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What you can't take into different countries

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
143 posts
10 reviews
What you can't take into different countries

I just read an interesting article on taking medications into different countries. Even taking over the counter Cold and Flu tablets can land you in hot water. I was wondering if travelers know of other restrictions and have had interesting experiences at border control. I had a very small souvenir snow globe in my hand luggage in Dublin and I nearly had it confiscated. I was told that I would not be permitted to keep it if I was travelling to the US, even if it was in my checked luggage. Also, I had bought some souvenirs made from bullets in Serbia - pens and aeroplanes. I thought my kids would love them! I had them tucked away in my checked baggage, but they were picked up by the xray machine as we were leaving the airport. I had to take them out of my suitcase and demonstrate what they were. I was allowed to keep them, and the officers were very apologetic about putting me through the third degree but, in hindsight, I understand their concern. My husband accidentally left an apple in his carry-on bag in the US, and we were taken through to an office by a very stern man, and had to empty out our bags and we were lucky to escape a fine.

23 replies to this topic
Canada
Level Contributor
10,936 posts
81 reviews
1. Re: What you can't take into different countries

There are hundreds of restrictions and stories. Watch the Aussie edition of Border security,

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
143 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: What you can't take into different countries

Yes I know. There are the obvious restrictions - food, etc. But, I thought travelers might have some stories about less obvious ones. I had no idea that snow globes were banned!

3. Re: What you can't take into different countries

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Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
7,051 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: What you can't take into different countries

"Don't take Kinder Eggs into the USA...banned."

Why bring them back with you. You can buy them at Walmart, Amazon, E-Bay, etc.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
10,127 posts
221 reviews
5. Re: What you can't take into different countries

Compared to NZ border officials Australian officials are almost apathetic about bringing in food. There is no such thing as "might have been" or "was almost" fined😁 No if or buts, you are fined.

Medicines containing Codine are banned in some places

Eastlake, Ohio
Level Contributor
713 posts
46 reviews
6. Re: What you can't take into different countries

Is taking beef or turkey jerky OK to the UK? I assume it’s ok to eat on the plane? Flying from JFK.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
69,129 posts
66 reviews
7. Re: What you can't take into different countries

At EWR, I bought a bagel with a little container of cream cheese, before security, to have on the plane or at the gate. Nope, not the cream cheese. Seriously!

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3,945 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: What you can't take into different countries

In the case of China, its censorship laws mean that you cannot bring in material that is 'politically sensitive'. This is explained on this page, …customs.gov.cn/Statics/88707c1e-aa4e-40ca-a…

The relevant passage says that the following is forbidden

"Printed matter, films, photographs, gramophone records, cinematographic films, loaded recording tapes and video tapes, compact discs ( video and audio ), storage media for computers and other articles which are detrimental to the political, economic, cultural and moral interests of China. "

I imagine that there are other countries with similar restrictions.

Edited: 14 October 2018, 21:23
Garden Bay, Canada
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
10,593 posts
106 reviews
9. Re: What you can't take into different countries

The little nail file that is on a pair of nail clippers. It gets broken off in Bogota.

Green lasers in many countries, especially Arabic countries, can get you into a lot of trouble.

Edited: 14 October 2018, 21:26
Pacifica, California
Destination Expert
for Pacifica
Level Contributor
11,567 posts
4 reviews
10. Re: What you can't take into different countries

Years ago I was flying from Cape Town to Miami. All the gift shops near the departure gates in Cape Town had big signs advertising biltong (like jerky) for visitors to take home as gifts. We arrived in Miami, and the customs officers were calling out to everyone and asking if they had biltong.

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