Items You Cannot Send to Canada from Philippines

When I wrote the about the courier companies that can send package from Philippines to Canada, I knew that something is missing.

For a long time I let that missing piece be deliberately forgotten. Who wants to talk about importation of goods?

I don’t. But like a bland smoothie that I don’t want to finish, I have to find out the things that are not allowed to send in Canada from the Philippines. Maybe one day I can use this post so that’s 1% inspiration and 99% comes from you guys who are curious.

So here it is. And if you are sending items from Philippines but to other countries (excluding Canada), you should stay because ideas can come from one blog post to another. Tambay muna paminsan minsan.

Items You Cannot Send to Canada from Philippines

Wolf rug at Heritage Park, Calgary.

Prohibited Items You Cannot Send to Canada

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has a list of prohibited and restricted items when crossing the border.

And if you are importing goods in Canada with you either from US or other countries there are more lists of goods that are prohibited. Have you heard of jequirity beans? Neither am I till now.

Or regulated products should meet the regulatory requirements to bring it in Canada like a stroller.

But what about if you want to send an item through a courier service?

For simplicity or more like “I have to make a progress rather than reading resources back and forth,” I focused mostly on the courier company’s list and compare it from the Government of Canada’s guide.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list. Verify the information to the customer support of the courier company in the Philippines.

1. FedEx

In the Philippines, 2GO Express is the sole retail partner for FedEx. You can go to FedEx Accredited Ship Centers in different locations including the 2GO Express branches to avail any of the FedEx services including the international shipping.

These are the prohibited items you cannot send to Canada via FedEx.

  • Coin, base or counterfeit
  • Customs tariff criminal code importation of offensive weapons
  • False description of geographical origin of goods and goods with trademarks – tariff item 9897.00.00
  • Firearms and weapons (Canadian Firearms Center)
  • Goods manufactured or produced wholly or in part by prison labour
  • Importation of used or second-hand motor vehicles
  • D9-1-15 policy for the administration of tariff item 9899.00.00 – hate propaganda, treason and sedition
  • Used or second-hand mattresses
  • Personal shipments of alcohol and tobacco
  • Hemp products such as cosmetics, clothing, food, etc. containing Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC)
  • Alcohol beverages
  • Ammunition of any kind
  • All live animals, dead animals and animals that have been mounted
  • Money, cash, coins, currency, paper money and negotiable instruments equivalent to cash, such as endorsed stocks, bonds and cash letters
  • Collectible coins and stamps
  • Hazardous materials and hazardous waste, including, but not limited to, used hypodermic needles, syringes or other medical waste (shipments to Canada classified as “Other Regulated Materials – Domestic” (ORM-D) are allowed if they contain consumer commodities only and are properly labeled.)
  • Human corpses, human organs or body parts, human and animal embryos, or cremated or disinterred human remains
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Firearms, weaponry and their parts (and replicas thereof)
  • Explosives, fireworks, flares, matches
  • Furs
  • Plants, plant materials and seeds, including cut flowers
  • Perishables (including, but not limited to, perishable food/foodstuffs/beverages, perishable pharmaceuticals, and any other items requiring refrigeration or other environmental controls)
  • Pornographic and/or obscene material
  • Tobacco, cigarettes and tobacco products
  • Unaccompanied baggage
  • Lottery tickets and gambling devices where prohibited by law
  • Shipments that may cause damage to, or delay of, equipment, personnel or other shipments
  • Shipments that require any special license or permit for transportation, importation or exportation
  • Shipments whose carriage, importation or exportation is prohibited by any law, statute or regulation
  • Packages that are wet, leaking or emit an odor of any kind
  • Improperly packaged shipments
  • Waste or garbage for disposal
  • Live insects
  • Electronic Cigarettes that contains nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals listed on the Canadian Food and Drug controlled substance list
  • Medical samples
  • Visa applications

Apart from the list above, consider also the FedEx Cross Border global list of prohibited and restricted items.

2. DHL

Fun fact: Do you know what DHL stands for? It’s Dalsey, Hillblom, and Lynn; they are the founders of DHL Worldwide Express.

Now let’s move on to the subject of the matter. The following commodities are not acceptable for transport by DHL under any circumstances.

  • Live animals
  • Hunting (Animal) trophies, animal parts such as ivory and sharks fin, animal remains, or Animal-by-Products and derived products not intended for human consumption, prohibited for movement by the CITES Convention and/or local law.
  • Human remains or ashes
  • Bullion (of any precious metal)
  • Cash (current legal tender)
  • Loose precious and semi-precious stones
  • Complete firearms, ammunition, explosives / explosive devices
  • Illegal goods, such as counterfeit goods and narcotics
  • Banderols / tax stickers (included in the list of prohibited commodities for Canada)

Some items are restricted (may be acceptable) and conditional (possible for carriage). Check with the staff on what are the requirements to ship such items.

3. United Parcel Service of America (UPS)

UPS doesn’t have a country-specific list of prohibited and restricted items unlike FedEx and DHL. Instead, UPS has a list of goods that are not acceptable for transport regardless of destination.

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animal skins (non-domesticated)
  • Articles of exceptional value (e.g. works of art, antiques, precious stones, gold and silver)
  • Dangerous goods/hazardous materials
  • Firearms
  • Furs
  • Ivory and ivory products
  • Knives (except for kitchen knives)
  • Live animals
  • Money and negotiable items
  • Perishable goods
  • Personal effects (except to the U.S. and Canada)
  • Plants
  • Pornographic materials
  • Seeds
  • Stamps of unusual value
  • Tobacco and tobacco products
  • Unaccompanied baggage

Other local companies such as JRS Express, Xend, and Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) provides international shipping but I can’t find any information about importing guidelines.

Did You Know?

The talks (and works) about cannabis in Canada has been going on for years so the legalization of cannabis might not be news to you. But there’s something we all should know since cannabis could be one of the ingredients in food and not only for medical purposes.

“Keep it legal. Don’t bring it in. Don’t take it out.”

Health Canada authorizes permit or exemption to take cannabis across the border. Doing so without a permit is a serious criminal offence despite the legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018.

Watch the video to find out more information about the legality of cannabis in Canada.

Before You Send Something in Canada

The courier companies have done a great job in informing the public especially FedEx which has more information. But the best thing you can do is still ASK before wrapping the items in a box.

Documents like NBI Clearance is easier and cheaper to send in Canada or other countries from the Philippines. Otherwise, check if the items you want to send is locally available in Canada or online.

Sometimes it is better to buy online. Pay for convenience, certainty, and security.

May your parcel coming from Philippines have safe journey being greeted with “Welcome to Canada” where politeness is the norm. (Trust me it’s highly contagious.)

Have you tried to send a parcel to Canada? Do you have any tips in exchange for a virtual high five and maple syrup?

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About Pwede Padala Gal

Pwede Padala Gal loves to share tips on how to save in Canada and the Philippines. Someday she'll finally teach her Aspin at least one dog trick and keep a cactus alive. Chat with her on Facebook and reddit.

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