100 Items Frequently Asked About for International Shipping from Singapore
So, you’ve probably heard that international shipping involves a lot of ins and outs, right? But what does that mean for your specific items?
Well, you’re in for a treat! We’ve put together a whopping list of 105 items that our customers frequently ask about, breaking down the mysteries of shipping them internationally.
Customs can be very unpredictable, and while some countries may approve certain items, others might reject them.
That’s why it’s crucial to always check the destination country’s specific shipping restrictions and prohibited items list before shipping to ensure a smooth process.
Ready? Let’s get started!
- Food Items
- Clothes & Fashion Accessories
- Musical Instruments
- Sports equipment
- Health & beauty
When it comes to shipping food overseas, avoid any items that contain meat or traces of meat, such as chicken-flavoured seasonings. Even a tiny amount could cause issues at customs.
Remember, some countries, including Belgium and Spain, have restrictions on shipping foodstuff, even the non-perishable kind.
1. Instant Noodles
Make sure they're meat-free and do not contain traces of meat, including chicken seasoning powder, and that they are in their original packaging. Check for any ingredient restrictions in the destination country.
2. Dried Seafood
Package them well to prevent spoilage, and verify the import rules of your destination.
3. Biscuits/Homemade Cookies
Use airtight containers to maintain freshness. Add padding inside the container to ensure that the cookies don’t move around, reducing the risk of them breaking during transit.
4. Tea/Tea Leaves
Keep the tea or tea leaves in sealed packaging to preserve their freshness.
5. Mooncakes (Without Egg Yolks)
Be aware that some countries have customs regulations that restrict the shipment of mooncakes containing egg yolks. To prevent rejection and return, ensure you only ship mooncakes without egg yolks.
6. Cooking Paste
Avoid cooking pastes with meat seasonings, like chicken stock. While these items are usually travel-friendly, pack them securely in a separate bag or container to prevent leaks and protect other items in your package.
7. Coffee/Milo Sachets
Ensure that the sachets are in their original packaging and that the packaging is in good condition, properly sealed, and not damaged.
Make sure that the snacks are well-sealed and that all ingredients are checked thoroughly to ensure they are completely free of any meat traces.
image source: calia.co
9. Dried Fruits
Ensure that the dried fruits are stored in airtight packaging to maintain their freshness throughout the shipping process.
10. Dried Nuts
Keep them in their original packaging when possible, and ensure that they are fresh and the packaging is properly sealed.
11. Kaya Jam
Since Kaya Jam is usually packaged in glass jars, it requires special attention during shipping. Ensure that the jar is tightly sealed, place it in a zip-lock bag, and use ample cushioning, possibly adding bubble wrap or foam for extra protection.
Keep the candy in their original packaging to avoid any confusion.
13. Soup Spices Packet
Carefully check all the ingredients to ensure there are no meat traces, as this could cause issues at customs.
Given its typical glass jar packaging, ensure a secure wrap to prevent breakage and leaks. Place the tightly sealed jar in a zip-lock bag, cushion it adequately, and consider additional protection with bubble wrap or foam.
15. Canned Food
Check each can carefully to make sure it’s not dented or damaged in any way. Cans that are in perfect shape are less likely to leak and cause problems during shipping.
Retain its original packaging. Ensure that the rice is in durable packaging to prevent any spills or damage during shipping.
17. Dried Herbs
Ensure all ingredients are clearly labelled and double-check for any traces of meat. Make sure to check the destination country’s rules and regulations regarding the import of dried herbs to avoid any issues during shipping.
18. Vitamins & supplements
Ensure you have the necessary import permit, customs approval, or a valid prescription for international shipping. Be prepared to provide detailed ingredient information and a letter explaining the import purpose. Note that countries like the United States, Spain, Hong Kong, and Malaysia have stricter regulations and may reject medication imports.
Consumers are not allowed to ship alcohol with FedEx, only Businesses that hold appropriate alcohol licenses (licensees) and are enrolled in the FedEx alcohol shipping program may ship to their customers in selected states or countries.
Be cautious when shipping honey internationally, as some countries, including the United States, have strict regulations and prohibitions on importing products derived from wild animals, birds, and insects, which include honey.
21. Bird’s nest
Due to strict regulations on products derived from wild animals and birds, including the United States, shipping bird’s nest internationally can be challenging. Always check the destination country’s import rules before proceeding.
22. Chicken Essence
It's advisable to avoid shipping chicken essence internationally as it is considered to contain traces of meat, which can lead to complications at customs.
