Can I Ship It? Advice on Shipping Alcohol, Plants and Other Gray Areas from Your Shipping Company in Minnesota

July 15, 2015 7:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Shipping products across state lines and around the country is a vital way for businesses to operate, and for individuals to send and receive important resources and fun gifts. However, there are a few items that are tricky to ship, especially for individuals. Three of the products that people can experience the most shipping trouble with are alcohol, plants and tobacco products.

While shipping these products across state lines is perfectly legal for businesses to do, the rules become a bit murkier once an individual tries to ship them. However, as a Minnesota shipping company, we know that where there’s a will, there is usually a way. Here’s a simple guide to the dos, don’ts and possibilities when it comes to shipping alcohol, plants and tobacco products across state lines, from your shipping company in Minnesota.

Shipping wine, beer and spirits

Shipping alcohol across state lines is, unfortunately, straightforwardly illegal for individuals. Some people try to get around this by simply telling white lies about the contents of their package, claiming that a vintage wine is “collectible glassware,” or that bottled beer is actually a “yeast sample.” While there’s little danger of serious repercussions for doing this, you do run a high risk of your package being confiscated in the shipping process, meaning your items will never arrive at their intended destinations.

Your safest bet for shipping alcohol, then, is to do it through a business licensed to do so. If you like a beer or wine from a particular winery or brewery, purchase a bottle or case and then ask them to ship it for you. Even some ordinary liquor stores will be willing to do this for you. It might cost a bit more and be a little indirect, but it is the completely legal and guaranteed method for shipping alcohol across state lines.

Shipping plants

Restrictions on shipping plants may seem silly, but keep in mind that a plant not native to a certain area has the potential to spread new diseases among the local plants, setting off a chain reaction that could have devastating effects. To avoid causing this problem, it’s best to consult the USDA’s website so that you can be completely certain you’re not breaking any rules or laws.

Whatever plants you choose to ship, there are some requirements they must meet. All plants must be potted in fresh, sterile soil. Additionally, many states require that plants shipped across their state lines are strictly indoor plants, never to be planted outdoors.

Shipping tobacco

The restrictions you come across when shipping tobacco largely depend on what service you use to ship it. The USPS, for example, is very strict, while each private shipping company may have their own rules and restrictions. In general, individuals may only ship tobacco for business reasons, for public health testing purposes or in very small, occasional quantities. When shipping tobacco, alcohol or any other age-restricted substance, both you and the person receiving them should expect to be asked for identification.

K-Way Express, Inc is committed to providing sensible shipping solutions for our customers. If you have questions about the rules and restrictions surrounding the shipment of a particular product, contact your shipping company in Minnesota today.

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