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Mail Prohibitions

In compliance with strict regulations the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) will not carry any item of mail containing substances identified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as hazardous. These are listed below, but are not exhaustive. In addition the BFPO will not carry items listed as prohibited by the country of destination.

All aerosols come under UN hazard Class 2: Gases compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure and will not be accepted by Parcelforce or Royal Mail for delivery by the BFPO for delivery to overseas addresses. The same applies to aerosols being posted from overseas BFPO locations for delivery to UK or other civilian addresses.

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Class 1: Explosives

Definition: Any chemical compound, mixture or device capable of producing an explosive-pyrotechnic effect, with substantial instantaneous release of heat and gas. All explosives are prohibited. Examples: Nitro-glycerine; Fireworks; Blasting Caps; Christmas Cracker Snaps; Ignitors; Fuses; Flares; Ammunition, etc.

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Class 2: Gases compressed, liquefied or dissolved under pressure

Definition: Permanent gases, which cannot be liquefied at ambient temperatures; liquefied gases which can become liquid under pressure at ambient temperatures; dissolved gases which are dissolved under pressure in a solvent - All flammable gases are prohibited. Examples: Hydrogen; Ethane; Methane; Propane; Butane; Cigarette Lighters; Gas Cylinders for camping stoves, blowlamps, etc. All toxic compressed gases are prohibited. Examples: Chlorine; Fluorine, etc. All non-flammable compressed gases are prohibited. Examples: Carbon Dioxide; Nitrogen; Neon; Fire Extinguishers containing such gases, etc. All aerosols are prohibited.

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Class 3: Flammable Liquids

Definition: Liquids, mixtures of liquids, or liquids containing solids in solution or suspension which give off a flammable vapour. Any liquid with a closed cup flash point below 60.5°C is prohibited. Examples: Acetone; Benzene; Cleaning Compounds; Gasoline; Lighter Fuel; Paint Thinners and Removers; petroleum; Solvents, etc.

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Class 4: Flammable Solids

Definition: Solid materials which are liable to cause fire by friction, absorption of water, spontaneous chemical changes, or retained heat from manufacturing or processing or which can be readily ignited and burn vigorously. Examples: Matches (any type including safety); Calcium Carbide; Cellulose Nitrate products; Metallic Magnesium; Nitro-cellulose based film; Phosphorous; Potassium; Sodium; Sodium Hydride; Zinc Powder; Zirconium Hydride, etc.

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Class 5: Oxidising Substances and Organic Peroxides

Definition: Though not necessary combustible themselves, these substances may cause or contribute to combustion of other substances. They may also be liable to explosive decomposition, react dangerously with other substances, and be injurious to health. Examples: Bromates; Chlorates; Components of Fibreglass Repair Kits; Nitrates; Perchlorates, etc.

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Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

Definition: Substances liable to cause death or injury if swallowed or inhaled, or by skin contact. Substances containing micro-organisms or their toxins which are known or suspected to cause diseases. Examples: Arsenic; Beryllium; Cyanide; Fluorine; Hydrogen; Selenide; Mercury; Salts; Mustard Gas; Nitrobenzene; Nitrogen Dioxide; Pathogensin Risk Groups 4 and selected Risk Group 3 Pathogens listed in Schedule 9, part 5 of the latest edition of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations: Rat Poison; Serum; Vaccines, etc.

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Class 7: Radioactive Material

Definition: Any material with a specific activity greater than 70 Kilobecuerels per Kg (0.002 micro Curies per gram). All Radioactive material is prohibited. Examples: Fissile Material (Uranium 235, etc); Radioactive Waste Material; Uranium or Thorium Ores, etc.

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Class 8: Corrosives

Definition: Substances which can cause severe damage by chemical action to living tissue, or freight, or the means of transport. All corrosive substances are prohibited. Examples: Aluminium Chloride; Caustic Soda; Corrosive Cleaning Fluid; Corrosive Rust Remover/Preventative; Corrosive Paint Remover; Electric Storage Batteries; Hydrochloric Acid; Nitric Acid; Sulphuric Acid, etc.

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Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Definition: Substances which present danger not covered elsewhere. Examples: Asbestos; Dry Ice (solid carbon dioxide); magnetised material with a magnetic field strength of 0.159 A/m or more at a distance of 2.1m from the outside of the parcel.

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In the addition, listed below are other prohibited items which may not be sent through the BFPO mails system:

Controlled Drugs

Those discovered in transit are to be stopped and signed over to Customs or Police who may take legal action against the sender and/or the addressee. Examples: Narcotics; psychotropic substances; LSD; Morphine; Cocaine; Cannabis Resin; Opium, etc.

(Prescription drugs can be sent for medical purposes, for example from a medical practitioner to a hospital but must contain the address of sender in case of non-delivery so that it may be returned without delay. In such cases the RM Priority Services system must be used to ensure maximum security of the item).

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Arms and Ammunition

Arms and their component parts classified as munitions of war, ammunition of any kind and firearms prohibited under the firearms acts 1968-1997. Posting of any of the following are prohibited in the United Kingdom: automatic weapons (machine guns and sub-machine guns); - loading rifles; most handguns and pistols; anti-tank rocket launchers; mortars and other military weapons; electric stun guns; firearms disguised as something else; CS gas sprays and pepper sprays and flick knives.

For further infonnation about UK firearms law can be obtained from the United Kingdom Home Office on 0870 000 1585 or by E-mail: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

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Counterfeit Currency and Postage Stamps

Prohibited unless no longer available for current use and therefore of value as collectors items.

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Indecent or Obscene Articles

Indecent or Obscene communications, prints, books or other articles, and packets bearing grossly offensive, indecent or obscene words, marks or designs are prohibited. Those discovered in transit are to be stopped and signed over to Customs or the Police, who may take legal action against the sender and/or addressee.

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Lottery Tickets

Tickets and related advertisements for illegal lotteries are prohibited.

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