Prohibited and restricted items

Not all items are suitable for sending by post or courier. Please check that your item is safe to send.

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  • Not all items are suitable for sending by post or courier.
  • Some pose a risk to the safety and security of people and equipment and are therefore prohibited.
  • Others pose a risk if certain conditions are not met and are therefore restricted.
  • You must check your item is safe to send.
  • Not checking may increase your liability exposure.

Information on this page:

Your obligations

Use our services wisely

You must use our services wisely and exercise common sense.

No prohibited or restricted items

You must not post or courier a:

  1. Prohibited item, or
  2. Restricted item, where you have not met our specified conditions of carriage,

unless, through an authorised New Zealand Post representative, we have specifically agreed in writing to provide this variation in service to you.

It is your responsibility

It is your responsibility to check whether an item is Prohibited or Restricted. What may appear harmless to you at first glance, may still be Prohibited or Restricted, for example, as a result of the law in New Zealand or the country of destination. Importantly, acceptance of the item by us for sending does not free you of this responsibility.

If you are unsure, please contact our National Contact Centre on 0800 501 501. They are always happy to help but, due to the complex nature of some products, it remains your responsibility to ensure your item is safe to send. If sending dangerous goods, ensure you check the IATA website at www.iata.orgOpens in a new window. for more information.

Check export rules

The New Zealand Government prohibits or restricts the export of various types of items (such as prescription medication and antiquities). You must ensure that your item is not prohibited from export or that you meet any export restrictions on the item you are planning to send. For further information, contact the New Zealand Customs Service or the appropriate government authority.

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Our rights and your liability

Items may be opened and inspected

We may open and inspect any item we suspect may be, or may contain, a Prohibited item.

Prohibited items will not be delivered

If we find a Prohibited item it will not be delivered and we will not refund postage costs. We are not obliged to return the item to you but may, at our discretion and at your cost:

  1. make the item safe;
  2. return the item to you by a licensed dangerous goods carrier or security firm;
  3. destroy the item;
  4. dispose of the item; or
  5. deliver the item to the appropriate authorities.

Your liability exposure is increased

If you send a Prohibited item, or Restricted item (where you have not met our specified conditions of carriage):

  1. we may hold you liable for any costs or damages incurred by us;
  2. we may not cover you for any loss of, or damage to, the item;
  3. you may be subject to penalties under the Postal Services Act 1998, the Civil Aviation Act 1990 and other legislation.

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What is Prohibited?

Please read carefully every time you send an item

The items listed are examples of the general category. Please check carefully every time you send an item.

Ammunition and Weapons

Air guns
Ammunition
Bullets
Firearms
Firearms parts1 *
Grenades (inc. imitation ones)
Weapons, including bows, crossbows and arrows, harpoons, spear guns, sling shots, catapults
Stun guns, tasers and stun batons

Bleaches and Poisons

Alkaline
Ammonia-based products
Asbestos
Bleach (including hair bleaches)
Chemicals (inc. chlorine for swimming pools)
Dyes (including hair and textile dyes)
Insecticides
Noxious substances
Poisons (e.g. cyanide, lead, arsenic)
Sodium
Weed killers
Zinc powder

Batteries & Corrosives

Acid (of any type)
Batteries (car or wet cell)
Electronic/electric appliances, devices & toys containing Non-Lithium-ion batteries*
Electronic/electric appliances, devices& toys containing Lithium-metal or Lithium-ion (inc. Lithium-ion polymer) batteries*
Powerbanks

Combustion Engines

Generators (fuel powered)
Purged engines

Compressed Gas

Compressed air
Fire extinguishers
Gas cylinders (e.g. camping – full or empty)
Oxygen cylinders including compressed air
Paint guns
Shock absorbers (gas or compressed air)

Explosives & Fireworks

Christmas crackers
Fireworks (e.g. skyrockets, sparklers, crackers)
Party poppers

Flammable Gas

Aerosol cans (e.g. hairspray, deodorant)
Air bag (car)
Alarm devices (gas or battery powered)
Gas (e.g. propane, butane, hydrogen, helium)