23. Milk Powder
Milk powder requires careful attention when shipping internationally. It is prohibited to ship to certain countries, including China and the Netherlands. Ensure you check the destination country’s import rules before proceeding.
Navigating through the complexities of international shipping becomes a bit trickier when it comes to electronics. Different countries have varied and specific requirements, and it’s crucial to stay informed and prepared.
- Indonesia: Shipping used electronics requires a telecommunications form for customs clearance. This is a challenging process, and any mistakes in documentation can result in your package being rejected and returned to Singapore.
- Malaysia: Shipping electronics often necessitates a SIRIM permit. Ensure you have this permit and all other required paperwork in order before shipping.
Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to determine whether your electronic items need to be shipped as dangerous goods.
This is often the case for items containing lithium batteries or other potentially hazardous materials. You may need to refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each item to check.
For a more comprehensive guide, check out our articles on “The Why, What, and How of Shipping Electronics Overseas”.
24. Mobile Phones/Tablets
Ensure you have switched them off, and, if possible, ship them in their original packaging. Check the destination country’s specific regulations regarding mobile phones. DO NOT remove the Lithium batteries from the device.
Ensure you have switched them off, and pack them in their original packaging with additional padding. Like mobile phones, laptops also typically have Lithium batteries, so DO NOT remove them.
Keep them in their original packaging if possible.
27. LED Light/Lamp
Pack them securely with ample cushioning to prevent any breakage during transit.
image source: thefrostedchick.com.sg
Shipping e-scooters, especially those with lithium batteries, demands careful attention to regulations and packing. You’ll likely need a Dangerous Goods Shipper’s Declaration, detailing the type and specifications of the battery. For packing, opt for strong, rigid outer packaging and secure inner padding to keep the e-scooter stable during transit.
29. Desktop Computer
When shipping a desktop computer, it’s crucial to remove any loose or fragile components such as the GPU or RAM to prevent any damage during transit.
The original packaging is typically designed for single use and may not withstand the rigours of multiple shipments. Reusing it can weaken the packaging and place the computer at risk of damage.
To enhance protection, consider 'overboxing,' which involves placing the original manufacturer’s packaging within a larger, more durable box and adding cushioning materials for extra security.
image source: fedex.com
To ensure the safety of your television during transit, keep it in an upright position as this reduces the risk of screen damage from movement and vibrations. Make sure to label the package with "This Way Up" and "Do Not Lay Flat" instructions to guide handlers on keeping it in the correct position. Use the original packaging if possible, adding extra cushioning to protect the screen and other fragile parts.
31. Digital Camera
When shipping cameras, make sure you attach the body cap securely to protect the camera’s sensitive mirror and sensor during shipping. Remove memory cards, straps, and flashes to prevent any damage. Keep lithium-ion batteries inside the camera, and pack all components securely, using the original packaging and additional padding for protection.
32. Hard Drive
Always keep copies of your data to prevent any loss during the shipping process. Recognise the sensitivity of hard drives to shock. Place them in a box surrounded by ample padding, opting for foam padding for enhanced shock absorption during transit.
33. Rice Cooker
For secure shipping, wrap each component of the rice cooker, including the main unit, inner pot, and accessories, in bubble wrap or foam padding. Utilise the original packaging if available, and add extra padding for additional protection.
34. Gaming Console
Secure the console in a box with ample padding, ensuring its safety during transit. Wrap detachable components such as controllers separately to prevent any damage.
Label each cable clearly and bundle them together to avoid tangling and damage. This not only makes unpacking easier but also helps in case any customs inspection is required, speeding up the shipping process.
Pack the massager securely, ensuring all attachments are detached and wrapped separately. Use ample cushioning and place it in a sturdy box to prevent damage during transit.
37. Power Bank
Although most power banks don't require additional paperwork, if you're dealing with high-capacity models or if you're shipping many at once, you might need to follow special rules. Ensure proper packaging and check with your courier for any additional requirements.
Clothes & Fashion Accessories
Fold them neatly and place them in a plastic bag before packing them in a box or envelope. This helps to protect them from any potential damage or dirt during transit.
39. Winter Clothes
Winter clothes can be bulky, significantly impacting the shipping cost due to volumetric weight. To save on shipping costs and protect the clothes, use vacuum-sealed bags to compress them and reduce their volume.
For a comprehensive guide on packing winter clothes efficiently, check out our article on How To Pack Winter Clothes for Shipping.
Stuff them with paper to help maintain their shape. Place them in a dust bag or plastic bag, and then in a box with ample padding.
