Restricted and Prohibited Items

Items are prohibited because they pose a risk to the safety and security of our employees, customers and other people and equipment. They may appear harmless, but as almost all international items and many domestic items travel by air at some stage, they can become dangerous.

Our Customer Service Centre is always happy to help, but it is your responsibility to check whether the item you want to send is prohibited. If you send a prohibited item:

  • acceptance of that item by us does not free you of any of your responsibilities
  • we won’t cover you for any loss or damage
  • we may hold you liable for any costs or damages incurred by us
  • we may open it (even if we only suspect that it is prohibited)
  • we may not deliver it
  • we may charge you for its disposal.

There are also penalties for sending prohibited items under the Postal Services Act 1998, Civil Aviation Act 1990 and other legislation.
Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  • anything that is inadequately packaged or capable of causing damage to people and property – you can find helpful information about how to package certain items at 'How to package items'. Any item capable of causing injury to people or damage to property must be appropriately packaged before it is brought into any PostShop or New Zealand Post retail outlet.
  • dangerous goods – explosives, gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidising substances and organic peroxides, toxic (poisonous) and infectious substances, radioactive materials, corrosives, or highly magnetic and polymerisable substances (these dangerous goods rules are governed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA))
  • illegal items (whether in New Zealand or the destination country)
  • firearms, firearm parts and ammunition. Firearm parts are any piece of a firearm that is designed or intended to be an integral 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. Firearm accessories such as sights, slings and bipods/tripods can be sent
  • lithium ion or lithium polymer batteries*
  • drugs (unless in prescription quantities and packaged correctly)*
  • unsolicited indecent items or representations of any kind
  • human remains, including ashes
  • noxious substances or things, or dead animals
  • live animals (except for correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms or harmless insects)
  • perishables
  • fragile items*
  • travellers cheques, deeds, negotiable instruments (including any bearer security, bill of exchange or uncrossed cheque), bonds or shares, credit or bank cards, cash, currency, bullion or vouchers, gift cards, or tickets for any games of chance (such as raffle and lottery tickets)
  • jewellery, watches, precious metals or stones*
  • collectibles, antiques, paintings, sculptures or works of art*
  • unused stamps*.

*Depending on where you want to send these items, or what service you want to use, you may be able to send them. Refer to the section on restricted items.


Quick reference guide to common prohibited items

This list is a guide only - it is not a complete list of all prohibited items.

Acid Compressed air Nail polish
Adhesive products
(containing flammable liquid)
Deodorant (aerosols) Nail polish remover
Aerosol cans (e.g. hairspray) Disinfectants Narcotics
Air bags (car) Drugs (unless in
prescription quantities)
Oven cleaners (containing
caustic soda)
Alarm devices (gas or battery
powered)
Dry ice Oxygen cylinders, including
compressed air
Alcohol (more than 5 litres) Dyes Paint (oil based)
Alcohol (more than 70% by
volume)
Essential oils (e.g.
eucalyptus, tea tree)
Party poppers
Alkaline Fertilisers Perfume (including aftershave,
cologne)
Aluminium powder Fibreglass repair kits Peroxides
Ammonia-based products Fire extinguishers Petrol
 Ammunition Fire lighters Phosphorus
Animals (except correctly
packaged bees, leeches,
silkworms and harmless
insects)
Firearms (including parts)
and ammunition
Plastic solvent
Anti-freeze Fireworks (e.g.
skyrockets, sparklers,
crackers)
Poisons (e.g. cyanide, lead,
arsenic)
Appliances (containing
batteries)
First Aid kits Polish
Asbestos Flares Polyester resin kits
Barometers Flint lighters Propane
Batteries (contained in any
appliance - batteries must be
removed and packaged
separately)
Jewellery, watches,
precious metals or
stones
Shock absorbers
(gas or
compressed air)
Batteries (made from lithium,
some exceptions apply)
Furs and skins
(untreated)
Signals, distress
Batteries (car or wet cell) Gas (e.g. propane,
butane, hydrogen,
helium)
Signals, smoke
Battery fluid Gas cylinders (e.g.
camping gas cylinders -
full or empty)
Sodium
Blasting caps Generators (fuel powered) Solvents
Bleach Glue (e.g. flammable,
quick drying)
Sparklers
Brake fluid Grenades (including
imitation grenades)
Stun guns, tasers and stun
batons
Bullets Hair colouring/bleaches Sulphuric acid
Bullion Hairspray (aerosol) Swimming pool chemicals
Butane Human remains (including
ashes)
Tea tree oil
Camphor Igniters Textile dyes
Caps for starting guns Indecent goods Theatrical flares
Caps for toy guns Insecticides Thermometers (mercury)
Carbon paper Kerosene Toner (e.g. photocopier toner,
toner cartridges)
Cash, currency or
vouchers/gift cards
Laundry detergents Toy caps
Caustic soda Lighter fluid Toys (containing batteries)
Charcoal Liquid nitrogen Turpentine
Chemicals Magnetic material Varnish (e.g. removers, thinners)
Chlorates Magnets Watches
Chlorine Matches Weapons, including bows,
crossbows and arrows,
harpoons, guns, spear guns,
sling shots and catapults
Christmas crackers Mercury Weed killers
Cigarette lighters Motor fuels Zinc powder
Cleaning materials (liquid or
powder)
   