Flammable Liquids

Adhesive products (e.g. quick drying glue)
Alcohol (more than 5 litres or 70% alc/vol)
Anti-freeze
Barometers
Battery or Brake Fluid
Cleaning materials (inc. disinfectants)
Dry ice (or Liquid Nitrogen)
Essential oils (e.g. eucalyptus, tea tree)
Fertilisers
Fibre glass repair kits
Kerosene
Lighter fluid
Mercury (incl. thermometers and barometers containing mercury)
Motor fuels and petrol
Oven cleaners (containing caustic soda)
Paint (oil based)
Perfume (inc. aftershave, cologne)
Peroxides
Polish (inc. nail polish and nail polish remover)
Polyester resin kits
Solvents (any)
Turpentine
Varnish (inc. removers, thinners)

Flammable Solids

Camphor
Carbon paper
Caustic soda
Charcoal
Cleaning materials (inc. laundry detergents)
Phosphorus
Toner (e.g. photocopier; inc. cartridges)

Matches and Lighters

Blasting caps (including caps for starting or toy guns)
Fire and flint lighters
Flares (inc. theatrical, distress and smoke signals)
Igniters
Matches and cigarette lighters

Valuables

Bank (eg debit, EFTPOS or credit) and gift cards*
Bullion, coins*, currency, traveller’s cheques, bonds and shares
Collectables, antiques, paintings, sculpture or other works of art*
Jewellery2, precious metals or stones, watches*
Negotiable instruments (inc. bearer securities, bills of exchange or uncrossed cheques)
Numismatic items*
Stamps (unused)*
Vouchers, activated cards (loaded with monetary value), tickets for games of chance, event tickets

Other Prohibited Items

Animals (except correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects)
Drugs or Narcotics (unless in prescription quantities and packaged correctly)*3
First aid kits
Furs and skins (untreated)
Human or animal remains (inc. ashes)
Indecent goods
Magnets or magnetic material (inc. fridge magnets and compasses)

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Plus:

  • Illegal items: any item that is illegal or prohibited by law or any authority whether in New Zealand or the destination country; any item that is prohibited by a United Nations sanction - for further details refer to United Nations Security Council SanctionsOpens in a new window.
  • Dangerous items: any item that is capable, as packaged, of causing injury to people or damage to property
  • Fragile items: regardless of how it is packaged*
  • Inadequately packaged items: any item that is not sufficiently packaged to withstand a 1.2m drop
  • Perishable items: any item that may spoil or decay, or has an expiry date of less than 6 months from the date of sending
  • Restricted items: any item that is classified as Restricted under our terms and conditions where you have not complied with the conditions of carriage for that item
  • IATA listed items: any item that is listed in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations inc. explosives, gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidising substances and organic peroxides, toxic (poisonous) and infectious substances, radioactive materials (except in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965)*, corrosives, and highly magnetic and polymerisable substances

*Depending on where you want to send these items, their value, or what service you use, you may be able to send them – see the Restricted Items section.

1. 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.

2. Jewellery is any object that is typically worn for personal adornment (such as bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, cuff links, etc) which is made of precious stones or metals

3. Additional restrictions apply for international services-for details refer to the conditions of carriage of Restricted items below.

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What is Restricted?

The terms High Risk items and Restricted items are both used currently in New Zealand Post collateral and on items such as postage included bags. For the purposes of these terms and conditions, they both have the same meaning.

Restricted items are items that can only be sent if you have complied with the conditions of carriage we specify in Table A below.

Table A: Conditions of carriage for Restricted items

You must comply with the conditions of carriage for each category that applies to your item.

Domestic services - Conditions of carriage for Restricted items

Item Letters, postcards, Parcel Post & Parcel Post Tracked Courier and Courier & Signature
Item contents valued at:

Letters (inc postcards)
N/A - no compensation is payable

Parcels: up to NZ$250 may be sent

up to NZ$2,000 may be sent
Any collectable (other than numismatic coins) or antique or any painting, sculpture or other work of art Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Bank and gift cards (inactive only) Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Electronic/electric appliances, devices and toys containing Non-Lithium-ion batteries

Damaged batteries of any kind are prohibited. Batteries sent by themselves are prohibited.