Secure the watch in its original box, ensuring that it is immobile to prevent any damage during transit. Place the box in a well-padded shipping box. Considering the value and delicate nature of watches, opting for shipping insurance is a wise choice to safeguard your items against potential loss or damage during transit.
Keep in mind that when shipping watches to the United States, a watch worksheet that details the composition of the watch is typically required.
42. Jewellery (Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces)
When shipping jewellery, it’s crucial to secure each piece individually to prevent tangling or damage. Use small jewellery boxes or padded pouches for each item, and ensure they are immobile within the box or pouch. For high-value pieces, consider additional padding and opt for shipping insurance to protect your investment.
If possible, ship them in their original box. Add crumpled paper inside the shoes to help them maintain their shape, and ensure the box is well-padded.
Use a hard case to protect the sunglasses, and place them in a padded envelope or a small box with additional cushioning.
If you are shipping sunglasses to the United States, make sure the sunglasses you ship have passed the drop ball test to confirm their impact resistance meets safety regulations.
Use a box or padded envelope to ship caps, ensuring they maintain their shape. Add tissue paper or bubble wrap for additional protection if necessary.
Shipping musical instruments requires special attention due to their delicate nature, value, and often irregular sizes. Utilising custom packaging is not just a necessity for protection; it’s also a strategic choice to reduce shipping costs.
For an in-depth guide on securely and cost-effectively shipping various musical instruments, check out our internal blog post: Shipping Musical Instruments Internationally: A Comprehensive Guide.
Loosen the strings to relieve tension, and if possible, detach the neck. Secure the guitar in a hard case, adding padding around the headstock and body. Place the case in a sturdy box with ample cushioning. For a detailed guide on shipping guitars safely, check out JustShip’s Comprehensive Guide to Shipping Guitars.
Loosen the strings and secure the violin in its case, ensuring that it doesn’t move around. Add extra padding inside the case if necessary. Place the case in a box with additional cushioning material.
Detach the strings and secure them separately. Wrap the guzheng in bubble wrap, ensuring all parts are protected. Place it in a sturdy box, adding cushioning material to prevent any movement.
image source: sonofchina.com
Loosen the strings and secure the banjo in a hard case with additional padding, ensuring the neck and body are well-protected. Place the case in a box with ample cushioning. Due to its unique shape, shipping a banjo can be tricky and potentially expensive.
For expert tips and a success story on how we helped a customer save $659.33 when shipping his banjo, check out our Shipping Large or Weirdly-Shaped Item blog post.
50. Music Keyboard
If possible, place the keyboard in its original packaging. If not, wrap it securely in bubble wrap, paying extra attention to the keys and knobs. Use a sturdy box with plenty of cushioning material.
51. French Horn
Detach the mouthpiece and secure it separately. Place the French horn in its case, ensuring it’s immobile. Add extra padding if necessary. Use a sturdy box with ample cushioning for shipping.
Shipping sports equipment requires meticulous packing to prevent damage during transit. Given the value and delicate nature of some sports items, it’s also wise to consider purchasing shipping insurance to protect your investment.
52. Golf Clubs
Use a golf travel bag or a hard case specifically designed for golf clubs. Add extra padding around the club heads, and ensure they are secure and do not move inside the bag or case.
53. Fishing Rods
Disassemble the rods if possible and place them in a rod tube. Fill any empty space with bubble wrap to prevent movement. For a step-by-step guide on packing your fishing rods securely, check out our article on How to Pack Fishing Rods for Shipping.
If possible, disassemble the skateboard. Wrap the deck and trucks separately in bubble wrap, and place them in a box with ample cushioning.
55. Badminton Racket
Use a racket cover or bag for protection. If shipping multiple rackets, ensure they are secured together and do not move around. Place them in a box with padding.
56. Boxing Gloves
Place the gloves in a plastic bag to protect them from dirt and moisture. Use a box or padded envelope with additional cushioning for shipping.
57. Swimming Goggles
Use a hard case to protect the goggles and place them in a padded envelope or small box.
58. Yoga Mat
Roll the mat tightly and secure it with a strap or in a bag. Use a box with enough space to prevent bending.
Protect the nose, tail, and rails with foam padding. Use a surfboard bag and ensure it is tightly secured. Consider a custom box for additional protection.
Disassemble the bicycle. Wrap each part in bubble wrap and use a bicycle box with ample cushioning.
61. Tennis Racket
Use a racket cover or bag, and if shipping multiple rackets, secure them together. Place them in a box with padding to prevent movement during transit.
