CBDS Compliance and Restrictions

What is Compliance?

Compliance is adherence to the rules governing import and export between countries and to the extra-territorial regulations and sanctions that can affect shipments. When shipping internationally, merchants must comply with all rules and regulations. Failure to comply can mean extra costs, penalties, disruptions, and audits. PB Cross-Border Delivery Service (CBDS) ensures compliance based on information the merchant provides when creating a shipment.

How CBDS Ensures Compliance

Once a merchant has shipped a parcel, and before the parcel reaches the CBDS Hub, Pitney Bowes performs the following compliance checks to ensure the parcel is ready for international transit when it reaches the center:

  • A denied party screening on the buyer’s details. If the denied party screening fails, Pitney Bowes is obligated to return the parcel to the merchant as it cannot ship forward.

  • A due-diligence compliance review. Pitney Bowes checks that the commodities are cleared to be shipped out of the origin country and that the commodities comply with the destination country’s customs authority. If this check fails, Pitney Bowes must return the parcel to the merchant.

How Can Merchants Minimize Compliance Issues?

To minimize any customs clearance and compliance-related issues:

  • Merchants should provide their catalogs to the Pitney Bowes Compliance Team before shipping with CBDS. Merchants should provide their catalogs and other relevant information, such as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

  • When issuing the Create Shipment API, the merchant should provide the following commodity information in the customs.customsItems object:

    • description: A highly detailed description of the commodity, up to 255 characters. For example: - “Free People Women’s Embroidered dress 100% rayon” - “Clothing men’s shirt casual button-down slim fit cotton wrinkle-free single-needle construction.”

    • url: The URL for the commodity from the the merchant’s ecommerce website. The merchant should make sure the URL is a working URL.

    • hSTariffCode: The full HS code.

    • originCountryCode: The COO (Country of Origin). The COO is the country in which the commodity was manufactured.

How CBDS Handles Restricted Goods

If CBDS receives a parcel that has items restricted from global trade, the parcel is returned to the merchant, unless prohibited from transport. Returning the parcel to the merchant can incur costs for the merchant. Any return costs are included in the merchant’s invoice.

If the restricted goods are prohibited from transport for any reason, such as leakages, drugs, explosives, etc., the goods are disposed of.

Items Restricted from Global Trade

This section lists goods restricted from global trade. See also Items Restricted for Import in Canada.

As of this writing, the following products are restricted from global trade:

Items Restricted from Global Trade



  • All Perishable goods (fruits, meats, eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, dairy, flowers)

  • Ammunition | air gun pellets

  • Ammunition | pistol cartridges

  • Ammunition | rifle cartridges

  • Ammunition | shotgun cartridges

  • Ammunition | shotshell wads

  • Any item that contains environmentally hazardous material

  • Archery Sights

  • Barrels for Assault Rifles

  • Bulletproof Vests

  • Corrosive material

  • Electronic Cigarette Nicotine Cartridges & Liquid

  • Folding Knives | parts - handles of base metal

  • Gun Sights | parts

  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights

  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights with infrared

  • Gun Sights | telescopic rifle sights with laser

  • Handcuffs of iron & steel

  • Hunting Rifles

  • Infrared Security Cameras & Scanners

  • Knives with folding blades | other (including parts)

  • Knives with folding blades | pen knives & pocket knives

  • Magazines for Assault Rifles

  • Pepper Spray & Stunguns

  • Pistol | semiautomatic

  • Radar Detectors

  • Radioactive material

  • Revolvers

  • Shotguns | single-barrel

  • Tactical & Ballistic Goggles

Dangerous Goods

CBDS ensures that all Dangerous Goods parcels are inspected, packed, and labeled by DG-certified associates based on DOT and IATA regulations.

CBDS supports the shipping of the following Dangerous Goods:

  • CBDS supports shipping the following batteries. The batteries must be packaged in a manufacturer packaging with a strong, rigid outer carton:

    • Lithium Ion (UN3481) batteries/cells contained in equipment (PI967/PI970)

    • Lithium Ion (UN3481) batteries/cells contained with equipment (PI966/PI969)

    • Metal (UN3091) batteries/cells contained in equipment (PI967/PI970)

    • Metal (UN3091) batteries/cells contained with equipment (PI966/PI969)

    CBDS does not support the shipping of Lithium Metal ALONE (UN3090) or Lithium Ion ALONE (UN3480) batteries.

  • CBDS supports shipping dangerous goods that meet the requirements for an ID8000 Consumer Commodity. To meet the requirements, the parcel’s inner packaging must not exceed:

    • 500 mL for liquids

    • 500 grams for solids

HAZMAT-Flagged Items

When a merchant quotes or ships a HAZMAT-flagged item, the merchant enters the applicable HAZMAT classifications in the hazmats array in the customs.customsItems object. The merchant enters any of the following that applies:

  • hazmat: Item contains hazardous materials that are fully regulated by the D.O.T.

  • ormd: Other Regulated Materials for Domestic Transport only (ORM-D), meaning that the item contains hazardous material in a limited quantity that presents a limited hazard during transportation as defined by D.O.T. regulations.

  • chemicalindicator: Any product that contains a powder, gel, paste, or liquid that is not intended for human consumption.

  • pesticideindicator: Any chemical that is advertised or labeled to kill, repel or prevent growth of any living organism.

  • aerosolindicator: Any product that contains a compressed gas or propellant.

  • rppcindicator: Rigid plastic packaging container.

  • batterytype-{X}: The battery-type indicator, where {X} is one of the following:

    • alkaline

    • carbon zinc

    • lead acid

    • lithium

    • primary

    • lithium ion

    • magnesium mercury

    • nickel cadmium

    • silver

    • thermal

    • multiple types of nickel metal hydride

    • other

  • nonspillablebattery: Item contains a D.O.T. regulated battery that must be indicated on the shipping box with non-spillable battery text.

  • fuelrestriction: Product is an empty container that may be filled with fluids such as fuel, CO2, propane, etc.