Dangerous goods in international postal traffic
What can be included and what cannot?

Many everyday objects are deemed dangerous for the purposes of shipping. This also applies to seemingly harmless things such as perfume, mobile phones and alcohol.

What are regarded as dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are defined as goods that present a danger to the safety of people, infrastructure or the environment during transport. These also include everyday products such as perfume, mobile phones and alcohol among others. These seemingly harmless items have potentially dangerous characteristics. For example, they could be explosive, flammable, poisonous or corrosive.

In international postal traffic, the legal guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO; Dangerous Goods Regulation and Annex 18) and the Swiss Air Transport Ordinance (LtV Art. 16) apply.

According to these requirements, Swiss Post is prohibited from transporting dangerous goods by airmail apart from in a few exceptional cases.

We only transport goods, which comply with the legal guidelines. 

As a sender, you are responsible for complying with these guidelines and for providing a clear, unambiguous and truthful declaration of the contents of your goods.

By signing the waybill, you confirm

...that you comply with these guidelines and acknowledge that your consignment can be opened as part of security checks.

…that you acknowledge that you may be held liable for the false declaration of goods and any damages, and that this may result in criminal prosecution.

What is prohibited? Explosive (Fireworks, Bengal lights, Ammunition, Gundpowder, Luminaries Emergency signals). Compressed gases (Lighter fuel, Oxygen cylinders, Camping gas, Butane, Spray cans, Fire extinguishers). Flammable liquid materials (oil and oil paints, Adhesives, Perfumes containing alcohol, Drinks containing alcohol more thand 24% alc./vol).  Flammable solid materials (Matches, Coal, Charcoal, Fuel paste). Oxidising substances (Oxygen-producing chemicals, Peroxides, Bleaching agents). Poisonous and contagious substances (Persticides, Agricultural chemicals, Mercury, Bacteria, Viruses). Radioactive Substances. Corrosive substances (Wet-cell batteries, Mercury, Hydrochloric acid). Various dangerous goods (Einges, Solid carbon dioxide, Lithium batteries).

What is prohibited?

We are not entitled to transport these 9 categories of prohibited dangerous goods internationally for legal, health or safety reasons. The list is not exhaustive.

If you are not sure whether or not a certain item is fit for transport, please contact Customer Service on 0848 48 48 47.

What is permitted?
Declare consignments correctly

Non-dangerous goods must be clearly declared as such (on the CN customs label or waybill). It must be made clear that the goods are not dangerous. Avoid vague designations and describe the contents precisely.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept consignments if the description is unclear. Examples include terms such as “medicines”, “cosmetics” or “toys”.

Lithium batteries

Electronic devices containing lithium batteries, such as mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, etc., are permitted in international postal transport as long as the battery is installed within the device and in excellent condition. Each parcel may not contain more than two batteries or four cells. The power of lithium ion batteries must not exceed 20 Wh per cell or 100 Wh per battery. Lithium metal batteries must not contain more than 1 g lithium per cell and 2 g lithium per battery. Loose or damaged lithium batteries are not permitted. It is the customer’s responsibility to ask the manufacturer or retailer about battery type and performance before shipping.

Laboratory consignments

Biological samples
Only without risk of infection

Medical or veterinary samples with only a minimal probability of containing pathogens. For example, blood and urine samples for the purposes of examination, doping tests or biopsies.

Category A infectious substances which may result in permanent disability or death in healthy people or animals as well as clinical waste, such as used needles, are not permitted.

For the correct shipping of laboratory consignments, consult the information in the factsheet from page 6 or contact us.

A Swiss Post employee transports dangerous goods with the forklift truck.

Transporting dangerous goods

We can transport dangerous goods abroad overland.

Do you want to transport dangerous goods in a professional manner? By courier, as small consignments or in entire truckloads?

We would be happy to help.

Your contact options
How to contact us

Give us a call

CHF 0.08/min. from landline phones within Switzerland

Monday to Friday
8 a.m.–5.30 p.m.

+41 848 48 48 47

+41 848 48 48 47

Write to us

Our address

Post CH Ltd
Customer Service International
Wankdorfallee 4
3030 Berne