Is it possible to send a laptop (macbook) from Pakistan to Germany via DHL? I mean Pakistan has DHL offices so I know we can dispatch from there but what happens when it arrives in Germany? Would it get stuck in customs? It's a work laptop and needs to be sent back to the company.

2 Answers 2


Shipping Lithium-Ion Batteries (for example in a modern Laptop) with DHL overseas as a private person is a nightmare.

For some reason those batteries are deemed hazardous on a plane. I tried the very same thing Germany -> USA, but despite DHL charging extra for attaching a "Warning, Li-Ion Batteries" sticker, and writing it on the customs label, so knowing full well what I wanted to do, DHL just juggled the package around for 3 weeks and then told me they cannot ship that kind of material for private persons and sent it back to me. And kept my money. I understand the "we cannot do this" part, but taking my money and even an extra charge to do it, and then don't, is fraud in my eyes.

I said "for some reason" above, because that is for private entities sending packages with Li-Ion Batteries. If you are a company sending those same batteries, everything is peachy. I guess the batteries just know to not catch fire based on their human senders future tax declaration? Well, again, it is a stupid rule that makes no sense, but rules are rules and you won't be able to change them.

So if you want to ship this, have the company hire the shipping company, to pick it up at your house and ship it. Then it is a company (and the same Li-Ion batteries are suddenly safe to fly) and it is their problem how to declare it for customs. It is also their obligation, if they sent you material for the job, they have to pay for shipping either way anyway. So instead of being reimbursed, just let them handle it completely.

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    I had the same experience when trying to ship back a laptop to a company I no longer worked for. DHL took it, sent it around for a while, and then knocked on my door and returned it, without any refund. At least in that case the company was willing to eat the cost and not force it on me. In the end they hired a courier to drive it up to one of their in-country offices. Somehow the ordinary counter people at DHL are happy to take such things for shipment and not say a word about them being unshippable in planes.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Oct 4, 2023 at 5:09

Quite apart from the battery issue detailed by nvoigt (+1), what happens when it arrives in Germany is that DHL will send a bill to the recipient covering the VAT, duty (if any) and their fees for handling it. I have seen two variants: Either they demand payment before releasing the package or they deliver the package and then send you the bill (and go after you through a collection agency if need be).

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