Shipping Tobacco with USPS, UPS, and FedEx

Shipping tobacco products take a little extra work and might even seem impossible. However, with a little research and a helping hand from ShippingEasy, your tobacco products can get shipped in no time. Learn more about how ShippingEasy can help improve your overall efficiency.


How to ship tobacco with UPS:

UPS only accepts tobacco shipments from shippers who have the proper licenses and are authorized to ship tobacco products based on their local and federal laws. These laws can typically be found on your state's website for tobacco, alcohol, and firearms.

UPS Contract:

Tobacco shipped to consumers by UPS will only be accepted as deliveries based on a contractual agreement. This means you will need the proper licenses as well as the signed contract to allow UPS to let you ship tobacco.

Tobacco Restrictions for UPS:

If you are on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Non-Compliant List, you will not be able to send tobacco products even if you previously held the proper licenses.

UPS prohibits the shipping of cigarettes entirely. Even with the aforementioned contract, UPS does not offer a contractual service to deliver cigarettes to consumers.


How to ship tobacco with USPS:

Most cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products may not be mailed domestically or internationally by USPS. Cigars may be shipped internationally unless the country you are shipping to prohibits it. Using ShippingEasy's Shipping RulesProduct Catalog, and Order Categories, you can flag orders containing specific products that may be subject to special restrictions.

Tobacco Restrictions for USPS:

  • Cigars: may be mailed domestically.
  • Business & Regulatory Agencies: tobacco products may be mailed between verified and authorized tobacco businesses. This does require an eligibility letter and the return receipt.
  • Age–Verified Individuals: through a series of requirements, some individuals can hand deliver tobacco products to the Post Office for mailing. Then recipients will also need to verify their legal age; requiring an adult signature is the best way to ensure this. Use ShippingEasy's Shipping Rules to automatically add adult signature confirmation to qualifying orders.
  • Cigarettes & Smokeless Tobacco: in general these cannot be mailed, however, the following are exceptions:
    • If you present all allowed cigarette and smokeless tobacco shipments in person at a local post office you may be able to ship them that way.
    • All allowed/exceptional shipments of cigarettes have to have a unique marking for the address on the side of the package. Each type of shipping exception has its own special marking.
  • Return Receipts: all shipments of allowed tobacco products must have a return receipt.


How to ship tobacco with FedEx:

Currently, the FedEx official documents say that they will only accept tobacco products being shipped from one licensed dealer or distributor to another, so you may need to look into other carriers for your tobacco shipping needs.


Though initially time-consuming, it is best to always follow all legal licenses, requirements, and rules. This can save both you and your customers a significant amount of effort and trouble down the line.

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