Shipping books and documents require careful handling to prevent any damage such as bending, tearing, and moisture. Ensuring they stay dry and intact throughout their journey is crucial.
For small quantities, use a padded envelope. For larger shipments, distribute books across multiple boxes to manage weight. Use double corrugated boxes, fill extra space with robust packing materials, and consider shrink wrapping for additional support and prevent water damage.
For cost-effective shipping solutions, especially for international destinations, check out our guide on The Cheapest Way to Ship Books Internationally.
63. Passport/Drivers License
Use a plastic sleeve or envelope to protect it from damage. Send it via a trackable shipping method.
64. Personalised Card/Letters/Postcard
Place them in a sturdy envelope to prevent bending. If they are particularly valuable or sentimental, consider using a cardboard mailer for added protection.
If they are glossy or easily bent, use a cardboard mailer. For larger quantities, pack them tightly in a box with additional cushioning.
66. Poker Cards
Use a box or padded envelope to prevent bending or damage to the corners. Ensure they are tightly packed to prevent movement.
67. Paper Documents
Place them in a plastic sleeve or envelope for protection, and use a sturdy envelope or document mailer. For added security, use a trackable shipping method.
For comprehensive guidance on sending documents overseas, check out our Sending Documents Overseas blog post.
68. Empty Red Packets
Use a sturdy envelope to prevent bending.
Roll the banner and place it in a durable shipping tube. Secure the ends to protect the banner from damage during transit.
Health & beauty
Shipping health and beauty products internationally requires careful attention to the specific regulations of the destination country, as well as the nature of the products themselves.
Items containing alcohol might need to be shipped as dangerous goods. It’s crucial to obtain the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for these products and pass it to your courier to ensure proper handling and compliance.
Ensure it’s in its original packaging and well-sealed to prevent leaks.
71. Tiger Balm
Ensure it’s in its original packaging and pack it securely. If it’s in a glass container, add extra padding to prevent breakage.
Check that the bottle is tightly sealed and place it in a zip-lock bag for an additional layer of protection.
73. Skincare Masks
Keep them in their original packaging to maintain their condition.
74. Hand Sanitizer
Due to its alcohol content, hand sanitiser may be classified as a dangerous good. Obtain the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product and pass it to your courier to check its classification and ensure it’s shipped in compliance with all regulations.
Ensure you carefully check the ingredients of your shampoo, especially if it contains flammable liquids, as this could require additional administrative forms for shipping with carriers like FedEx. Be aware of the maximum volume allowed per shipment, as exceeding this could result in your package being rejected, and this limit can vary depending on the country you are shipping to.
Additionally, if your shampoo contains any alcohol, be prepared to handle it as a dangerous goods shipment.
76. Acne Patches
Keep them in their original packaging to maintain their sterility and effectiveness. Ensure the package is well-sealed to prevent any contamination.
77. Contact Lens
Ensure all contact lenses are in their original, unopened packaging to maintain sterility and safety. The packaging should be sturdy to prevent any damage during transit.
- Spain: Based on our experience, contact lenses are generally prohibited from shipping to Spain for private individuals.
- USA: Customs may request additional documentation such as the manufacturer's name and address, the type and quantity of contact lenses, a valid prescription, and the recipient's unique identification information. Failure to provide these details promptly could result in shipment rejection and a return shipping cost charged at 1.5x the original shipment cost.
Due to stringent regulations in many countries, ensure all cosmetics are in their original packaging with ingredients listed. Check the destination country’s specific restrictions on cosmetics to avoid any issues at customs. For instance:
- Malaysia: Based on our experience, very few cosmetic products are allowed entry unless the recipient has an import license.
- Spain: Shipments containing cosmetics for private individuals are prohibited.
- Vietnam: The maximum value accepted by customs for shipping cosmetics as a gift is $100 SGD.
Given that perfumes typically contain alcohol, they fall under the category of dangerous goods. Make sure to declare this when arranging your shipment, and pack the bottle securely to prevent any breakage. You might also need to provide a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and adhere to specific shipping regulations for dangerous goods.
For a comprehensive guide on shipping perfume internationally, check out our blog post: "Can I Ship Perfume Internationally?".
80. Nail Polish
Nail polish is considered a hazardous material due to its flammable nature. It's risky to ship and might be classified as dangerous goods. Always provide the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to your courier to ensure proper handling and compliance with shipping regulations.
