Sending items abroad can be a little more complicated than posting a parcel within the UK. Each European country has its own guidelines and restrictions, so it's very important that you do your research first. Although sending things to Italy is a relatively simple task, there are a wide range of items that cannot be sent.
To avoid losing anything valuable, here's a short guide containing everything you need to know.
Prohibited and restricted items
You might be surprised at how many items you aren't allowed to send into Italy. Prohibited items must not be posted under any circumstances. Although Italy is a country renowned for its food, you'll find that many consumable items are banned from the postal system. Any food products that contain either meat or milk are banned, as is sugar and infant food or milk which needs refrigerating before it's opened.
It's not just food that's prohibited though; jewellery, lithium batteries, tobacco and perfume are among the strangest banned items. Make sure you don't put any of these in a parcel, or you may lose it forever.
Restricted items are things that can only be sent under specific conditions, which will vary according to the item and country. There are a lot of restricted items, so you'll want to check the entire list before you send anything. If you're an eBay seller you should be aware that fairly common items, such as footwear, umbrellas, toys, glassware and ceramics are just some of the things that carry certain restrictions.
Packaging and addressing
Italy is, of course, part of the EU, so the good news is you won't have to fill out any customs forms for your parcel. However, you will need customs documentation if you're sending an item to the Vatican City State.
When addressing your parcel, make sure 'ITALY' is the last line of address in capital letters. Preferably this should be written in Italian - 'ITALIA'. However it is acceptable to write it in an internationally recognised language, so in English should be fine. You can always write it as 'ITALIE' if you want to, as there are many French speakers in Italy too.
How long will it take to arrive and how much will it cost?
Italy is located relatively close to the UK, so parcels tend to arrive pretty quickly. If you're only paying for standard delivery, expect your package to arrive within three - four days. By paying a little bit extra, parcels can take as little as two - three days to end up at your recipient's door.
Just remember to work the cost of P&P into anything you want to sell on eBay before you put it up for auction.
You'll need to be doubly sure that anything you're sending to Italy isn't restricted or prohibited, but apart from that it's fairly easy to post something to an EU country.
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Sending parcels to Italy