15 Ordinary Items From Your Luggage That You Won’t Be Allowed to Cross the Border With
Almost everyone knows that it’s better to not take shells and pebbles from Egypt and Turkey with you when you leave. These bans are necessary so tourists don’t take away all the souvenirs from beaches and coral reefs and also to prevent them from grabbing a historical item. But sometimes we could face problems with some ordinary things that almost everyone has.
Bright Side has read baggage rules, studied experienced travelers’ tips, and now we’re ready to tell you which items won’t be allowed to cross the border together with you.
Banned to take out of the country
Traveling abroad is a great opportunity to go shopping. But in Italy and France, you have to be careful with labels on clothes. These countries of fashion worry about their reputation: exporting fake brand items and clothes is prohibited. In Italy, a violator could be fined €7,000. Remember while packing your bags, that customs officers may “become interested” in your shirt or bag on your way home. During shopping in famous Milan and Paris, it’s better to ask a retailer to provide you with all the proper documents that prove the items are original.
A wallet or a belt may also be required to be left at customs control if you try to take them from Brazil or Vietnam. Any items that are made of crocodile and ostrich skin are banned there. There’s only one exception: those items bought in special certified shops. And you’ll have to provide customs officers with the proper documents. These rules apply to all countries that have joined CITES, a treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. For example, if you try to take a wallet made of crocodile skin from Brazil, you’ll be at risk of spending one year in prison.
Exporting books can also be tricky. It’s prohibited to take any books out of Tajikistan without permission; in Cuba, your books will be examined to make sure that they don’t have library stamps on them; and Italian customs will make sure your books aren’t more than 50 years old, otherwise, they’re considered to be historically valuable.
Bracelets, pendants, and brooches may be confiscated in Mexico and Brazil. Of course, the rule doesn’t apply to all accessories: customs officers will only show concern if you have items made from tortoise shell, feathers, or ivory.
Almost all countries have rules regarding the exportation of drugs. As a rule, packaging shouldn’t be open and the names should be legible. All medicines should also have a prescription. Additionally, don’t try to take traditional medicines out of China that are worth more than 300 yuan: customs officers will treat that as an export for future sale.
Taking local coins with you may be a bad idea in India. It’s prohibited to cross the border with rupees: you’ll have to either spend all your cash or exchange it.
Australia treats its symbols really seriously. So, for example, souvenirs made from kangaroo skin or fur may be taken for personal use only. Tourists won’t be able to sell or trade them outside of Australia.
We all love taking pictures at beautiful beaches and selfies where we’re surrounded by exotic nature. Almost all tourists have photos of themselves in a bikini. But if a photo or bikini is too provocative, customs officers in countries where Islam is an official religion will treat them as inappropriate. Iran and the Maldives are among these countries.
Rules are strict there: you’re allowed to wear a bikini at private beaches only. Sometimes these rules aren’t applicable to whole islands where hotels are located. But if you go to a public beach or the city, it’s better to leave your swimsuit at home and choose clothes that cover your legs and shoulders. Nevertheless, it’s recommended that you learn about the strict rules in the Maldives that even apply to private territories. Famous ballerina, Anastasia Volochkova, was fined for her nude photoshoot.
Punishment can be really severe. The government can fine you $1,000 or even send you to prison if they find your files inappropriate. From time to time, locals go to jail for these crimes too, so the rules must be observed by all people in the country.
Banned to bring into the country
Singapore is a country where chewing gum is banned. You can only buy it in a drugstore if you have a prescription. It’s also not recommended to chew gum in the streets since fine can be pretty severe.
Israel doesn’t allow you to import anything that can be related to gambling. So if you’re packing games, you’d better take chess instead of playing cards.
A box of chocolates is a pretty traditional present. But if you’re going to the USA, it’s better to not take chocolates that contain liquor with you. This present will only make the customs officers happy and that’s it (they may simply confiscate it).
If you’d like to go to North Korea, don’t take GPS and communication devices with you. You won’t be allowed to cross the border with them without permission. You’ll even need to register your mobile phone.
The UAE is famous for its strict customs rules. For example, any items marked “Made in Israel” are banned there. So you’d better check all your makeup products before your trip.
In Norway, there’s a limited import of batteries and power banks. Those who usually travel there have to make sure they’re on the safe side: the thing is, Norway doesn’t have a complete list of prohibited items. If you have any doubts, it’s better to turn to customs officers. Otherwise, you’re at risk of becoming a smuggler.
Some countries don’t like people who test their luck. For example, in the Philippines, it’s prohibited to bring lottery tickets there.
We were really impressed by the way France and Italy care about their reputation when it comes to fashion. Have you ever had any issues or awkward situations while going through customs control?
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