81. Skincare Products (Toner, Essential Oils, etc.)
Ensure all bottles are tightly sealed and placed in leak-proof containers. Check the ingredients and provide any necessary documentation to comply with international shipping regulations. Fragile items should be securely wrapped and cushioned to prevent breakage.
82. Medicated Oils
Securely seal the bottles and place them in leak-proof containers. Check the ingredients and provide any necessary documentation to comply with international shipping regulations.
Whether your painting is framed or unframed, it requires careful packing to ensure it arrives in perfect condition. Follow the detailed packing methods provided in our blog post "Packing Artwork for International Shipping".
Given the value and fragility of paintings, we highly recommend opting for shipping insurance.
Make sure to declare each item inside the luggage properly to prevent any issues at customs.
When shipping luggage, you can either box it for better protection, which could increase the cost due to higher chargeable weight (including volumetric weight), or simply shrink-wrap it. Shrink-wrapping uses the luggage as the container, which is more cost-effective but offers less protection.
For more detailed guidance, check out "Shipping Luggage Internationally".
85. Collectible Card/Game Card/Trading Card
Keep them in protective sleeves or cases to prevent any damage. Given their potential value and rarity, shipping insurance is a wise precaution.
Individually wrap each figurine in bubble wrap, and use packing peanuts or crumpled paper to fill any empty spaces in the box. Considering the delicate nature of figurines, we recommend securing shipping insurance to protect your investment.
Additionally, take note of specific country regulations:
- Saudi Arabia: The country has restrictions on toys that depict human or animal figures due to cultural considerations, affecting even popular items like Pokémon toys. Ensure you understand these regulations to prevent any shipping issues.
- India: Toys, including figurines, must meet the stringent safety standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), particularly if they are intended for children. Verify compliance to avoid complications at customs.
Place the vinyl record in its sleeve, and then in a specialised vinyl shipping box. Ensure it’s tightly secured to prevent any movement.
Use padded envelopes for small quantities or sturdy boxes with dividers for larger shipments.
Candles are sensitive to heat and can melt if exposed to varying weather conditions or heat sources during transit. To mitigate this, consider packing your candles with frozen gel packs to keep them cool and prevent melting. Additionally, some candles may contain ingredients like flowers or leaves, which could be restricted or prohibited in certain countries.
It’s crucial to research your destination country’s laws to ensure your shipment clears customs successfully. For more detailed guidance, check out our blog post on "Shipping Candles Internationally".
90. ART Test Kits
When shipping ART Test Kits, make sure you declare your shipment accurately and verify whether any specific shipping regulations apply to the type of test kit you are sending.
Wrap knives and other sharp objects securely, ensuring the sharp edges are well protected to prevent any accidents or damage to other items.
Use corner protectors and wrap the mirror in bubble wrap. Place it in a sturdy box, ensuring it’s well-cushioned on all sides.
Use vacuum storage bags to reduce the size of the bedding, making it easier to ship. Ensure the bag is securely sealed.
94. Ceramic products
Pack each item individually with bubble wrap, and use plenty of cushioning material in the box. Be aware that ceramic products are listed under the import prohibitions to New Zealand.
95. Car Parts
When shipping car parts, it’s crucial to clean them thoroughly to remove any oil, grease, or dirt, as these substances can cause issues during customs inspection. Always check with your courier and provide accurate information about the parts you are shipping to ensure compliance with shipping regulations.
Regular flowers are restricted to ship to certain countries due to their perishable nature. Consider sending faux flowers instead, but make sure to check the destination country’s import regulations.
97. Credit/Debit Card
Shipping credit or debit cards is prohibited due to the sensitive nature of these items and the risk of fraud or theft.
98. Dry Ice
Shipping with dry ice is restricted and requires adherence to specific safety and labelling regulations.
99. Aerosol Paint Spray
100. Human Specimen (DNA Sample)
Ship human specimens following biological substance shipping regulations, using leak-proof containers and ensuring proper handling to prevent contamination.
Wow, we've really covered a lot, haven't we?
So, here’s a quick recap of the golden rules of international shipping:
- Every country has its own set of rules and regulations when it comes to shipping. Make sure to do your homework and check the specific requirements of your destination country before sending anything.
- Pack your items meticulously. Use sufficient padding to protect against impacts, secure any loose components, and seal your packages properly.
- If your item isn’t on the list or you’re feeling unsure about any part of the shipping process, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
The world of shipping is vast and varied, and while we’ve covered a lot in this list, there’s always more to learn.
So, if you have any specific questions or need guidance on your shipping journey, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help, every step of the way.
Happy shipping, and here’s to your items arriving safe, sound, and on time!