4 Tips for Shipping Liquids Overseas

4 Tips for Shipping Liquids Overseas Liquids are a tricky thing to ship, especially when it comes to international shipping. There are more rules and regulations to follow when you ship liquids compared, for example, to shipping books. Here are a few tips for shipping liquids overseas that might come in handy.

Tip #1. Figure Out What Liquids You Can’t and Cannot Ship

Different carriers have different rules and regulations regarding shipping liquids. In addition to your chosen carrier’s rules, you need to look up the shipping and customs rules and regulations of the destination country, because some countries are stricter when it comes to shipping liquids than others.

Most carriers and countries have stringent shipping rules for alcohol-containing and flammable liquids. Generally, regular postal services, such as the United States Postal Service (USPS), do not allow to mail alcoholic beverages, alcohol-containing perfumes and aftershaves, gasoline, and nail polish.

Private couriers such as FedEx or UPS might allow to ship some of these liquids, but they still have certain restrictions and requirements. For example, flammable liquids such as perfume and nail polish cannot be shipped by air, so you’ll have to stick to international ground services. In addition, flammables can be shipped only in limited quantities.

Tip #2. Make Sure Your Paperwork Is in Order

While couriers might allow you to ship flammable liquids and alcoholic beverages, you will need to jump through a few hoops to do it. For example, in order to ship flammable liquids, you must contact the carrier to become an approved shipper of hazardous materials.

Shipping alcohol is more complicated; it is prohibited for consumers, so you won’t be able to mail someone a bottle of wine as a gift. Businesses that sell and ship alcohol must have a liquor license and proper permits (FedEx, for example, requires them to sign a special agreement with the courier).

Tip #3. Pack Your Shipment Properly to Protect It

Postal and courier services usually have strict packing requirements for shipping liquids. The best way to pack liquids properly is to look up a liquid packing guide on the carrier’s website. However, general requirements are usually the same:

  1. Use a corrugated cardboard box because it is more durable than a box made of regular cardboard. Tape the bottom of the box shut.
  2. Primary containers must be waterproof and tightly sealed. Please, keep in mind that some carriers allow to mail liquids in glass bottles as long as they are properly protected, but others, such as UPS, prohibit to ship glass bottles through its air services.
  3. Put each container in a watertight bag and wrap in packing paper or bubble wrap.
  4. Use a foam or cardboard tray and dividers to keep bottles upright and separate.
  5. Gently put the tray in the box and make sure to fill any empty space with padding (such as packing peanuts) in order to leave no room for movement.
  6. Once you close the top of the box, seal it with several layers of adhesive tape.

When shipping perishable liquids, like non-alcoholic beverages, canned soup or oil, make sure that they arrive at their destination before the expiration date. If your perishables are temperature-sensitive, you should keep them cold by using coolant packs and insulation.

Tip #4. Do Not Forget to Properly Label Your Package

Packages with liquids must be properly labeled for at least two reasons: to let the courier know how to handle them and to avoid any problems with customs. An overseas package needs a properly filled out international shipping label, which includes a detailed description of the package contents for customs clearance, and appropriate handling labels such as “Fragile” or “Perishable”. You should also use special markings to indicate the top and bottom of the box to make sure the bottles stay upright during transportation.