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To Ship or Not to Ship? We Answer Your Questions

Throughout the years, people have shipped many interesting things, from bricks to pillows to pineapples. In a previous blog, we discussed some items you cannot ship in a crate. But you still may have questions about something you want to ship. Perhaps you need to ship medical materials for your business. Here are some guidelines on common questionable items and how you can ship them.


Because batteries can be flammable, you must insulate them and place them in strong packaging materials before sending them. Lithium batteries are particularly dangerous. Some lithium batteries, including those in cell phones and laptops, can be shipped; others, such as those in wheelchairs, cannot. It’s safest to leave lithium batteries in the device they’re powering.

Foods and Liquids

If you are shipping within Canada, make sure the foods and liquids meet requirements as non-dangerous substances and that they are fully wrapped and packaged.

If you are shipping them outside of Canada, you may need a permit. Call the Canada Border Services Agency at 1-800-461-9999.


To ship gold bars or gold dust, you must first obtain an agreement from Canada Post.


Liquor, too, is shippable, but it’s also highly regulated. There are different rules depending on whether you are sending it to, outside of, or within Canada.

Sending to Canada: The liquor must be sent to an authorized receiver, and must contain 24% alcohol or less.

Sending from Canada: You must first make sure the receiving country permits the shipment. You must also make sure the liquor meets export requirements.

Sending within Canada: You must send the liquor via Electronic Shipping Tools (EST), which you can sign up for at You must select the “Proof of Age” option before you ship. There are also many other guidelines, which can be found here.

Medical Materials

Some businesses need to send blood, cultures, or other medical materials. Obviously, the material cannot be poisonous or infectious. It must also be properly wrapped and packaged. Vaccines can be sent when packed in dry ice.

Medicine and Other Controlled Substances

Medicine is considered dangerous in some instances, but not all. Before shipping medicine, check with the manufacturer and the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre.

Other potentially hazardous items include:


Dental supplies



Tool boxes

Some Toys

Electrical equipment

Camping gear

Cleaning fluids

Again, check with the manufacturer and the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre.


Since some plants are endangered, a plant shipment needs to be approved. You can apply for a permit from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

These are some of the most commonly shipped items many people have questions about. Fortunately, you can ship many of these things; you just need to be careful. Talk to your shipping company for more information before you ship a specific item.


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