Barrington Freight (UK) website features a humorous infographic on strange customs regulations around the world. Customs officials are the front line in preventing prohibited items from entering the country. They quiz passengers at air and sea ports, and search freight shipments for concealed goods.
Most countries share a standard list of banned items, such as guns and explosives. However, some nations are stricter than others, and there are some very unusual regulations around the world. For example, Saint Lucia bans the import of Japanese shaving brushes, thanks to an anthrax contamination scandal in the early 1900s.
From communist contraband to banned books, here are some of the most unusual customs regulations from around the world.
The Indian Customs department and international airlines have locked horns over providing confidential data of passengers to the former.
According to a senior Customs official, airlines were not providing information regarding commuters due to which officials were facing problems in curbing smuggling. Due to lack of details, Customs’ anti-smuggling operations were suffering. Another issue was that airlines staff was not present round-the-clock.
“We have asked airlines to provide details over phone as per law. They have to deploy someone in the office all the time as it is in the national interest to curb smuggling. Airlines have been asked to provide details and also depute a staff to answer phone calls and provide relevant details. There is not at all violation of rules in any manner. If airlines refuse to provide details or don’t reply to phone calls, a notice will be issued,” a senior Customs official told media.
Meanwhile, airlines are challenging the authority of the Customs department in this regard. According to sources, Customs department has to provide a written request that was done earlier for getting information regarding travellers. On the other hand, an airline official said, “According to guidelines laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), passenger data should be transmitted electronically. Agencies shall not require a written declaration of baggage from passenger and crew when no dutiable or restricted goods are being carried.”