Customs laws can be weird and wonderful things. While most countries have similar banned items in the way of weapons, food and harmful substances, some places have their own unusual bans. With an increasingly globalised world, packages are shipped by their millions every day, and so restrictions getting out of hand isn’t as surprising as it perhaps should be. The question is, however, what is the weirdest thing any country has restricted for shipping?
Kinder Eggs – USA
If, by chance, you’re looking to ship Kinder Eggs to the USA, you’re out of luck. These chocolatey treats are restricted in the states under a federal ban and unfortunately that includes imports. Kinder Eggs were thought to be a choking hazard after the government declared that having something inedible inside something edible was harmful to children. If you’re caught trying to import even a single Kinder Egg the United States, you could face a fine of up to $2,500 – and that’s per egg!
Matching Shoes – South Africa, Mexico, India
Yes, you read this one right. The importing of matching pairs of shoes in South Africa, Mexico or India is a criminal offence. Each of the three countries have banned the import of matching shoes to help improve their own shoe markets. By banning imports, citizens of any of these countries are forced to buy shoes from the country they live in as opposed to importing cheaper options! So no sending a matching pair of shoes to South Africa, Mexico or India. Well, unless you send them separately!
Dental Products – Algeria
In Algeria, fluoride has been deemed poisonous and harmful, so it’s no wonder that dental products from around the world have had a ban on imports placed on them. With toothpastes usually having a high fluoride content, the ban makes sense. What doesn’t make as much sense, however, is how entire brands are being banned simply due to the unpopularity of a single substance! You won’t find Colgate or Aquafresh on your trip to Algeria, but beyond just toothpaste, Algeria also has a ban on most dental equipment – including dentures and retainers!
Practically everything! – Nigeria
Nigeria has quite possibly banned everything at one point or another, but with a smuggling problem affecting the countries own manufacturing industry, the ban is an understandable one. You can’t import chocolate, toothpicks or toothpaste, ballpoint pens or gaming consoles but to name a view. Even wheelbarrows were banned one point, as were plastic, fake flowers. Perhaps a little over the top?
Clown Costumes – Vendargues, France
This particular ban is perhaps the most understandable of the lot. The village of Vendargues in France has banned clown costumes, and are particularly strong on this at Halloween after panic was caused by pranksters dressing up as evil clowns. But the panic spreads further than just this little 6,000 people strong village. Incidents of ‘evil clowns’ have been reported all over France, so the real question lies in whether or not this ban will spread from a tiny village, to the whole country. Even the Gendarmerie is involved in the anti-clown vigilantism that has spread across the nation.
If you’re unsure about what you can and can’t ship around the world, make sure to check out our prohibited items list, and get a quote online today.