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What to bear in mind when sending food parcels abroad – part 1: general guide to shipping
If you are thinking of sending edible treats to a relative or friend abroad here are some tips around the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of exactly how to go about it.
Where sending food items abroad via courier, the rules of the game are fairly simple. In a nutshell, you cannot send any food items that are classed as perishables, in other words, food that can go off or spoil during transit. This is the most important rule of all and as long as one abides by this rule the process will happen smoothly.
So what exactly are the rules?
How should store bought items be shipped
- Foods should be in the original manufacturers packaging.
- Food packaging should be sealed and not tampered with in any way.
- Food labels should list all ingredients.
- Foods should have a shelf life of longer than six months from date of shipping.
- All foods that have a shelf life of less than six months will be classed as perishables and cannot be sent via courier even if store bought.
How to ship food items
- Do not send food items that need to be kept in a temperature controlled environment while in transit, that is items that are frozen or chilled; since they will spoil by the time they reach their destination.
- Bear in mind that your food parcel will not always be kept ‘this way up’ during transit.
- Do not send foods that are restricted for import into the country of destination.
- Always ensure that your food items are labelled clearly displaying all the ingredients as well as the ‘use by’ date since customs authorities may check these upon import.
- Always package food items so that they can withstand the parcel being turned upside down during transit and always wrap individual items separately inside the parcel for optimum protection.
- Always check the import restrictions in the country you are shipping to In order to avoid sending foods that are prohibited at the destination.
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