Good to know

Can you really send perfume and Christmas crackers in the post?

Sparklers, Christmas crackers, perfume and the like are very popular at this time of year, delighting young and old alike. But which goods can and can’t be sent by post? Let us explain.

Kerstin Eichenberger

Copyright: iStock

Many everyday items are classified as dangerous goods when sent by post. This even applies to seemingly harmless things such as perfume, mobile phones and alcohol. Because all these goods are highly flammable, toxic or corrosive, they cannot be sent by post, or only in limited quantities (LQ). Different regulations apply to shipping within Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein and to international shipments.

Sending dangerous goods in Switzerland and Liechtenstein?

Within Switzerland and Liechtenstein, it is not generally forbidden to transport dangerous goods via the parcel channel:

Permitted dangerous goods

  • Aerosol cans (UN 1950) up to 1 l
  • Matches (UN 1944) up to 5 kg
  • Petrol (UN 1203) up to 1 l
  • Gas cartridges (UN 2037) up to 1 l
  • Methylated spirits (UN 1170) up to 1 l
  • Hair tinting lotion/bleach (UN 2984) up to 5 l
  • Dyes/paints/stains/thinner with solvent (UN 1263) up to 5 l
  • Car batteries (UN 2794) with up to 1 l acid as content in plastic packaging

Prohibited dangerous goods

  • Explosive substances and objects such as fireworks, table crackers, sparklers, rockets, fountains, etc.
  • Gas canisters for grills
  • Lithium batteries for e-bikes
  • Lithium batteries with more than 100 watt-hours of energy
  • Radioactive material

More information

Sending dangerous goods abroad?

For safety reasons, Swiss Post is not authorized to transport dangerous goods abroad.

Exceptions to this rule include electronic devices containing lithium batteries such as mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc., as long as the battery is installed in the device and is in perfect condition. Each parcel may not contain more than two batteries or four cells. The power of lithium ion batteries must not exceed 20 watt-hours per cell or 100 watt-hours per battery. Lithium metal batteries must not contain more than 1 g lithium per cell and 2 g lithium per battery.

More information

As the sender, you are responsible for ensuring that the shipment is legally compliant. If dangerous goods are authorized for shipment by parcel post, they must be sent using the “Dangerous goods LQ” value-added service.

Furthermore, the goods must be particularly well protected and packed and identified by means of the dangerous goods diamond symbol – in the event of an accident, this allows the necessary measures to be taken. It is also important to indicate the UN number and the gross weight.

Download the dangerous goods symbol (PDF, 60.5 KB)

We recommend that you send dangerous goods using the “Signature” value-added service to ensure that they can only be delivered in exchange for a signature and do not, therefore, fall into the wrong hands.

You can find more information at www.swisspost.ch/dangerous-goods. If in doubt, contact the Swiss Post customer service department before sending the goods or send a mail to dangerousgoods@swisspost.ch.

 

written by

Kerstin Eichenberger