FedEx is a global powerhouse in the shipping industry; they have a set of guidelines that we must adhere to. FedEx has guidelines on what can and cannot be transported via its network, from precious metals to certain technological devices.

Why do these restrictions exist? The answer is simple: safety, legality, and overall protection of both the goods and the people handling them. 

Some items are prohibited due to their hazardous nature, while others might fall under the umbrella of regulatory or legal restrictions. 

However, it’s not just about what’s inside the box. Dimensions and weight of your package can also play a role in whether or not FedEx can handle your shipment.

So, before you seal that box, let’s dive deep into the specifics of FedEx’s shipping restrictions, prohibited items, and the differences between domestic and international shipping rules.

FedEx Shipping Restrictions

Key Takeaways:

  1. FedEx has specific restrictions for domestic shipments, prohibiting cash, animals, and unnumbered or 3D-printed firearms.
  2. International FedEx rules vary by country but universally exclude high-value items, explicit content, and dangerous substances.
  3. When shipping to the U.S., prohibitions cover a vast range from artworks and gems to hazardous materials and certain tech products.
  4. To avoid complications, it’s crucial to consult FedEx’s guidelines and ensure that prohibited items aren’t included in shipments.

What are FedEx Shipping Restrictions?

FedEx Shipping Restrictions refer to the set of rules and guidelines that dictate which items can and cannot be transported through FedEx’s courier services. 

These guidelines are established based on safety, legality, and regulatory considerations to ensure the secure and lawful transportation of goods both domestically and internationally.

At its core, FedEx, like other major shipping companies, aims to deliver packages safely to their destinations. However, certain goods pose risks either because of their nature or due to the regulations of the origin or destination country. 

For instance, some items can be hazardous in transit, such as flammable materials, or may be regulated, like medical devices or precious metals. 

Thus, understanding these restrictions is important for shippers. Additionally, the size and weight of a package can fall under FedEx’s shipping restrictions. 

There are specific limits for domestic and international packages; exceeding these can lead to additional charges. 

Remember, these restrictions are not just about the content of the package but also its physical dimensions.

To ensure you’re in compliance, it’s always a good practice to check FedEx’s official guidelines or consult with their customer service before shipping.

What items are prohibited in domestic FedEx shipments?

FedEx’s domestic shipping guidelines are essential for smooth and legal delivery within the United States. Not every item can be sent through their service, as some pose risks or simply don’t adhere to the established regulations. 

Some of these prohibitions might be obvious, while others can catch shippers off guard. For domestic shipments within the U.S., FedEx restricts items such as:

  • Cash and Currency: Direct shipping of money can expose the package to theft or other complications.
  • Live Animals: With exceptions like edible seafood for human consumption if compliance with all local and federal laws is ensured. However, most live animals are not accepted.
  • Animal meat: Though properly packaged meat or poultry intended for consumption is acceptable.
  • Weapons and Firearm Concerns: Items like ghost guns (firearms without serial numbers), 3-D printed firearms, and trigger activators like bump firestocks aren’t allowed.
  • Hazardous Waste: 
  • This includes used needles or syringes and other medical waste.
  • Illegal Items: Anything resembling explosive devices, counterfeit goods, and substances prohibited by federal law, like mar#juana and certain hemp products, cannot be shipped.
  • Tobacco Products: This covers c#garettes, c#gars, loose tobacco, and related items.
  • Other Specifics: Wet or leaking packages, items emitting odors, live insects, lottery tickets where they’re not legal, and shipments that might harm equipment or personnel.

Always cross-reference with FedEx’s official list for the most up-to-date information, especially if you are uncertain about the item you’re considering for shipment. 

Also, Read: What does FedEx Local Delivery Restriction mean?

What items are prohibited in international FedEx shipments?

The list of FedEx’s prohibited items for international shipments expands when stepping beyond domestic boundaries. 

Shipping overseas involves a complex web of international laws, customs regulations, and carrier rules. Some items universally prohibited by FedEx are due to their potential risks, high value, or simply international customs and regulations.

