Shipping Guide: General, Dangerous, and Prohibited Items

A practical guide to understanding general, dangerous, and prohibited items.
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Last update:

August 7, 2023

In everyday life, whether for work needs or personal reasons, we may need to mail various items. But do you know what category the items you are mailing fall under? Understanding the classification of mailing items and corresponding mailing regulations can help us carry out mailing operations smoothly and avoid unnecessary troubles. 

In this blog, we will explain the definitions of general goods, dangerous goods, and prohibited items and provide precautions for mailing these items, as well as how to mail them more efficiently through ShipSaving.

General Items

First, let's understand what "general items" are. General items refer to the most common items in the mailing process that do not require special handling. 

For example, clothing, books, household goods, etc., fall under general goods. These items usually do not contain potential dangers, so no extra fees or special handling are needed during mailing. 

When mailing general goods, the main thing to consider is ensuring the integrity of the packaging to prevent damage during transportation. By using ShipSaving for mailing general goods, we can easily track the package status and enjoy discounted postage.

Dangerous Items

Dangerous items typically refer to items that contain potential risks or need special handling, such as electronic devices (e.g., batteries, mobile phones, etc.), liquids, powders, cosmetics, food, etc. Different carriers and countries/regions may have different regulations and ways of handling dangerous goods.

When mailing dangerous goods, we need to understand and comply with relevant regulations in advance, possibly provide more detailed item information, or perform special packaging. 

Sometimes, mailing these items may require additional fees. By using ShipSaving, we can obtain professional advice, ensuring that the mailing process for dangerous goods complies with regulations, avoiding issues.

For instance, purchasing domestic U.S. shipping labels through the ShipSaving platform only supports using USPS Ground Advantage™ service for mailing dangerous items (HAZMAT). 

USPS Ground Advantage™ is suitable for shippers of various scales, benefiting both small e-commerce businesses and large enterprises. This economical and reliable transportation method applies to packages weighing up to 70 pounds and can deliver packages to their destination within 2-5 business days.

Prohibited Items

Lastly, prohibited items refer to those that are not allowed to be mailed or transported, such as flammable and explosive items, drugs, weapons, live animals and plants, subversive propaganda, etc. 

These items might pose a threat to humans, the environment, or other goods. Mailing prohibited items can not only lead to the confiscation of the items but also legal liability. Therefore, before mailing, we must understand and strictly comply with the destination's mailing regulations.

Understanding restrictions on prohibited items by the four major U.S. carriers:




DHL Express

In addition to the above categories, here are some general precautions when mailing items:

  • Ensure complete and sturdy packaging: Good packaging is essential, regardless of the type of item being mailed. Ensure the packaging can protect the item from damage during transportation.
  • Understand mailing regulations: Each carrier and country/region may have different mailing regulations. Understand these regulations in detail before mailing to avoid violations.
  • Provide accurate information: Providing the correct shipping and receiving address information is crucial when mailing items. Also, for internationally declared packages, accurately describing the item's content and value is necessary.
  • Choose the appropriate mailing method: Depending on the nature and urgency of the item, select the most suitable mailing method. For example, some items may need air shipping, while others may be more suitable for ground shipping.

Hope this article helps you better understand general goods, dangerous goods, and prohibited concepts, as well as the precautions when mailing these items. If you have any other questions or need further assistance, please contact us, and we will do our best to help.

ShipSaving makes your shipping process more relaxed and efficient! 

Written on:

August 7, 2023
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