One of the most common questions we receive at OPAS’ customer service team is “can I ship item X to my country from my U.S. Address?

What can and cannot be shipped by OPAS and why:

OPAS is a licensed shipper of dangerous goods by the standards of IATA/ICAO, the international aviation governing bodies. Despite this, there are some regions and specific countries where no carrier provides support for the shipment of dangerous goods/Hazmat.

OPAS is not a professional customs brokerage. We have experience in the shipping industry but cannot offer professional counsel on import regulations for each of the 200+ countries we serve. We can advise based on our experience, but the recipient assumes full responsibility for clearance through customs in their country, including accepting any tax, duty, fines, delays or confiscation of goods. We always advise our customers to contact their local import authority directly, as this is by far the best source of accurate information.

There are three categories for items OPAS must monitor for shipping.


Forbidden items

These are the items we cannot ship, under any circumstances. Any items of this kind that are received will be returned to sender. These include currency, securities, postage stamps, bullion, firearms and ammunition. In addition, unprocessed animal products, furs, ivory, human remains, live animals, industrial diamonds, controlled substances or narcotics and of course, any other items that conflict with U.S. law will not be shipped. Perishable foodstuffs and other items requiring refrigerated storage cannot to be shipped. OPAS reserves the right to determine if an item is unacceptable for shipping.


Restricted items and hazardous materials

These are items we can ship, but there are restrictions or added costs associated with shipping. Many items are hazardous materials that you may not have realized. For example, perfumes and nail polish have a flammable chemical composition. Aerosol cans are also flammable and unsafe for transport by air without adequate provisions.


Regulated items

These are items that can to be shipped, but we have to follow certain special labeling procedures when shipping them. The most common example is magnetized content and Lithium-Ion battery content. The Li-Ion batteries used in cellphones, laptops and tablets generate a very high energy level. They pose a risk for shorting out and starting a fire in the pressurized conditions of an air cargo hold. As such, these items must be labeled to reflect this risk, and we may not be able to ship them to all destinations by a particular carrier.