Can You Mail Cigars With USPS? Fedex? UPS?

For cigar fans (and the friends and family of cigar fans), the ability to mail cigars ends up being a frequent question. Whether you’re sending a gift to a fellow aficionado or restocking your own humidor, it’s important to understand the regulations and policies surrounding the shipment of tobacco products. This article will delve into the specific guidelines provided by USPS, FedEx, and UPS, shedding light on the dos and don’ts of mailing cigars.

Understanding the Regulations of Mailing Tobacco Products

Before delving into the specifics of each shipping carrier’s policies, it’s important to grasp the overarching regulations that govern the mailing of tobacco products. In the United States, there are both federal laws and state-specific regulations that one must adhere to when sending cigars.

Mailing tobacco products can be a complex process due to the various regulations in place. Understanding these regulations is crucial to ensure that your shipment is legal and compliant. Let’s explore the federal laws and state-specific regulations that you need to be aware of.

Federal Laws on Mailing Tobacco

At the federal level, there are stringent regulations in place to ensure the safe and legal shipment of tobacco products. The PACT Act (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act) prohibits the use of the United States Postal Service (USPS) for most tobacco shipments. This act was enacted to combat the illegal trafficking of cigarettes and to prevent underage access to tobacco products.

However, it’s important to note that there are exceptions for certain types of tobacco, including cigars, which can still be sent via USPS. This exception allows cigar enthusiasts to enjoy the convenience of shipping their favorite cigars through the postal service.

When shipping cigars via USPS, there are specific requirements that must be met. These requirements include proper packaging, age verification, and compliance with labeling and documentation regulations. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these requirements to ensure that your shipment is in accordance with federal laws.

State-Specific Regulations on Mailing Cigars

In addition to federal laws, individual states have their own specific regulations regarding the mailing of cigars. These regulations can vary widely from state to state, making it essential to understand the rules in your particular jurisdiction.

Some states have strict limitations or outright bans on mailing tobacco products, including cigars. These restrictions may be in place due to concerns about public health or to prevent the illegal sale of tobacco products. It’s important to research and comply with the regulations in your state to avoid any legal issues.

Furthermore, certain states may impose additional requirements such as age verification or licensing obligations on senders. These requirements are designed to ensure that tobacco products are not accessible to minors and that the sender is operating within the legal framework of their state.

Before shipping cigars, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations in your state. This can be done by consulting the relevant state agencies or seeking legal advice if necessary. By understanding and complying with these regulations, you can ensure that your shipment is legal and avoid any potential penalties or legal consequences.

In conclusion, mailing tobacco products, particularly cigars, requires a comprehensive understanding of both federal laws and state-specific regulations. By adhering to these regulations, you can ensure that your shipment is legal, safe, and compliant with the relevant authorities. Remember to stay informed and updated on any changes in the regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free shipping experience.

Mailing Cigars with USPS

As mentioned earlier, USPS still allows the domestic mailing of cigars, provided that certain conditions are met.

When it comes to mailing cigars through USPS, there are specific policies that must be followed to ensure compliance. These policies are in place to regulate the transportation of tobacco products and maintain the safety and integrity of the mailing process.

USPS Policies on Mailing Tobacco Products

UPSP defines cigars as:

Any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco, unless, 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.


When using USPS to mail cigars, it’s important to follow their policies to ensure compliance. First and foremost, cigars must by mailed and received by someone who is at least 21 years old.

Next the items have to be approved by an employee at the post office.

And then the reason for the shipment must be one of the following:

  • A consumer (non-licensed person) ships small-quantity (generally a gift) shipments to individuals
  • Cigars are shipping Intra-Alaska and intra-Hawaii
  • Cigars are shipped for business or regulatory purposes
  • An individual return of a cigar or cigars to a manufacturer

Shipping cigars domestically in a gift quantity is generally OK. APO/FPO/DPO locations do count as domestic shipments for this purpose.

Packaging and Labeling Requirements for USPS

USPS has specific packaging and labeling requirements for mailing cigars. These requirements are put in place to ensure the safe transportation of cigars while adhering to federal regulations.

