There are more packages being delivered around the world than ever before. Thanks to the internet, you can get something delivered from another country within 48 hours or less. However, restrictions on various items in which you can and cannot import vary from country to country and it can get confusing. Of course there are items you would expect to be banned from importation, including guns and poisonous substances. However there are some items which you may find just a bit odd! Read on to find out some of the weird and wonderful items banned from crossing international borders.
Chewing gum and Bubblegum
Enjoyed by people worldwide, chewing gum and bubble gum is banned in Singapore. So, if you’re thinking about sending a Hubba Bubba hamper to your friend in Singapore, think again. Singapore banned chewing gum in a bid to clean up their streets and avoid littering. They also deem chewing gum impolite, which is another reason why your chewing gum will be confiscated when it arrives. Not only will your chewing gum be confiscated on arrival into Singapore, anyone caught chewing or blowing bubbles once inside the country is also committing a criminal act.
This tasty treat could be sent straight back if you try and send it to the USA. The USA deems Kinder Eggs a choking hazard and even has a law that bans “the sale of any candy that has embedded in it a toy or trinket”, of which Kinder Eggs fall straight into that bracket. The law has been in place since the 1930’s however in 2017, it was announced that the USA would once again allow Kinder products in the form of ‘Kinder Joy’. A chocolate that separates the toy from the chocolate egg. So next time you think about sending a Kinder product to the USA, make sure you send the right one!
If you try to send any part of a ballpoint pen to Nigeria, you may get caught out. Ballpoint pens aren’t the first bizarre item that Nigeria has prohibited from importation. Other strange items include wheelbarrows, chocolate and spaghetti. Every bit of the ballpoint pen is banned from being imported into the country. This includes the refills, the tip and plastic casing. Their reasoning behind this is to boost their own manufacturing, and therefore their economy. They also banned pencil importations in 2019, and started manufacturing their own when they managed to get hold of all the raw materials.
The famous American drink, Mountain Dew is banned from importation across Europe and Japan! You may be able to find different versions that are allowed, but the American version is banned due to a chemical called BVO. BVO stands for Brominated Vegetable Oil, and is a corrosive and harsh chemical that when consumed in large quantities can cause memory loss, autoimmune disease and cancer. So it’s probably for the best that the original Mountain Dew is banned from importation in the UK.
Fancy Dress Masks
Saudia Arabia is known for having strict importation laws, however would you have thought a fancy dress mask is banned from being sent to the country? Potentially one of the strangest importation bans of all, if you try to import a fancy dress mask into Saudi Arabia, you could find yourself in trouble. Travel agents and specialists have even had to add disclaimers for travellers into the country that state passengers should double check what is and isn’t allowed in the country as there may be some peculiar items you wouldn’t expect. Fancy dress masks were banned from being imported into Saudi Arabia in 2013 after the film ‘V for Vendetta’ came out. People started buying the masks worn in the film as a way to disguise their identity during protests, so the government decided to clamp down to dissuade protestors and criminals. If you are caught trying to import a mask or are caught wearing one, you could face a hefty fine and even prison time.