5 min article

International trading policy

Listing items for sale internationally is a great way to help increase your sales, but it's important to make sure your items aren't prohibited on our global sites.

Members are responsible for checking that their transactions are lawful in the buyer's country, as well as in their own.

Frequently Asked Questions


How can I stop people bidding on my listing if the item is prohibited in their country?

When creating a listing, you have several options for limiting the countries where the item will appear. For example, you can set up business policies about postage, remove posting internationally, specify locations you don't post to, or set buyer requirements. Please see our full policy guidelines below for more details on how to do this.

Is there anything I need to know when buying from an overseas seller?

If you're buying from a seller overseas, you should make sure the items comply with import laws in your country.

Read our full policy

International trading policy overview

Listing items globally can be a fun and rewarding experience and is one of the unique benefits of using eBay. At the same time, it's important that all listings and transactions comply with applicable laws. Members are responsible for making sure their transactions are lawful in both the country of the seller and the country of the buyer.

We strongly encourage all members to learn about the laws in their own country as well as the countries where they plan to do business. If you're posting worldwide, please be aware that your item may not appear in the search results in countries where the item is not allowed.

You can exclude countries you don't want to post to by selecting buyer requirements.

Make sure your listings follow our guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed or removed from search results on sites where the item is not allowed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.


Some examples

Here are some examples of items that may be legally prohibited or restricted, or that violate our policies:

Additional information for sellers

  • Items must comply with export laws: Make sure any items you're selling can be lawfully posted outside of the country where you live. The export of certain items may require special licences, or may be banned altogether. In particular make sure to comply with Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and International Traffic In Arms (ITAR) regulations. For more information, see our Embargoed goods and prohibited countries policy and Firearms, weapons and knives policy
  • High-value and volume transactions: If you plan to do substantial business with customers in other countries, or if you're dealing in higher value or highly regulated items, be sure to do careful research, and hire an expert if necessary to make sure that all transactions comply with all applicable laws. There's often paperwork that you must fill out when completing these transactions
  • Here are 3 good reasons to check applicable laws before trading internationally:
    • Goods may be intercepted by customs officials. There may also be fines or other liabilities associated with goods impounded or seized by customs
    • If you are posting worldwide, your item may not appear in search results in countries where the item is not allowed. We may also remove listings, suspend or terminate a member's account(s), and/or take action to exclude users from our site
    • You may be prosecuted. Such liability may exist in relation to the owners of trademarks, copyrights, or other rights (for example, if a European trademark owner were to attempt to assert rights in connection with the importation into Europe of legitimately manufactured goods that were intended for another market)

Visit the World Customs Organization - opens in new window or tab for more information about customs regulations around the world. You might also want to contact a specific country's embassy for guidance.

Additional information for buyers

  • Import tax: If you are ordering goods from abroad you may need to pay UK Customs Duty, Excise Duty and/or import VAT. You can find more information on Gov.UK's Bringing goods into the UK - opens in new window or tab page
  • Items must comply with import laws: Make sure you can lawfully import the item into your country before ordering it. Each country has different laws that limit the types of goods that can be imported. For example, your country might have restrictions on foods, plants, clothing, or even books that might result in the seizure and destruction of the imported item. Please also review our page on Importation of goods into the United Kingdom or Ireland

Visit Seller Help - opens in new window or tab to find details of any policy issues with your account or listings, and get the information you need to quickly resolve them.

Why does eBay have this policy?

We encourage all sellers and buyers to comply with all governmental laws and regulations, both domestic and abroad. Since the import and export of items are highly regulated by law or may cause harm to eBay or our members, members should educate themselves on the laws governing the import and export of items prior to listing those items.

Important: This information is not intended to be legal advice. If you have any doubts about whether an item can be sold on eBay, we encourage you to consult a lawyer.

Was this article helpful for you?