The SA Post Office has warned that there is a rise in the number of international parcels that cannot be dispatched by air mail as they contain items which are classified as unsafe for air cargo.
“Regulations regarding the transport of items as air cargo have been tightened,” the SA Post Office said.
Under these stricter regulations, no substance which could possibly combust, explode, or leak in transit may be posted.
The Post Office added that all outgoing mailbags are scanned for items not allowed as air cargo, and all bags contained banned items are returned to senders after being screened.
“Customers are therefore requested not to include such items in parcels they send abroad,” the SA Post Office said.
Don’t send these items via airmail
The SA Post Office has provided guidelines of items which may not be shipped via airmail, including everything from lithium batteries to uninsured jewellery.
This list includes the following items:
- Lithium batteries
- Any flammable or explosive items
- Living organisms
- Biological material
- Animals or animal products
- Fur and ivory
- Medication without an import permit
- Uninsured jewellery
- Precious stones
- Precious metals
- Any film or publication which falls in category XX or X18
Make sure your parcel arrives safely
In addition to removing all prohibited items from international mail, the SA Post Office has advised South Africans to ensure their parcels are packaged securely.
Packages are transported in bulk, and the Post Office said South African consumers should pack their goods along with other material to ensure its safe arrival, while keeping in mind that the maximum weight of a parcel is 30kg.
“If your mail item does not fill the container, fill it with packaging material like shredded paper or polystyrene to act as a shock absorber,” the Post Office said.
“When ordering an item from abroad, ask the sender to put your cell-phone number on the parcel. That way you can be notified by SMS when the parcel is ready for collection.”