Restrictions and prohibitions for contents of parcels may vary with different countries and companies, but the Australia Post has certain guidelines regarding the things they will and will not accept. It is important for a person with a small online business or family and friends to be aware of these guidelines to facilitate an easier time with the postal authorities.
- Lithium batteries. The Australia Post, as well as most postal systems as per an update in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, does not accept parcels containing lithium batteries. Unless the batteries are inside consumer electric goods and are in packages more than 2cm thick, your parcel will not be allowed to travel by air, and therefore, cannot be sent overseas. If you really need to have a parcel containing these batteries shipped overseas, ask the person behind the post office counters about the allowable amount of lithium in a battery and check if your item’s lithium levels are below that.
- Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides. While not dangerous or combustible on their own and in stable conditions, oxidizing substances may contribute to the combustion of other items because of their chemical composition. This category includes bleaching agents, fertilizers, peroxides, and compounds with bromates, nitrates, and chlorates; fiberglass repair kits, hair dye products and chemicals for photography belong in the organic peroxides category.
- Toxic and infectious substances. While one does not send mustard gas through mail every day, there might be things that you want to ship to Australia that have a toxic or infectious component. Arsenic, chemical ammunition, and tear-gas devices, as well as items with active ingredients including them, will not be allowed to enter Australia through your parcel. Used medical paraphernalia and items of biological nature such as cultures and blood cannot be shipped to or from Australia.
- Corrosives. Corrosive substances are those that cause damage to skin or other items by chemical reaction, especially when leaked. This category includes paint and varnish removers, rust preventers, nitric acid, and articles with mercury (such as old-fashioned thermometers, which may be traded as “vintage” items).
- Bank notes and coins. Whatever the age, bank notes and coins are not usually accepted by post offices, except by some form of registered post, which allows one to consign the items. The Australia Post also does not compensate the sender or recipient for any form of damage or loss to these kinds of items.