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What are the most common prohibited items to send in Europe?

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Written by Ecoparcel May 03, 2021

It's fair to say that restrictions on shipments coming into Europe are pretty stern. Even though the majority of European nations are part of the EU, which has its own defined trade rules, each country retains the right to either ban or restrict certain items from import. 

Those who are sending parcels on the regular, know this pretty well and are aware what’s allowed or disallowed to be shipped to a country concerned. But what are the most common prohibited items that most European nations restrict or ban?

In this article, we will talk about just that.

Most common items European nations ban or restrict

The EU protects its market from things like financial fraud as well dumping and subsidiary violation for all imports coming from territories outside of the union. 

As a result, it applies these methods to regulate the flow of goods coming in:

  • Import tariffs
  • Documents for product place of origin
  • Special customs duty and taxes
     

Among others.

In terms of what items are most often to be banned or restricted, we can take a look at some of the members and their rules applied for incoming parcels.

Forbidden items or restricted items to import

  • Guns and ammunition - all EU members strictly prohibit the import of all offensive weapons including knives, firearms as well as ammunition regardless of what category they belong to. Being a former member of the EU, the UK, heavily restricts any firearm imports while not outright banning them. Special licences are needed to import such products.
  • Furs and live animals - another thing commonly banned from import are live animals and their products, especially fur coming in from endangered species. Some nations, like Ireland for example, follow a zero tolerance policy when it comes to such products.
  • Perishable goods - understandably, the EU also bans perishable goods from being important. Sometimes, parcels take longer to deliver than usual, which could mean certain food items getting spoiled and thus ruined. Typically, a shelf life of at least 6 months is needed for a product of this type to be eligible for shipping.
  • Most drugs and pharmaceuticals - most EU members heavily protect their medical industry as well have strict laws when it comes to various substances. This means that most drugs, regardless of whether they are prescriptive or non-prescriptive are banned.

All in all

In this article, we’ve briefly touched upon the topic of the most common prohibited items to send in various European countries. It could be said that the EU import rules are indeed very stern, which is why you need to carefully study them before making a shipment.