A guide to sending fluids

Sending fluids in the mail can be tricky business and you need to take care. Although it’s not a complete no-go, liquids aren’t always best suited to being transported this way. For this reason, there are many restrictions to consider.

This means you need to take certain steps to ensure your liquid reaches its destination without any hassle. The following information will certainly help.


Restrictions and prohibitions - what fluids can't you send?


First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that some fluids can’t be sent in the post at all, while others carry restrictions. Due to concerns over the suitability of liquids in transit, ipostparcels has a list of items that are only accepted on a no-compensation basis. Liquids as a general category features on this list, along with paint, medicines and alcohol.


Sending alcohol in the mail


When mailing alcohol internationally, you must pay attention to alcohol by volume (ABV) percentages. Beer, wine, champagne and the like may only be sent in the UK post if this rating is below 70 per cent. The restrictions are tighter when it comes to sending internationally; beverages must have an ABV of 24 per cent or less to be sent abroad.

Regardless of where you're sending your booze, it mustn't exceed one litre in volume. Be aware that some Muslim countries have rules forbidding the import of alcohol completely; Saudi Arabia is one such place.


Biological substances


There are also restrictions surrounding biological substances. This includes blood and urine samples, neither of which can be sent using ipostparcels. In fact, you'll find that most courier services will refuse to transport bodily fluids due to the associated health risks. There are specialist companies that provide secure carry equipment for such purposes, but sending overseas is a definite no-no.


Flammable or potentially dangerous substances


You cannot send lighter fluid or flammable liquid in the post, nor can you send any poisons or pesticides.
When it comes to cosmetics - such as nail varnish, polish or gel – volume and quantity must be considered. Whilst these products can't be sent internationally, they may be sent within the UK as long as the volume doesn't exceed 30ml.

Perfumes and aftershaves must not exceed 150ml and you can’t send more than four items in any one parcel.
General liquids which aren't classified as dangerous goods are fine to send in any volume, unless you are sending internationally, in which case they are limited to one litre.

Packaging liquid for sending in the mail


When packaging the liquids you want to send, take more care than usual. Ensure the containers are well padded and wrap them in plastic in case of breakage (ziplock bags are particularly useful here). Seal all openings well with tape.

When sending glass bottles, it's best to write 'Fragile' on the outside of the parcel. It's also a good idea to mark the box with 'Liquid' too, as some of the machines your parcel will come across on its journey are unable to take packages containing liquids.

Hopefully, this guide has given you a good idea of the main dos and don'ts when sending liquids in the mail, but if in doubt, always check with your courier company before you send.

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Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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