Compensation, restricted & prohibited items
- Tonga Post offers a wide variety of letter, parcel and courier delivery services for sending items within Tonga and around the world.
- We make every effort to ensure your item arrives on time and in good condition, but unfortunately sometimes things can go wrong.
- Please contact us if you have any questions concerning our products/services, procedures, packaging, missing or damaged items.
- Please view our full contact details if you wish to contact us by email or in writing.
- We cover your items for loss or damage up to the limits detailed in the Postage Guide. We will also refund the postage if your item has been lost.
- As our delivery targets are a guide only, we do not cover your items for any delay in delivery.
- Our compensation payments (including CT) for loss of, or damage to, postal or courier items sent within Tonga and overseas are limited to the amounts shown in the Postage Guide (plus reimbursement of postage if the item was lost).
- Our compensation payments (including CT) for loss of, or damage to, postal or courier items sent internationally are limited to the amounts shown in the Postage Guide (plus reimbursement of postage if the item was lost).
What can’t be sent
- Prohibited items are items that cannot be sent unless we have specifically agreed in writing to carry them. You must not post or courier any Prohibited item.
- We are not liable for, and will not pay compensation for, loss of, or damage to, items we carry if the item is a Prohibited item.
- We may, in special circumstances, agree conditions for the carriage of some Prohibited items with individual Tonga Post Account customers. Any variations to the prohibitions set out below will only be valid if they are included in the written contract you have with us or if you have written confirmation of the agreed variation from an authorised Tonga Post representative.
- It is your responsibility to check whether the item you are sending is Prohibited and acceptance of any item by us does not free you of this responsibility.
- If you are unsure, our staff are always happy to help but, due to the complex nature of some products, it remains your responsibility to ensure your item is safe to send.
- Prohibited items may appear harmless but can easily become dangerous under certain circumstances, e.g. air pressure or temperature changes. Almost all international items and many domestic items travel by air at some stage of their journey.
- Any item capable of causing injury to people or damage to property must be appropriately packaged before it is brought into any Post Office or Tonga Post agent.
- We may open and inspect any item we suspect may be, or may contain, a Prohibited item. If we find a Prohibited item it will not be delivered and we will not refund postage costs. We are not obliged to return the item to you but may, at our discretion and at your cost:
- make the item safe;
- return the item to you by a licensed dangerous goods carrier or security firm;
- destroy the item;
- dispose of the item; or
- deliver the item to the appropriate authorities.
- There are also penalties for sending Prohibited items under the Postal Services Act 2007 and other legislation.
- Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following categories:
- any item that is illegal or prohibited by law or any authority, whether in Tonga or the destination country;
- any item that is capable, as packed, of causing injury to people or damage to property;
- any item that is classified as Restricted under our terms and conditions where you have not complied with the conditions of carriage for that item (for more information about Restricted items refer to paragraph 4 below);
- any item that is listed in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (available for purchase from selected bookshops). This includes explosives, gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidising substances and organic peroxides, toxic (poisonous) and infectious substances, radioactive materials, corrosives, and highly magnetic and polymerisable substances;
- any unsolicited indecent item or representation of any kind;
- travellers cheques, deeds, negotiable instruments (including any bearer security, bill of exchange or uncrossed cheque), bonds or shares, credit or bank cards, coins, currency, or precious metal, or vouchers, gift cards or tickets for any games of chance (e.g. raffle and lottery tickets);
- unused stamps (however, these can still be sent using international services – for details refer to the conditions of carriage for Restricted items);
- all drugs unless in prescription quantities and packaged correctly (additional restrictions apply for international services – for details refer to the conditions of carriage of Restricted items);
- firearms (including parts) and ammunition. Firearm parts are any piece of a firearm that is designed or intended to be an integral part of a firearm, regardless of whether it is in working condition. Firearm parts include, but are not limited to, the breech/chamber, stock/butt, magazine, silencer, barrel, bolt and trigger assembly. Firearm accessories such as sights, slings and bipods/tripods are permitted to be sent, subject to all terms and conditions and all relevant regulations;
- human remains, including ashes;
- any noxious substance or thing, or any dead animal;
- live animals, except for correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects;
- perishable items;
- jewellery, watches, precious metals or stones (however, these can still be sent using some international services – for details refer to the conditions of carriage for Restricted items);
- any collectible or antique or any painting, sculpture or other work of art (however, these can still be sent using some international services – for details refer to the conditions of carriage for Restricted items);
- lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries (however, these can still be sent using domestic courier services and International Fast Post – restrictions apply; for details refer to the conditions of carriage for Restricted items);
- fragile items when using domestic courier services only (however, restrictions apply for all other services – refer to the conditions of carriage for Restricted items);
- any item that is inadequately packaged.
Quick reference guide to common Prohibited items
- This list is a guide only – it is not a complete list of all prohibited items.
