For health and safety reasons, most hazardous materials (such as fire extinguishers, radioactive materials, flammable gases and solids and toxic substances) can't be listed on eBay.
The law generally prohibits transporting hazardous materials or 'dangerous goods' per transport regulations. However, there are a few types of 'dangerous goods' that may be legally transported provided they are properly packaged and labelled, and only under certain conditions. These items may be sold on eBay, as long as the listing:
Clearly describes the hazardous nature of the product
Specifies a compliant transport or delivery method that meets transport regulations and postal/courier requirements
Further information on the classification and transport of 'dangerous goods'
The transport of dangerous goods by road, rail, sea or air is regulated by International and European regulations.
To check if your product is classified as dangerous goods, please check Section 14 of the REACH Safety Data Sheet (SDS) from the manufacturer. A UN number (a four digit code preceded by the letters ‘UN’) indicates the product has been classified as dangerous goods for transport and requires additional measures for transportation.
It’s important to choose a carrier that permits the transport of the item you are selling. Although carriers may have different prohibitions and restrictions in place, visit these websites to see examples of prohibited and restricted items, and their packaging advice:
Make sure your listing follows these guidelines. If it doesn't, it may be removed and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted. Your package may also be disposed by the carrier.
What are the guidelines?
Information on the sale of chemicals
Legally permitted chemicals (e.g. acetone, paints, inks, cleaning products, glues, oils) can be offered as long as:
The product will be transported safely according to chemical legislation and the carrier’s policies (i.e. compliant packaging and labelling with EU standards)
Appropriate information is provided to the buyer regarding the safe use of the product
The following explosives precursors can be offered for sale as long as the substance is only present at or below the concentration limit where given:
Hydrogen peroxide at or below 12% weight by weight
Items that contravene any provision of the CLP regulation (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of chemicals and mixtures). For more information, please visit the HSE website.
Items that contravene any provisions of the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals)
Prohibited substances include, but are not limited to:
Asbestos and items containing asbestos such as collectable gas masks
Azocolourants or azodyes
Jewellery containing nickel
Items containing mercury such as thermometers, manometers, barometers and sphygmomanometers (blood pressure measuring devices)
Any carcinogenic, mutagenic or repro-toxic substance (category 1 or 2) in substances or mixtures sold to the general public
The following explosives precursors:
Calcium ammonium nitrate
Hydrogen peroxide above 12% weight by weight
Firework labels that are no longer attached to a firework
Model rockets that have no engines
Pyrotechnic devices that have no combustible materials (such as control devices, launchers, or tubes)
Caps for toy guns
Fireworks, including but not limited to:
Flares (both projectile and road flares)
Gas cylinders containing any of the following compressed gases are also prohibited for safety reasons: acetylene, carbon monoxide, ammonia, chlorine, hydrogen and sulphur dioxide. Empty or part-empty bottles are also prohibited as they may contain residual gas
Used oil (such as cooking oil or motor oil)
Empty fire extinguishers or empty fire extinguisher grenades
Fire extinguishers that don't contain carbon tetrachloride
Information on how to use a fire extinguisher
A listing for antique fire extinguishers or fire extinguisher grenades needs to clearly state what substance they are filled with
Fire extinguishers or fire extinguisher grenades (including glass bulb fire extinguishers and brass fire extinguishers with a T-shaped handle) that contain carbon tetrachloride. (See the Fire Service's website for tips on safe disposal.)
The sale of refrigerants, including CFCs, HCFCs and products commonly known as Freon, is regulated in the UK and Ireland. Most of these products may not be lawfully sold in the UK or Ireland or even used to maintain existing equipment and subsequently may not be listed on eBay.
Refrigerants contained within a household appliance or a vehicle
In the Republic of Ireland, the Pesticide Control Service (PCS) of the Department of Agriculture and Food is responsible for implementing the regulatory system for plant protection products and biocidal products.
Information on the use of pesticides
Approved pesticide products
eBay permits the listing of approved pesticide products only if:
the original container and/or original packaging, supplied by the approved holder for that pesticide, is unopened
the pesticide is registered by the PSD or HSE (or for Ireland, the PCS if required)
the pesticide is properly labelled and displays the statutory conditions of use
the pesticide is not restricted, suspended or cancelled
the seller verifies that the container will be delivered in accordance with postal or transport regulations
the seller has a certificate of competence with respect to pesticides for agricultural use
It is the seller's responsibility to ensure that the pesticide is registered and labelled according to legal requirements before offering it for sale on eBay. However, the buyer should verify the information provided by the seller before completing the sale. All sellers must state in their item description that they will comply with all applicable laws and regulations as well as ensure that the highest bidder satisfies all applicable regulations.
Collectable pesticide containers
eBay permits the listing of collectable pesticide containers or devices only if:
the container or device is empty and rinsed, and the seller includes this information in the listing description
It is the seller's responsibility to ensure that the pesticide container or device is empty and rinsed before listing it for sale on eBay. However, the buyer should verify the information provided the by the seller before completing the sale. Do not dump the remaining contents of the pesticide container down the drain, into the garden or sewer. Contact your local authority, the HSE or PSD (UK), or the PCS (Ireland) for instructions on the safe disposal of pesticides before you list the container or device for sale on eBay.
Restricted, suspended or cancelled pesticides
Opened containers or packages of pesticides
Poisonous or toxic substances that Royal Mail (or An Post) has prohibited for posting
Unregistered pesticide products (not approved for sale on the UK or IE market)
Information about atomic or nuclear testing or energy
Warning badges or warning signs for radioactive material
Watches or gun sights that contain only a trace amount of radioactive material
Natural ore samples that have trace amounts of radioactivity
Atomic or nuclear blast items (such as hot rocks, items from a blast or testing zone and Trinitite)
Items considered problematic by the HSE's Nuclear Directorate and that the Nuclear Directorate has asked to be removed from eBay
Items described in a listing as radioactive
Radioactive waste or contaminated materials
Raw depleted uranium
Tritium in large amounts (such as certain types of glow sticks and exit signs)
Undeployed airbags contained within the body of the steering wheel or removable seats of passenger cars or mini-buses. Please note: Sellers are not allowed to select the 'post worldwide' feature as these items may not be legal for sale or dispatch to some countries
Deployed airbags, airbags not contained within the steering wheel or removable seats of passenger cars or mini-buses, and safety belt pretensioners designed to activate as part of an airbag safety system
The following batteries including but not limited to:
Mercuric oxide button batteries (button-shaped batteries typically used in vintage camera equipment)
Items that pose a health or safety hazard as specified by government agencies. We will remove listings at the request of government agencies
For health and safety reasons, we don't allow the selling of most hazardous materials on eBay. We're also doing our part to comply with government regulations and to ensure that eBay users follow all postal and transport guidelines from Royal Mail and Gov.uk (UK), and An Post and Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Ireland).
Please note the contact information below for An Garda Siochána, the Irish national contact point for reporting suspicious transactions of explosives precursors:
Phone:+353 1 6661782 (office hours)
Garda 24hr Confidential Line: 1800 666 111
999 or 112 (in the event of a serious or imminent threat)
For more information, please visit the following links: