General Question

RareDenver's avatar

Can I send this alcohol through the post?

Asked by RareDenver (13145points) May 13th, 2010

I live in the UK and am of legal drinking age and I want to buy a bottle of Havana Club Rum (it’s a Cuban product but is perfectly legal and very popular here in the UK)

I then want to package it up good and post it to someone, also of legal drinking age, in the USA.

Now I know the USA have this whole trade embargo thing going on with Cuba because they think the Cubans will bring down society as we know it but if I do post this bottle of Rum to the USA will I be breaking any laws?

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13 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The Post Office cannot ship booze. I tried. Try UPS or Fedex.

nyc_air's avatar

No actually there isn’t since its coming from the U.K and not directly Cuba. When you do send it trough the mail make sure to ask the post, I think in the U.K there is only government run postal services but I know for sure that sending something like that through commercial companies like Fedex or UPS or DHL allow it. Through U.S customs there shouldn’t be a problem but then again the Laws might have changed, previously I had Cuban Cigars sent to my father’s company as samples but it came from Canada through FedEx

RareDenver's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I kinda figured I was gonna have to use a courier I just need to know if sending this particular product (no matter what the method) would be breaking any laws?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I don’t know the answer, but I looked into it because I was curious. I found one site based out of the Cayman Islands selling Cuban cigars that says it will ship to the U.S. but “the buyer assumes all risk”. This sounds to me as if it’s not entirely on the up-and-up.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@RareDenver I don’t know the answer to the embargo part of your question. I would guess since you already have it and shipped it here you’d be okay, but that’s only a guess.

nyc_air's avatar

Sending Parcels containing Food Gifts Through International Mail
If you plan to send an article of food by international mail, the FDA must receive prior notice before food is imported or offered for import into the United States. The prior notice must be submitted before the food has been sent to the United States and the parcel must be accompanied by confirmation of FDA receipt of prior notice.
More Information:
You can submit a prior notice electronically at

Among the food articles exempt from prior notice are:
Homemade goods shipped as gifts
Food contained in household goods
Food (as a gift) shipped/mailed from an individual to an individual

More information on the U.S. Customs & Border Protection website

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@nyc_air Does alcohol fall under the FDA? Every time friends of mine go to Peurto Rico they bring back rum, or is it ok because they’re a commonwealth?

Ponderer983's avatar

I would suggest just going to the institution through which you want to ship and ask them. They should know these laws. Seems like there is a lot of conflicting info here.

HungryGuy's avatar

You wouldn’t be breaking any laws, of course, but your American friend might end up in jail for taking delivery of the package, even if he doesn’t know what’s in it at the time—that’s just what the laws are like over there.

nyc_air's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe its not about the commonwealth issue but rather how the items are transported and to whom they are given to. Yes alcohol is inspected under the FDA when the contents are being sold to consumers, however between individuals and as a gift, not sold, can be shipped or transported in non-carry on luggage.

Pandora's avatar

I found this in
You can’t. According to Publication 52 Hazardous, restricted, & perishable mail of the United States Postal Service, “Intoxicating liquors having 0.5 percent or more alcoholic content are nonmailable. This includes taxable liquors with 3.2 percent or less alcohol, as well as those obtained under a prescription or as a collector’s item. The prohibition of the mailing of intoxicating liquors is contained in federal law (18 U.S.C. 1716).”
I know whenever I tried to ship food out of the US, one of the questions I always get asked is if I am mailing any alcohol or flammable liquids. I think alcohol is listed as flammable. I think its only allowed if it is from a reputable seller and not an individual.

jaytkay's avatar

I find the Cuban aspect (not the booze aspect) interesting, am starting a new question about cigars.

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