Shipping to Italy = A Black Hole?

You may or may not have heard of people screaming, “DON’T SHIP TO ITALY YOUR PACKAGE WILL NEVER MAKE IT!” and it got me to wondering, why? I spoke to a friend who worked with United Nations for several years and was stationed in Italy for 2 years. He basically said 2 things, a) a lot of their customs officers are corrupt and a lot of the packages are “confiscated” and b) Italy’s restrictions for packages that allowed are a mile long!

So I went off in search of Italy’s List of Restrictions and found a huge list. Here are just some of the major ones I found:

Albums of any kind (of photographs, postcards, postage stamps, etc.).

Articles of platinum or gold; jewelry; and other valuable articles unless sent as insured packages.

Artificial flowers and fruits and accessories for them.

Bells and other musical instruments and parts thereof.

Cartridge caps; cartridges.

Clocks and supplies for clocks.

Compound medicaments and medicines.

Coral mounted in any way.

Ether and chloroform.

Exposed photographic and cinematographic films.

Footwear of any kind.

Haberdashery and sewn articles of any kind, including trimmings and lace; handkerchiefs; scarves; shawls, needlework including stockings and gloves; bonnets, caps, and hats of any kind.

Hair and articles made of hair.

Leather goods.

Lighters and their parts, including lighter flints.

Live bees, leeches, and silkworms.

Nutmeg, vanilla; sea salt, rock salt; saffron.

Perfumery goods of all kinds (except soap).

Playing cards of any kind.

Postage stamps in sealed or unsealed letters.

Radioactive materials.

Ribbons for typewriters.

Live bees, leeches, and silkworms.

Parasites and predators of harmful insects.

Roasted or ground coffee and its substitutes; roasted chicory.

Saccharine and all products containing saccharine.

Salted, smoked or otherwise prepared meats; fats; and lard.


Toys not made wholly of wood.

Treated skins and furs.

Weapons of any kind and spare parts for them.

Live plants and animals.

Arms and weapons.

Human remains.

So the next time, your thinking about shipping internationally, take some time and figure out what the restrictions are for exporting to the country. It will definitely save you time, money, and headaches in the long run!


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