Non-Lithium-ion batteries must be removed from the appliance or device and wrapped separately. If the battery cannot be removed, the device can be sent, but only if it is turned off and does not have a transmit function or any moving parts.

Different or additional restrictions apply if the appliance or device contains Lithium-ion batteries – refer to the information below.

Electronic/electric appliances, devices and toys containing Lithium (including Lithium-ion and Lithium-ion polymer) batteries

Lithium-metal batteries are prohibited. Damaged batteries of any kind are prohibited. Batteries sent by themselves are prohibited, including powerbanks.

In all other cases, a maximum of two Lithium-ion batteries per parcel is allowed*, providing the special packaging requirements detailed below are met.

* Prohibited when using Bulk Mail, FastPost, ParcelPost Fast, BoxLink or ParcelPost PO Box Priority services.

Firearms parts (excludes ammunition) Prohibited item

Can be sent only if all items are inoperable, and packaged separately and securely within a case or a box to withstand transport and handling

Must use the Courier& Signature service only

Fragile items Can be sent only if packaged to withstand transport and handling Can be sent only if packaged to withstand transport and handling
Jewellery, watches, precious metals or stones Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Liquids not otherwise classified as dangerous Must be packaged in a way to ensure no leakage or breakage of the container.
Narcotic drugs (where allowable) Prohibited item

Must be sent by an authorised organisation and packaged correctly

Must use the Courier & Signature service only

Numismatic coins Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Original copies of identity, travel, ownership or legal documents Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above)
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 NZ Communicable Diseases Centre

Must use the Courier& Signature service only

Poisons not classified as class 6.1 Dangerous Goods in the IATA Regulations Prohibited item

Must be packaged correctly

Must use the Courier& Signature service only

Radioactive substances Must be in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and below the limits specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (e.g. domestic smoke alarms).
Stamps (unused) Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)

 

International Services - Conditions of carriage for Restricted items

Item International Air International Courier International Express Courier
Item contents valued at:

Letters (inc. postcards and aerogrammes)

All purchasers:
N/A - no compensation is payable

Parcels:

Consumer: up to NZ$2000 can be sent

Business with New Zealand Post Account: up to NZ$250 may be sent. If, over NZ$250 but less than NZ$2000, it may only be sent if Additional Compensation Cover is purchased

Business without New Zealand Post Account (or with one but not using a business consignment note): up to NZ$250 may be sent

Air Registered

All purchaser types: up to NZ$250 may be sent

Consumer: up to NZ$5000 can be sent

Business with New Zealand Post Account: up to NZ$2000 may be sent. If, over NZ$2000 but less than NZ$5000, it may only be sent if Additional Compensation Cover is purchased

Business without New Zealand Post Account (or with one but not using a business consignment note): up to NZ$2000 may be sent

Consumer: up to NZ$10,000 can be sent

Business with New Zealand Post Account: up to NZ$2000 may be sent. If, over NZ$2000 but less than NZ$50,000, it may only be sent if Additional Compensation Cover is purchased

Business without New Zealand Post Account (or with one but not using a business consignment note): up to NZ$2000 may be sent

Any collectable (other than numismatic coins) or antique or any painting, sculpture or other work of art Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to overseas destination rules, the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling) Can be sent (subject to overseas destination rules, the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Bank and gift cards (inactive only) Prohibited item Prohibited item Prohibited item
Electronic/electric appliances, devices and toys containing Non-Lithium-ion batteries

Damaged batteries of any kind are prohibited. Batteries sent by themselves are prohibited.

Non-Lithium-ion batteries must be removed from the appliance or device and wrapped separately. If the battery cannot be removed, the device can be sent, but only if it is turned off and does not have a transmit function or any moving parts.

Different or additional restrictions apply if the appliance or device contains Lithium-ion batteries – refer to the information below.

Electronic/electric appliances, devices and toys containing Lithium (including Lithium-ion and Lithium-ion polymer) batteries Prohibited item Prohibited item

Lithium-metal batteries are prohibited. Damaged batteries of any kind are prohibited. Batteries sent by themselves are prohibited, including powerbanks.

