Can You Ship Vitamins Internationally?

You may wonder, “Can I send vitamins overseas to reach customers in other countries?” The short answer is yes.

While it is generally possible to send vitamins and supplements through international mail, there are often restrictions and regulations that must be followed. Every country has its own customs policies when it comes to importing items like vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional products. Some countries may require special permits, proof the vitamins were prescribed by a doctor, or detailed documentation about the ingredients and their intended use.

Before mailing vitamins internationally, it’s critical to thoroughly research the destination country’s rules and requirements. Failing to properly declare vitamin shipments and follow all applicable laws could result in costly delays, seizures by customs, or other penalties. Taking the time to understand the vitamin import regulations is ultimately essential for a smooth international shipping experience.

In general, it can be harder to ship vitamins internationally for commercial purposes. If you’re looking to sell vitamins abroad or in the U.S., you may be able to save a ton of hassle (and even costs) by working with a dedicated 3PL, such as Print Bind Ship with extensive experience in shipping logistics. Get in touch for a free quote!

4 Types of Shipping Regulations for Dietary Supplements

Selling vitamins online to international buyers may not be worth the effort for some companies due to the added cost of conforming to various countries’ laws. By knowing the rules in each country, you can determine which ones are worth targeting with your products. 

1. Country of Origin

To import vitamins or supplements, your company must file a “prior notice” with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) before the products arrive at their port of entry. The notice must state:

  • Country where the product was made
  • Most recent country the product passed through
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry
  • Name, address, and contact information of the manufacturer
  • Standard carrier code
  • CBP automated commercial system (ACS) for tracking date/type

Sellers must submit the notice eight hours before arrival by sea, four hours before arrival by rail or air, and two hours before arrival by road. 

All vitamins and supplements must adhere to FDA regulations and adherence to good manufacturing processes. Sellers also have to create a foreign supplier verification program (FSVP) plan assessing potential risks from suppliers. 

2. Destination Country 

Before attempting to deliver vitamins or supplements to the following countries, become familiar with their rules. If you wish to obtain export certification for vitamins, supplements, or any other type of food additive, you must contact the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Export Certification Team

United States

If you want to ship vitamins to the U.S., log in to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website and fill out the “prior notice” forms. You will then be able to obtain a prior notice confirmation number. Each type of supplement or vitamin will require a separate form. 


In Canada, supplements and vitamins qualify as natural health products (NHPs). You will have to fill out a declaration listing the names and categories of the products. Include ingredients in the paperwork since Canada’s government also regulates NHP raw materials. 


Shipping vitamins to Mexico requires approval and permitting from the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk ministry. While shipping through the postal service avoids the most thorough inspections, you still face the risk of product seizures if you don’t seek approval first.

United Kingdom

The U.K. restricts the import of certain supplements, which the country’s Food Standard Agency classifies as regulated foods. You must fill out a declaration and include product names, categories, and ingredients. If the supplements contain products of animal origin, sellers and importers will likely require certification. 


Since Japan has some of the most stringent restrictions regarding supplements, most sellers don’t even attempt to ship vitamins or supplements to the country. Shippers may only send 2-month supplies of vitamins at a time, and shipments can experience severe delays. 

Due to quarantine laws, supplements or vitamins containing animal products will likely not be able to enter the country.

3. Type of Vitamin Being Shipped

The types of vitamins or supplements countries allow in shipments vary depending on whether their governments view the products as medicine, whether they contain animal-sourced ingredients, and whether the country of origin faces any sanctions or importation bans. 

4. Certifications

The FDA offers Certificate of Free Sale export certifications for supplements and vitamins. Since each country has different rules about what it will allow in shipments, it’s best to reach out to your target country’s health department to obtain any importation permits or certifications it may require.

How to Ship Vitamins Internationally

Once you’ve done your legwork regarding whether you can ship to your preferred country, you’ll have to pack your products per the rules.

1. Research Packaging Requirements

Each country has packaging requirements specifically to keep supplement and vitamin shipments safe over long, arduous travels. Ask for the country’s packaging regulations when you inquire about certifications and permits.

It takes time to ship vitamins internationally, and they may be subject to extreme temperature swings, varying barometric pressure, and rough handling. 

2. Assemble Required Documents

Nearly every country requires import documentation, including information about the origin of the vitamins and their ingredients, the destination, the countries the shipment has traveled through, and the purpose of the shipment.

3. Comply with Customs

All vitamin and supplement shipments must pass through customs, whether shipping into or out of the U.S. The products will also have to be fully compliant with FDA regulations. 

Customs authorities are in charge of whether the shipment may leave or enter the country, and you must have the appropriate paperwork, such as the “prior notice” document and written FSVP plan.

Selecting an International Shipping Provider

To avoid many of the import and export headaches sellers face, you can partner with an experienced international shipping provider

Ideally, your shipping provider is also a manufacturer, so you don’t have to be concerned with foreign vitamin manufacturing in an attempt to avoid importation and shipment regulations. A reputable manufacturer will be FDA-compliant and able to ship your products to your countries of choice.

Supplement companies that want to simplify shipping and manufacturing turn to Print Bind Ship. We know the ins and outs of exporting and importing vitamins and supplements, and our manufacturing facilities conform to good manufacturing practices and FDA guidelines. 

With Print Bind Ship, you can focus on selling instead of forever researching the regulations of dozens of nations.

You Sell Vitamins, Print Bind Ship Sells Peace of Mind

The rules for international vitamin sales are numerous, confusing, and mind-numbing. That’s why supplement companies worldwide trust Print Bind Ship to take care of their shipments. We stay on top of the regulations and laws affecting your ability to sell in a given country, letting you continue building your brand without worrying about compliance. Can you ship vitamins internationally? Yes, just contact Print Bind Ship!


Can I send vitamins from the USA?

Yes, as long as your shipments are properly permitted and licensed.

Can you mail vitamin supplements?

Yes, you can generally send vitamins and supplements through international mail, but there may be restrictions depending on the destination country’s regulations. It’s advisable to check the specific customs requirements for mailing vitamins or medications to avoid having your package held or refused at the border. In general, expect greater scrutiny if you’re looking to ship vitamins for commercial purposes.

Can you ship medicine internationally?

Yes, you can ship medicine internationally, but there are typically restrictions and requirements that vary by country. You may need to provide certain documentation like prescriptions or export/import permits. It’s crucial to check the destination country’s regulations for shipping medication to ensure full compliance.

What documentation do I need to ship vitamins abroad?

Common documentation needed can include a detailed inventory listing all ingredients, a letter from a doctor prescribing the vitamins, lab analysis reports, and export/import permits or licenses. Having proper paperwork is crucial to clear customs inspections.

How should vitamins be packaged for international shipping?

It’s recommended to use waterproof and crushproof packaging when shipping vitamins internationally. Seal bottles/containers tightly and cushion them with bubble wrap inside a sturdy outer box. Include packing slips detailing the contents and quantities. Mark packages as “Vitamins” or “Dietary Supplements”.