According to USPS guidelines, cigars must be packed in a manner that prevents the noticeable odor of tobacco from escaping the package. This means using appropriate packaging materials that effectively contain the scent of the cigars. By doing so, the package remains discreet and avoids drawing unnecessary attention during transit.

In addition to proper packaging, the sender must clearly mark the package as containing tobacco products. This labeling requirement is crucial for postal workers to identify and handle the package appropriately. It also helps to ensure that the package is treated with the necessary care and attention it requires during the shipping process.

By following these packaging and labeling requirements, senders can ensure that their cigars are safely transported through USPS while complying with the regulations set forth by federal authorities.

Shipping Cigars with FedEx

FedEx is another popular shipping carrier that individuals often consider when mailing cigars. With their extensive network and reliable service, many cigar enthusiasts trust FedEx to safely deliver their prized cigars to their desired destinations.

When it comes to shipping tobacco products, FedEx has a specific policy in place to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Unlike USPS, FedEx does not provide a general service for shipping tobacco products. Instead, they only accept shipments of cigars from licensed tobacco distributors and manufacturers.

FedEx’s Stance on Shipping Tobacco Products

As a responsible shipping carrier, FedEx aims to ensure that all shipments of cigars are compliant with the necessary laws and regulations. By limiting their service to licensed tobacco distributors and manufacturers, FedEx can verify the legality and authenticity of the shipments they handle. This policy not only protects FedEx from potential legal issues but also provides peace of mind to both the sender and the recipient.

By partnering with licensed tobacco distributors and manufacturers, FedEx can ensure that the cigars being shipped are of high quality and have been properly sourced. This helps to maintain the integrity of the cigar industry and prevents the circulation of counterfeit or subpar cigars.

FedEx Packaging and Labeling Guidelines

If you meet the requirements of being a licensed tobacco distributor or manufacturer, FedEx has specific packaging and labeling guidelines that must be followed. These guidelines are designed to ensure the safe and secure transportation of cigars, while also providing accurate information to both FedEx employees and customs officials.

One of the key aspects of FedEx’s packaging and labeling guidelines is the requirement to mark the package as containing tobacco. This helps to ensure that the package is handled appropriately throughout its journey and that any necessary precautions are taken to protect the cigars inside. Additionally, accurate labeling helps customs officials identify and process the shipment efficiently, reducing the risk of delays or complications.

Another important aspect of FedEx’s guidelines is the emphasis on proper and secure packaging. Cigars are delicate items that can be easily damaged if not packaged correctly. FedEx requires that cigars be packaged in a way that provides adequate protection against impact, moisture, and temperature fluctuations. This may include using cushioning materials, such as bubble wrap or foam, and ensuring that the cigars are tightly secured within the packaging to prevent movement during transit.

In addition to packaging requirements, FedEx also requires accurate shipping documentation for cigar shipments. This includes providing detailed information about the contents of the package, such as the number of cigars and their value. By providing accurate documentation, both the sender and the recipient can have a clear understanding of the shipment’s contents, which can be useful for insurance purposes or in case of any disputes or claims.

Overall, FedEx’s packaging and labeling guidelines for shipping cigars are designed to ensure the safe and legal transportation of these prized tobacco products. By following these guidelines, licensed tobacco distributors and manufacturers can have confidence in FedEx’s ability to deliver their cigars in optimal condition, while also complying with all relevant laws and regulations.

Sending Cigars via UPS

Lastly, UPS is a popular option for shipping cigars, but it also has its own set of regulations and guidelines.

UPS Policies on Shipping Tobacco

UPS allows the shipment of cigars, but only under certain conditions. Similar to FedEx, UPS requires that the sender be a licensed tobacco distributor or manufacturer. This prerequisite ensures compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

UPS Packaging and Labeling Requirements

When shipping cigars with UPS, it is crucial to adhere to their packaging and labeling requirements. These guidelines include properly packaging the cigars to prevent damage during transit, labeling the package as containing tobacco products, and complying with age verification requirements when applicable.