 

Restricted items

We will accept the following restricted items, as long as you meet our specified conditions of carriage. When buying additional cover is a condition of carriage, refer to the section on compensation limits for sending internationally. If you don’t meet our conditions of carriage, the item is prohibited.

                                                    Sending within New Zealand                                                         Sending overseas
  Letters, postcards,
Standard parcels,
Tracked parcels
Courier and
Courier &
Signature
parcels
International
Air &
International
Economy
International
Economy
Courier
International
Express
Courier
Any item valued
at more than the
standard
compensation
limit listed for the
service
Prohibited item Can be sent,
but maximum
compensation
available is
NZ$1,500
Can be sent if
additional
compensation
cover is
bought
Can be sent if
additional
compensation
cover is
bought
Can be sent if
additional
compensation
cover is
bought
Electronic/electric
appliances and
devices
Batteries must be removed and wrapped separately. If the battery cannot be removed, the item can be sent if it does not have a transmit function or moving parts. Additional restrictions apply if the appliance or device contains lithium batteries – refer to the information below.
Lithium ion or
lithium polymer
batteries

Priority services*
Prohibited item

All other services
Refer to the
requirements for
electronic/electric
appliances and devices

Special packaging
requirements
must be met –for details,refer to the
information below this table

Prohibited item Prohibited item

Lithium Battery
Document (PDF - 146KB) must be
completed and sent with your
international sending documents.

Special packaging
requirements must be met
–for details, refer to the
information below this table.

Radioactive
substances
May be sent in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and below the limits specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (e.g. household smoke alarms).
Poisons not classified as
class 6.1 Dangerous Goods
in the IATA Regulations
Prohibited item Must be packaged
correctly

Must be sent
using a
signature
required service
Prohibited item Must be
packaged
correctly
Must be
packaged
correctly
Perishable biological
specimens and substances
not classified as class 6.2
Dangerous Goods in the
IATA Regulations
Prohibited item

Must be sent to a
recognised laboratory,
medical institution,
medical practitioner or vet

Must be packaged in
accordance with'The Guideline
for Packaging and Shipping of
Infectious Substances'
by the Communicable Diseases Centre.

Must be sent using
a signature
required service

Prohibited item Must be sent to a
recognised laboratory,
medical institution,
medical practitioner or vet
Must be packaged in accordance with
'The Guideline for Packaging and
Shipping of Infectious Substances
'by the Communicable Diseases Centre
Liquids not otherwise
classified as dangerous
Must be packaged in a way to ensure no leakage or breakage of the container.
Drugs (where
allowable)
Prohibited item

Must be sent by an
authorised organisation

Must be
packaged
correctly

Must be sent using a
signature required service

 

Prohibited item

Must be sent by an
authorised organisation

Must be
packaged
correctly

Must be sent by
an authorised
organisation

Must be
packaged
correctly

Jewellery, watches,
precious metals or
stones valued under NZ$250
Prohibited item Prohibited item Can be sent if additional
compensation cover is bought
Can be sent if additional
compensation cover is bought

Can be sent if
additional
compensation cover is
bought

Jewellery, watches,
precious metals or
stones valued over NZ$250
Prohibited item Prohibited item Prohibited item Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional
compensation cover is
bought
Any collectible or antique or
any painting,
sculpture or other work of
art valued under NZ$1,500
Prohibited item Prohibited item Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional
compensation cover is
bought
Any collectible or antique or any painting, sculpture or other work of art valued over NZ$1,500 Prohibited item Prohibited item Prohibited item Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional
compensation cover is
bought
Unused stamps Prohibited item Prohibited item Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Can be sent if
additional compensation
cover is bought
Fragile items Can be sent only if packaged
to withstand transport
and handling–for details,
refer to the information below
Prohibited item Can be sent only if
packaged to withstand transport
and handling–for details,
refer to the information below
Can be sent only if
packaged to withstand transport
and handling–for details,
refer to the information below

Can be sent only if
packagedto withstand transport
and handling–for

details,
refer to the information below