Shipping Tobacco

Shipments containing Tobacco Products ("Tobacco Product Shipments") are accepted for transportation only from Shippers who are licensed and authorized to ship Tobacco Products pursuant to applicable laws.

To make Tobacco Product Shipments, the Shipper must sign, agree to, and comply with the provisions set forth in an approved UPS agreement for the transportation of Tobacco Products. Shippers and receivers must comply with all applicable federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations, and all Tobacco Product Shipments must conform to the terms, conditions, restrictions, and prohibitions set forth on this page at the time of shipping. It is the responsibility of the Shipper to ensure that a Shipment tendered to UPS, including a Tobacco Product Shipment, does not violate any federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations applicable to the Shipment.

The UPS agreement for transportation of Tobacco Products incorporates Addendum A, which contains additional terms and requires Shippers to make an annual certification of compliance to UPS.  Addendum A may be amended from time-to-time.  The current version is posted below.  The version of Addendum A in effect at the time of shipping will apply to the shipment.

View Addendum A

UPS reserves the right to refuse to accept, transport, or deliver any Tobacco Product Shipment that UPS, in its sole and unlimited discretion, determines does not comply with UPS requirements for the shipment or any applicable law or regulation, and to discontinue any or all service to any Shipper for, among other reasons, tendering such a Shipment. UPS reserves the right to dispose of any Tobacco Product Shipment that Shippers are prohibited from shipping, that UPS is not authorized to accept, that UPS states that it will not accept, or that UPS has a right to refuse.

While Shippers are responsible for reviewing all federal, state, provincial, or local laws or regulations applicable to a Shipment to determine the legality of the shipment, general restrictions applicable in all states (whether by law or by UPS policy) include:

  • UPS does not provide service to any person or entity listed in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives PACT Act – Non-Compliant List.
  • UPS prohibits the shipment of Cigarettes or Little Cigars (as defined below) to consumers, regardless of destination state.
  • All Tobacco Product Shipments must be made using UPS Delivery Confirmation Adult Signature Required service, requiring the signature of an adult 21 years of age or older upon delivery.
  • Federal law imposes labelling and packaging, record-keeping, and tax-collecting obligations relating to permissible tobacco shipments. See 18 U.S.C. § 376a.
  • Federal law limits the quantity of tobacco that may be permissibly shipped. See 18 U.S.C. § 376a.
  • Most states require that some or all Tobacco Products bear tax stamps; shippers are responsible for reviewing state or local laws governing the required tax stamps for any Tobacco Products they tender to UPS for shipment, to ensure that UPS is not carrying any Tobacco Products that do not bear the requisite tax stamps.

Vaping Products

Vaping Products are considered Tobacco Products for the purpose of this policy. UPS no longer accepts for U.S. domestic shipment, including import and export into or from the U.S., any Vaping Product, including but not limited to e-cigarette devices and e-liquids or gels, regardless of nicotine content, even if a Shipper or consignee is permitted to ship and receive Vaping Products under applicable laws or regulations.


For purposes of UPS’s policy on shipment of Tobacco Products, the following definitions apply:

"Cigarette" means (a) any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance not containing tobacco or (b) any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco which, because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging and labeling, is likely to be offered to, or purchased by, consumers as a cigarette described in (a).

"Little Cigar" means any roll for smoking made of tobacco, wrapped in either paper or any form of tobacco (including homogenized tobacco or natural leaf tobacco), that either (a) weighs 4 pounds or less per 1,000 rolls or (b) has a filter made of cellulose acetate or any other integrated filter.

"Tobacco Products" means tobacco or tobacco products, as those terms are variously defined in the Food and Drug Administration’s Final Rule Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, dated August 8, 2016 ("FDA’s Deeming Rule", Without limiting the complete definition found in the FDA’s Deeming Rule, the term "Tobacco Products" includes any product made or derived from tobacco that is intended for human consumption, including any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product; the term includes, without limitation, e-cigarettes, ehookah, e-cigars, vape pens, advanced refillable personal vaporizers, and electronic pipes.

"Vaping Product" means any Tobacco Product intended for human consumption by inhalation that relies on vaporization or aerosolization, including but not limited to e-liquid, electronic cigarettes, electronic cigars, electronic cigarillos, electronic pipes, electronic vaping product delivery pens, hookah pens, and any other similar devices that rely on vaporization or aerosolization.

Alternative Smoking Products – Hong Kong SAR, China

UPS no longer accepts for import into, export from or for domestic shipment within Hong Kong SAR, any Alternative Smoking Products, including electronic smoking products, heated tobacco products and herbal cigarettes.

Alternative Smoking Products are defined under Part 2 of Schedule 7 to the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, enacted by the Legislative Council of Hong Kong SAR, China (“Ordinance”).

Without limiting the complete definition found in the Ordinance, the term Alternative Smoking Products includes:

(i) A device (other than a waterpipe) that is capable of generating an aerosol, other than by means of direct lighting, from any substances and being used for imitating conventional smoking; its component or accessory.

(ii) Any substance suitable for use with a device described in (i) to generate an aerosol from that substance. Examples include heated tobacco sticks and “e-liquid”.

(iii) Any plant material (other than tobacco) rolled up in any material for immediate use for imitating conventional smoking (i.e. herbal cigarettes).

For more information, please refer to the Hong Kong SAR’s Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office website