal remains (inc. ashes)
- Indecent goods
- Magnets or magnetic material (inc. fridge magnets and compasses)

*Depending on where you want to send these items, their value, or what service you use, you may be able to send these marked items.


  • Illegal items: any item that is illegal or prohibited by law or any authority whether in New Zealand or the destination country; any item that is prohibited by a United Nations sanction - for further details refer to United Nations Security Council Sanctions
  • Dangerous items: any item that is capable, as packaged, of causing injury to people or damage to property
  • Inadequately packaged items: any item that is not sufficiently packaged to withstand a 1.2m drop
  • Fragile items: regardless of how it is packaged*
  • Perishable items: any item that may spoil or decay, or has an expiry date of less than 6 months from the date of sending
  • Restricted items: any item that is classified as Restricted under our terms and conditions where you have not complied with the conditions of carriage for that item
  • IATA listed items: any item that is listed in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations inc. explosives, gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidising substances and organic peroxides, toxic (poisonous) and infectious substances, radioactive materials (except in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965)*, corrosives, and highly magnetic and polymerisable substances

1. Firearm parts are any piece of a firearm that is designed or intended to be a part of a firearm, regardless of whether it is in working condition. Firearm parts include, but are not limited to, the breech/chamber, stock/butt, magazine, silencer, barrel, bolt and trigger assembly.

2. Jewellery is any object that is typically worn for personal adornment (such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, cuff links, etc) which is made of precious stones or metals

3. Additional restrictions apply for international services-for details refer to the conditions of carriage of Restricted items below.

Sending Restricted Items

We recommend that you check the NZ Post Prohibited and Restricted Items page for more information.  Items listed under the heading of restricted can be sent internationally, but must comply with very specific requirements.

Restricted item example: sending a Mobile Phone internationally.

Mobile Phones contain Lithium-Ion Batteries, and are thus classified as such.

maximum of two Lithium-ion batteries per parcel is allowed (meaning you cannot send more than two mobile phones in any single package), providing the special packaging requirements detailed below are met.  These items MUST be posted using the International Express postal service.

Special packaging requirements for sending Lithium-ion (including Lithium-ion polymer) batteries:

  • A maximum of 2 batteries, or 4 cells (single cell batteries), maybe contained in equipment per parcel.
  • Each cell or battery must be under a certain power capacity rating:
    • Each Lithium-ion cell - maximum 20 Watt-hours.
    • Each Lithium-ion battery - maximum 100 Watt-hours.
      (Batteries for most consumer devices are likely to be under this limit eg. mobile phones, laptops, tablet computers, cameras etc. The Wh rating will be printed on the battery or may be stated in the device manual).
  • The device must be switched off and packaged so that it can not move around or be accidentally activated during transport.
  • The device with battery must be in strong external packaging to withstand a 1.2m drop.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Batteries sent by themselves are prohibited and cannot be sent under any circumstances.  This includes power banks.

Can honey be sent internationally?

Unfortunately, we are unable to send honey to international addresses.

Honey is an animal product, and anyone who sends animal products overseas must meet specific export requirements.  To send honey overseas you must:

  • register as an animal products exporter under the Animal Products Act 1999 or us the services of an exporter who is already registered
  • meet the requirements outlined in the General Export Requirements for Bee Products (GREX)
  • meet any overseas market access requirements (OMARs) that apply
  • secure certification if official assurance is required for the destination market

As you can see with the above very specific requirements, it can get very expensive to register to be able to ship these kind of products, and is restricted to companies who regularly do large volumes of exporting.

For more information, please refer to the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand website.

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