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10+ Ordinary Things That Are Prohibited to Import or Export in Different Countries (Warning: You Can Be Punished Severely)

Everyone likes traveling, but in order to not turn your trip into a nightmare on how to cross the border you should read the rules on the transportation of certain things. Vapes, plastic bags, and lighters can cause a lot of trouble at customs control. Any idea what other things can slow you down when going through customs?

Bright Side has checked the information on 11 countries where there are prohibitions on imports and exports, and at the end of the article there is a bonus for you — photos of things that were confiscated by the Department of Homeland Security in the US.

1. Switzerland: fake Swiss watches

Since 2008, fake Swiss watches are confiscated and destroyed.

2. Tunisia: henna

In Tunisia, you cannot import or export henna in any way. This prohibition probably appeared when drugs were being transported disguised as henna.

3. China: lighters

According to Chinese laws, it’s prohibited to transport lighters in both your carry-on bags and in your luggage. You can’t even transport lighters if you have a transit flight, but don’t worry, there are always lighters in the special smoking areas.

4. Barbados: camouflage

In Barbados, it’s prohibited to wear camouflage unless you are official military personnel. So, if you are a tourist wearing camouflage, you will have to change your clothes.

5. Kenya: plastic bags

Since August 2017, there has been a law in Kenya that prohibits using plastic bags. This is one of the measures they’ve enlisted to protect the environment. If you buy, sell, or use plastic bags, you could have to pay a fine of up to $38,000 or a you could get a prison sentence of up to 4 years. The tourists arriving in the country are made to throw away their plastic bags at the airport, but it’s better to not take any with you at all.

6. Vietnam: fish sauce

It’s prohibited to export fish sauce from Vietnam. You can’t even have it if you are taking a domestic flight. There is no official prohibition, but if customs officers find it in your bag you will have to throw it away. This is because the sauce has a very strong smell and if it spills, it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. Most air companies are not ready to take this risk.

7. Nigeria: acetaminophen pills, fruit juice, empty invoices

You can’t take acetaminophen pills, fruit juice, or empty invoices into Nigeria. Some other strange prohibitions they have include imported sparkling water and mosquito nets.

8. The Seychelles: coco de mer

If you want to export coco de mer from the Seychelles it will cost you €150−250 and you can do it only under these conditions: the coco de mer should be bought from an official seller with a special sticker and passport. Its weight shouldn’t be more than 20 kilograms, otherwise you’ll have to go without it.

9. Thailand: vapes, Buddha statues, durian, and watermelon

According to the laws in Thailand, using electronic cigarettes or vapes could lead to a fine of 300 thousand baht or a prison sentence of up to 10 years. You can’t export Buddha statues larger than 13 centimeters. Also, durian can’t be taken onboard planes because it has an intolerable smell. And a watermelon can be transported only if it has been cut because it otherwise might explode due to the pressure.

10. The Netherlands: bulbs

In the Netherlands, you might have trouble exporting more than 5 kilograms of flower bulbs.

11. New Zealand: bicycles, and some dog breeds

You can’t take bicycles into New Zealand because they might carry the seeds of plants from another country that can get into the soil and grow. And this could lead to a change in the unique flora of this country. Also, there are strict rules on importing animals, their sperm, and embryos. The following dog breeds can’t be taken into New Zealand: American pit bull terrier, the Brazilian Mastiff, the Dogo Argentino, the Tosa Inu, and the Canary Mastiff. Also, you can’t export kiwi wine.

Bonus: Unusual things that were confiscated by the Department of Homeland Security in the US

Follow the customs rules of the country you are visiting to avoid any trouble. And have a nice trip!

Maybe you or your friends have had trouble with customs? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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