When we are travelling abroad, we often don’t stop to think about other countries’ customs laws. But the reality is that many countries restrict a variety of items from the normal to the downright strange and unusual! In this article, we cover them all, to help ensure that you don’t get caught short on your next trip away or when sending items abroad! Do you want to tell Strange Customs Laws From Around World?
Even though the European Union has a common travel zone, each country has its own individual custom laws that can influence items that you are allowed to bring into the country. In Germany, you won’t be seeing the green fairy as Absinthe is banned due to its high alcohol content. In Bulgaria it is illegal to bring any second-hand clothes with you that you plan to re-sell, so don’t be tempted to stick something local up on your Depop! Leave your local scratch cards and lottery tickets behind when entering Switzerland, as these are banned. And in Italy, the only children’s toys you are allowed to bring into the country must be made of wood.
The Middle East
If you are travelling to Iran, remember to leave your magazine on the plane as bringing fashion magazines into the country is prohibited. If you are partial to donning some combats, then please refrain from doing so if you are travelling to Qatar, leave your camouflage shirts behind as all military styled clothing is stopped and prevented from entering the country. In Saudi Arabia Halloween face masks are banned, so don’t even think about packing one in your case.
There are many countries in Africa that have unusual custom laws. Starting off in Northern Africa, do not bring maps of Morocco or Moroccan currency into the country, this is illegal, you are also not allowed to leave Morocco with Morrocan currency, you must change it back to your native currency upon leaving the country. In Tunisia the humble pencil is banned, so you’ll have to stick to a trusty ballpoint pen. However, in Nigeria ballpoint pens are banned, so you’ll have to stick with a pencil. When in doubt, wait until you enter the country before purchasing your writing tool of choice.
In the tropical paradise The Maldives, all religious icons are banned. The country operates a strict Islamic law, so leave your religious icons at home. You are permitted to bring a Bible into the country, but it has to be for personal use only.
If you are travelling to Botswana do not bring any honey with you, the sweet stuff is completely prohibited to be imported. Malawi has one of the strangest custom laws, which bans all forms of aphrodisiac. Any foods deemed to help increase or encourage your sex drive are illegal. Items such as oysters, apples, figs and ginseng are unavailable in the country and cannot under any circumstances be brought in.
In Singapore, leave your bubblegum and chewing gum behind as it has been banned since 1992. You are permitted to carry it in small quantities for dental hygiene reasons, but chewing gum in public is illegal.
Are you planning to visit Japan to see the famous Cherry Blossom? If you suffer from hayfever, you might be surprised to learn that allergy medications are illegal in Japan. Items such as Sudafed and even Vicks inhalers are prohibited under Japan’s strict anti-drug laws.
Remember to leave your lucky amulets and charms at home if you are travelling to Malaysia. Lucky charms and amulets depicting the third eye are banned from entering the country.
Perhaps the most well known and unusual custom is the prohibition of Kinder Eggs in the USA. The popular candy treat is not allowed to be brought into the USA and was banned due to the fear children would accidentally swallow the parts. They have their own version of the Kinder Egg, which splits into two sides and is not nearly as much fun. But better to leave this piece of confectionery at home.
Latin America & the Caribbean
Panama has one of the strangest restrictions, banning pastries coming into the country. Foreign pastries are forbidden, so don’t pack any croissants for your trip. Instead, you can enjoy local tortillas and hojaldras. If you are travelling to Nicaragua do not bring any books with communist materials. Bringing communist literature into the country has been banned since the cold war.
If you are travelling to Brazil with your family and want to bring educational books for your children, don’t! The country does not permit you to bring in educational materials that aren’t in Portuguese. Peru is a popular destination for many people wanting to experience. The famous ruin of Machu Picchu but leave your vitamins behind. Bringing vitamins into the country is prohibited and Peru has banned the importation of all vitamin supplements.
Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at IrishParcels.ie a comparison site for courier services that aims to take the hassle and expense out of the shipping process for ecommerce businesses.