Adhesive products (containing flammable liquid)
Aerosol cans (e.g. hairspray)
Air bag (car)
Alarm devices (gas or battery powered)
Alcohol (more than 5 litres)
Alcohol (more than 70% by volume)
Animals (except correctly packaged bees, leeches, silkworms and harmless insects)
Appliances (containing batteries)
Batteries (contained in any appliance – batteries must be removed and packaged separately)
Batteries (made from lithium Ion, some exceptions apply)
Batteries (car or wet cell)
Caps for starting guns
Caps for toy guns
Cleaning materials (liquid or powder)
Coins, currency, or vouchers/gift cards/tickets for games of chance
Drugs (unless in prescription quantities)
Essential oils (e.g. eucalyptus, tea tree)
Fibreglass repair kits
Firearms (including parts) and ammunition
Fireworks (e.g. skyrockets, sparklers, crackers)
First Aid kits
Furs and skins (untreated)
Gas (e.g. propane, butane, hydrogen, helium)
|Gas cylinders (e.g. camping gas cylinders – full or empty)
Generators (fuel powered)
Glue (e.g. flammable, quick drying)
Grenades (including imitation Grenades)
Human remains (including ashes)
Jewellery, precious metals or stones
Nail polish remover
Oven cleaners (containing caustic soda)
Oxygen cylinders, including compressed air
Paint (oil based)
Perfume (including aftershave, cologne)
Poisons (e.g. cyanide, lead, arsenic)
Polyester resin kits
Shock absorbers (gas or compressed air)
Stun guns, tasers and stun batons
Swimming pool chemicals
Tea tree oil
Toner (e.g. photocopier toner, toner cartridges)
Toys (containing batteries)
Varnish (e.g. removers, thinners)
Weapons, including bows, crossbows and arrows, harpoons, guns, spear guns, sling shots and catapults
- The terms ‘High Risk’ items and ‘Restricted’ items are both used currently in Tonga Post collateral and on items such as postage included bags. For the purposes of these terms and conditions, they both have the same meaning.
- Restricted items are items that can only be sent if you have complied with the conditions of carriage we specify below.
- Packaged correctly to withstand transport and handling
- Sent using a signature required service
- Additional restrictions may be placed on items by other countries. It is your responsibility to ensure that your item is not prohibited or restricted in the country you are sending to.
- Other limitations and exclusions
- In addition to Prohibited and Restricted items, other limitations and exclusions apply.
- We are not liable for, and will not pay compensation for, loss of, or damage to, items we carry if:
- you have not complied with all other relevant terms and conditions and relevant regulations;
- the item is incorrectly addressed (addressing is the sender’s responsibility and acceptance of any item by us does not free the sender of this responsibility);
- item is unlawfully sent;
- the item is seized or confiscated by Customs or any other government agency or border control authority, regardless of whether it is a Prohibited or Restricted item or not;
- any required documentation was not fully and correctly completed by the sender;
- no proof of posting is provided;
- the loss or damage is the result of any neglect on the part of the sender;
- the item is sent to a country where no postal or courier service exists;
- the loss or damage is the result of an event beyond our reasonable control;
- the loss or damage occurs after delivery;
- you have bought our services for the purpose of a business and:
- the loss is consequential or indirect loss or damage, loss of profits or economic loss (for example as a result of delay);
- you make a claim for loss or damage more than seven days after delivery of the item;
- you make a claim for non delivery more than 14 days after the item was sent using a domestic service or international courier service, or more than 90 days after the item was sent using International Air.
Packaging fragile items
- Our general handling and transport processes are the same for all items, and we cannot provide any special treatment for items that are fragile. It is your responsibility to ensure that any item is well packaged and can withstand a 1.2m drop. It is not enough to put ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’ labels on your item.
- When sending items overseas, you should also ensure that:
- your item is not prohibited from export by the Tonga government, or that you meet any export restrictions (such as an export permit) if there are any
- your item is not prohibited or restricted in the country you are sending it to.
- For further information, contact the Tonga Customs service or the appropriate Tonga or overseas government authority.
- Making a compensation claim
- Compensation claims for items posted from overseas must be initiated by the sender with the postal authority in the country it was sent from. The information below does not apply.
- All other claims should be made by the sender with Tonga Post, depending on the service used.
- When the whole item goes missing
Service Who to make your claim with How to make your claim Timeframe for making your claim Sending within Tonga All types of mail Tonga Post Contact Nukualofa General Post Office. 14 days Sending internationally International Air Tonga Post Contact Nukualofa General Post Office. 90 days International Fast Post Courier Tonga Post Contact Nukualofa General Post Office. 14 days
- When the contents are damaged or some of the contents are missing
- Please take the item and its packaging to the Nukualofa General Post Office within 7 days of receiving it. You should not try and fix up the item or its packaging, as we need to see the state that it was in when you received it. If you have sent an item overseas, the person who received it should take it to the postal authority in their country.
- We may need to keep the item while we look into what happened.
- What you need to tell us
- When making compensation claim, you need to provide us with the following information (where applicable):
- time, date and place of posting
- sender and addressee details
- proof of posting (receipts or invoices)
- evidence of the value of the item, such as the cost or replacement price, receipts or valuation notice
- tracking number
- sender’s copy of the consignment note or Customs declaration
- We usually pay compensation to the sender, but the sender can waive this right in favour of the addressee. An addressee will receive the same amount of compensation as we would have paid to the sender if the sender had made the claim themselves.