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Types of International Shipping Restrictions While Exporting From India


Sumana Sarmah

Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

May 24, 2022

4 min read

With internet penetration rapidly growing and home delivery for almost anything procurable just a click away, there has been a surge in consumers shopping from the eCommerce market. While the number of international shoppers is expected to reach 130 million, ironically so, not everything a consumer wishes to own can be bought online, especially on international orders.

What Is A Restricted Product?

A restricted product is a product item that requires special regulatory processing or license verification to be sold in a specific region/country.

This usually happens when:

  • Some of the products are subjected to export restrictions.
  • Some of the products have restrictions on export to a few countries.
  • Export sales to some purchasers are restricted.

There are also some unsafe, illegal products which are entirely prohibited from selling internationally.

While restricted products can be sold under certain conditions if met with the product compliance of the country you’re shipping to, prohibited items can include jail time, fines, and other legal action if tried to sell overseas.

Did you know that selling Baby Walkers is illegal in Canada? If you are a baby care brand, make sure you don’t include it in the catalog for your Canadian customers!

Few Countries With Maximum Shipping Regulations

  1. RUSSIA: Russia has a stringent compliance with customs regulations when it comes to receipt of electronic items. Electronic items are allowed to pass only after strict inspection, which might take up to days.
  2. CALIFORNIA: California restricts produce imports into the country due to the risk of agricultural pests.
  3. AUSTRALIA: Shipments which come containing supplements, vitamins and any food related products are inspected strictly by customs and are often asked to display ingredients list and nutritional labels.
  4. SPAIN: Dietary supplements and cosmetics are restricted for import into the country. It is advisable to check with the local customs prior to shipping.
  5. ZIMBABWE: This country has a stringent compliance with almost every product category import, from textiles to automobile parts and mechanical appliances.

Common Types Of Restricted Merchandise For International Shipping

  • Alcoholic Beverages: Although exporting alcoholic beverages to the US is allowed, you need the right licensing and produce a Customs and Border Protection form as and when required.
  • Medicinal Goods: Prescription and nonprescription medications are rigorously licensed and monitored, and hence cannot be exported unregulated.
  • Food Items: Without the right packaging and furnishing of ingredients, food items are restricted to cross borders in various countries. Food that comes from bushmeat is strictly prohibited.

How To Spot International Shipping Restrictions On Product Exports

As a seller, determining which countries you want to accept orders from or start exporting to might get tricky sometimes due to these heavy restrictions. But even if you don’t sell any of the restricted products with a rule of thumb, your products still might not be welcome for sale in another country that is otherwise in demand domestically.

Check With Federal And State Laws

The first step to selling your products overseas is to check that your product complies with the law. It is recommended to do this on both federal and state levels because it can vary depending on the territory in which you want to sell. Research a full tour on the right licenses, permits, and permissions needed to sell in a country.

Check With Marketplace Regulations

If you are doing your business in integration with an eCommerce marketplace, make sure your products are in accordance with their global compliances. Check the restricted items list as per the marketplace you’re building your store on.

Seek The Advice Of Your Courier Partner

Most courier partners like DHL, FedEx, Aramex, etc., have their own list of restricted countries for export from India and the regulations that accompany it. They can offer significant insights on how to sell your products internationally in a manner that skips any form of liability.

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