In all other cases, a maximum of two Lithium-ion batteries per parcel is allowed, providing the special packaging requirements detailed below are met

A Lithium-ion Battery Document - International (ADV550) (PDF - 146KB) must be completed and included with your consignment note

Firearms parts (excludes ammunition) Prohibited item Prohibited item Prohibited item
Fragile items Can be sent only if packaged to withstand transport and handling Can be sent only if packaged to withstand transport and handling Can be sent only if packaged to withstand transport and handling
Jewellery, watches, precious metals or stones Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to overseas destination rules, the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling) Can be sent (subject to overseas destination rules, the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)
Liquids not otherwise classified as dangerous Must be packaged in a way to ensure no leakage or breakage of the container.
Narcotic drugs (where allowable) Prohibited item

Must be sent by an authorised organisation

Must be packaged correctly

Must be sent by an authorised organisation

Must be packaged correctly

Numismatic coins Prohibited item Prohibited item Prohibited item
Original copies of identity, travel, ownership or legal documents Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above) Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above)
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 New Zealand Communicable Diseases Centre

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 New Zealand Communicable Diseases Centre

Poisons not classified as class 6.1 Dangerous Goods in the IATA Regulations Prohibited item Must be packaged correctly Must be packaged correctly
Radioactive substances Must be in quantities exempted from the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and below the limits specified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (e.g. domestic smoke alarms).
Stamps (unused) Prohibited item Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling) Can be sent (subject to the rules regarding content value above and if packaged to withstand transport and handling)

Special packaging requirements for sending Lithium-ion (including Lithium-ion polymer) batteries:

  • A maximum of 2 batteries, or 4 cells (single cell batteries), maybe contained in equipment per parcel.
  • Each cell or battery must be under a certain power capacity rating:
    • Each Lithium-ion cell - maximum 20 Watt-hours.
    • Each Lithium-ion battery - maximum 100 Watt-hours.
      (Batteries for most consumer devices are likely to be under this limit eg. mobile phones, laptops, tablet computers, cameras etc. The Wh rating will be printed on the battery or may be stated in the device manual).
  • The device must be switched off and packaged so that it can not move around or be accidentally activated during transport.
  • The device with battery must be in strong external packaging to withstand a 1.2m drop.

If sending overseas, additional requirements are:

If sending within New Zealand, additional requirements are:

  • If the device/equipment is being returned for repair, the battery must be removed and wrapped separately within the parcel if possible.
  • If the device/equipment is brand new and in the original packaging, send it as it was packed by the manufacturer.
  • If the device/equipment is used, leave the battery inside the device/equipment and ensure that it cannot be switched on.
  • There are no additional documentation or labelling requirements.

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Completing documentation fully and accurately

Labels, Forms and Declarations

All information provided to us must be complete and accurate.

If you are sending an item internationally, then you will be required to complete a form containing customs and consignment information.

The type of form will depend on the item’s weight and/or the value of its contents, and on whether you are sending the item as a consumer or a business. In store, small green customs declaration forms and larger, white consignment notes are available for use.

We rely on the contents and value disclosures you make

You acknowledge that we will rely on the information you provide us for safety purposes and for valuation purposes if your item is damaged or lost in transit.

You may not list an item and value for customs, consignment and/or postage purposes, and then claim a different item or higher value from us.

Providing incomplete and/or inaccurate information may reduce your chances of a successful claim if your item is damaged or lost in transit; and may constitute a criminal offence subject to fines and penalties.

How do I package my item?

The general handling and transport processes are the same for all items

As such, we cannot provide any special treatment for items that are:

  • fragile;
  • affected by changes in temperature (for example, certain types of chocolate);
  • simply inadequately packaged.

It is not sufficient to affix labels such as ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’ to your item.

Your responsibility

By accepting your item, we do not acknowledge that your packaging is sufficient to ensure the item is delivered undamaged.

Wrap to allow for a 1.2m drop

It is your responsibility to ensure that any item is well packaged and can withstand a 1.2 metre drop.

Use common sense, and wrap your items well. Account for the fact that they may be dropped, including on an angle, have items dropped on them, be nudged, placed sideways and/or upside down. Pay particular attention to cushion the corners and consider whether your items would be best protected by the use of an inside and outside container.

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