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Prohibited & Restricted Items on Ferries

Travelling by ferry generally allows you to carry much more with you than when going by plane or train. However, there are some prohibited items that under no circumstances you should have with you or in other cases take onboard. Read on to find out more about restrictions and how to safely transport certain items.

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Prohibited Items Warning on Ferries to France

Dangerous Goods (firearms, knives, ammunition)

Foot passengers are not permitted to carry ammunition or anything that could be considered a dangerous weapon. For motorists, ferry operators permit the transport of dangerous goods according to strict rules being followed:

Operators don’t allow the following prohibited items to be carried into any public area of the vessel (they must remain within your vehicle) or a Port Security Restricted Area:

This means no foot passengers are permitted to carry anything listed above. Passengers travelling with a vehicle are advised to declare any item that could be a considered a dangerous weapon (bow and arrow, sword, chef’s knives) to the operator in advance of the departure date.

Dover to Calais Ferries

Newhaven to Dieppe Ferries

Plymouth to Roscoff Ferries

Sports Equipment

Outside of diving tanks, other sports equipment may sound strange to be on the prohibited items list, but certain operators have strict guidelines in place.


While ferry operators have similar policies for carrying gas cylinders for camping purposes, they have varying policies on carrying spare fuel for your vehicle:

DIY Supplies

You can generally take all the DIY supplies you need with you if you’re having a working holiday in France (or doing up a second home), but there are some restrictions to be aware of:

Other Restricted/Prohibited Items

In addition to the restricted items and those prohibited in public areas listed so far there are several other limitations to be aware of when travelling by ferry between the UK and France:

Common questions on travelling with prohibited items on ferries

What am I not allowed to take as a foot passenger?

Foot passengers are the most restricted on what you can take on the ferry. You’ll be refused boarding if you have any dangerous goods with you, as well as any flammable liquids/gas. With some operators, such as Irish Ferries, you won’t be able to travel if you’re carrying sharp tools or sports equipment (like a bat or racket) that could be used to cause injury.

Do I have to do anything in advance if I’m planning to take a restricted item?

Some items (such as firearms) need to be declared at the time of booking. For other items you’ll need to notify the operator in advance and they’ll advise you on any additional paperwork that needs to be completed prior to the sailing date.

What happens if I don’t declare prohibited/restricted items?

If a restricted item is found during a security check at the port you may be prevented from boarding. In this case, the company isn’t usually liable for any extra costs you incur to continue with your travel.



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