For global shipments, FedEx strictly prohibits:

High-Value Commodities: Any items valued over US$20,000 need approval, and unique or irreplaceable articles like artwork valued over US$500,000 each are not allowed.

Dangerous and Flammable Items: This includes substances with a flash point of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or less and auto parts containing fluids.

Sensitive Materials: Fine art, precious metals in forms like bullion, coins, or ingots, and fine jewelry are restricted. Watches valued over US$1000 also make the list.

Illicit Content: Porn#graphy or any obscene material, counterfeit goods, and contraband, including illegal drugs.

Currency: All forms of bullion and money, such as cash, bank notes, and other types of currency, are restricted. Even stamps, vouchers, and cards fall into this category.

Documents: Time-sensitive or vital written materials, bids, and contract proposals are prohibited.

Living Entities: Livestock, bloodstock, and other living animals are not accepted for international shipping.

As the global landscape keeps evolving, so do the rules and regulations for international shipping. Always refer to FedEx’s official documentation and perhaps even consult with their representatives when in doubt.

Also, Read: Can I Pickup a Package from FedEx Before Delivery

What items cannot be sent to the U.S. through FedEx?

FedEx has rules about what can and can’t be sent into the U.S., and it’s essential to be aware of these, so your package doesn’t get stuck or sent back.

First, you can’t send money items like cash, coins, or fake goods that copy real brands. Dangerous stuff that the U.S. government hasn’t approved is also a no-go. 

This includes certain plants or drugs like Kratom, Salvia Divinorum, and marijuana, even if it’s for medicine. 

Also, while you can send seafood that people eat, like lobsters or crabs, you can’t send most live animals or their bodies unless they’re meant to be eaten.

Guns are another tricky topic. You can’t send guns with no number, guns made with 3D printers, or some gun parts. 

There are also rules about packages. If a package is wet, smells bad, or could hurt someone or something, FedEx won’t take it.

If you’re planning to send something to the U.S., it’s a good idea to check with FedEx first. Ensure your package follows their rules so you don’t encounter any issues.

Also, Read: FedEx Shipment Exception Delay Beyond Our Control


What Are the Restrictions for FedEx Ground Shipping?

FedEx Ground shipping has a few restrictions, including a weight limit of 150 pounds and a size limit of 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length plus girth (L+2W+2H). FedEx Ground also prohibits the shipment of hazardous materials and other items listed on its website.

What Is a Shipping Restriction?

A shipping restriction is a rule or limitation that applies to the shipment of goods. The shipping company, the government, or the destination country can impose shipping restrictions.

Is There a Size Limit for FedEx?

Yes, there is a size limit for FedEx shipments. Packages cannot be larger than 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length plus girth (L+2W+2H).

What Is the Maximum Size for Shipping?

The maximum size for shipping depends on the shipping company and the service you choose. For FedEx Ground, the maximum package size is 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length plus girth (L+2W+2H).

What Is the Size Limit for the FedEx Ground Economy Package?

The size limit for a FedEx Ground Economy package is the same as that for all FedEx Ground packages: 108 inches in length and 165 inches in length plus girth (L+2W+2H).


Navigating FedEx’s shipping rules, especially when sending items to the U.S., can seem complex. At its core, it’s about safety and legalities. 

You can’t ship cash, counterfeits, or certain restricted plants and drugs. Also, while some foods like seafood are okay, many live animals and their remains aren’t.

Moreover, it’s clear with guns: avoid sending unnumbered firearms or those made with modern tech like 3D printers.

Lastly, ensure your package is in good condition—no unpleasant odors or leaks. To avoid headaches, always double-check with FedEx’s guidelines before shipping. By understanding and adhering to these rules, you’ll ensure smooth deliveries every time.

Alexandra Navara

Alexandra Navara is a seasoned logistics expert with over 7 years of industry experience. Holding a degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, she excels in writing insightful, engaging content on courier services. Certified as a Supply Chain Professional, Alexandra brings depth and clarity to complex logistics topics.

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