Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirs

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirs

Categories: Life hacks | Travel

A souvenir taken as a souvenir of a trip abroad can easily turn into unforeseen and unpleasant consequences. An ashtray made of clam, a coral pendant, a bracelet made of snake skins found on the chicken god beach can bring not happiness at all, but a monetary fine or a threat to go to jail.

It's all about the customs rules of export, which have their own peculiarities depending on the country. Not all souvenirs found on the beach, or, for example, creams bought in resort shops, will be allowed to take you home. Even on tubes with cosmetics, an ingredient of animal or vegetable origin, protected by the state, may be indicated — and this will also create problems.

So, what you need to know when taking souvenirs from a trip with you.

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirs

Source: LiveJournal/aquatek-filips

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsTurkey

Turkey is not always loyal to tourists. In 2014, one of the Russian tourists was imprisoned because of a small stone in his luggage, bought in an ordinary souvenir shop. Customs officers at Antalya airport considered the find to be of historical value, for the export of which in Turkey they give up to 12 years. The verdict of the court in this case is 1.5 years probation and a fine of 22,000 rubles.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsEgypt

A couple of years ago, a couple from Britain were arrested at Luxor airport in Egypt: a bronze coin from the antiquity era and a Bible published in the XVI century were found in their luggage. Tourists were released only after an examination proving that these are ordinary souvenirs.

When buying retrovests, do not forget to take a receipt and a document from the seller stating that the product has no historical value.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsTHAILAND

Thai airport customs officers constantly confiscate Buddha figures and images from uninformed tourists who forget to get permission to export, and transfer them to the Talang National Museum. For a hundred cheap figurines, there is one thousand years old.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsChina

In 2013, a Russian tourist was detained at the Chinese customs: a signal about the presence of unpaid goods in her luggage was triggered at the control point. It turned out that the seller simply forgot to remove the label from the sold jacket. And although the store confirmed that the woman had purchased the goods legally, the Chinese police kept her in prison for a long time, conducting proceedings. Thieves in China face up to ten years in prison.

To avoid misunderstandings, always keep receipts.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsGermany

German customs officers are particularly strict. In 2009, they confiscated an expensive Swiss watch and a branded bag from Vitali Klitschko because he did not include them in the declaration. And in 2014, a monkey was taken away from Justin Bieber, because the singer did not provide the necessary documents for the animal when entering Munich. You should also not try to cross the border with a large amount of money hidden in your luggage. There is a case when German customs officers seized a check for undeclared 125 million euros from a Ukrainian tourist.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsGreece

There is a well-known case when Greek customs officers detained two young Americans at the Athens airport, carrying six human skulls to their homeland as souvenirs. They claimed that they had legally purchased them at a shop on the island of Mykonos for 25 euros apiece, believing that it was a dummy. The young men were charged with desecrating the remains of the deceased. Only two years later, after long trials and meetings, the Greek court found the Americans innocent.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsUNITED ARAB EMIRATES

A tourist from Bashkiria had to spend two months under arrest: when exchanging dollars for local currency, one of the bills turned out to be fake. Three more girls from Rostov were arrested at Dubai airport before flying home because of a stack of souvenir dollars left in a hotel room, which were given to one of her friends for her birthday. The maid found the bills and showed them to the hotel director. The Russians were arrested on charges of "manufacturing, storing and transporting banknotes." They were threatened with 12 years in prison, but the efforts of the Russian consuls saved the ladies from forced long vacations in the UAE.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsFinland

Finnish customs officers regularly catch tourists with sturgeon caviar, raw meat and fish. Once a resident of Karelia tried to bring 18 kg of freshly frozen fish from Finland, and twice: when he was brought to administrative responsibility for the first time and returned to Finland with illegal cargo, he tried to break into Russia by car again. Although it is possible to import 50 kg of goods per person to Russia, some craftsmen use the services of so—called kilobabushki - people accompanying merchants when passing through customs.

Prohibited for export:

Different countries, different rules: how not to go to jail for taking souvenirsOne more moment!

Please note that not everything exported from abroad can be brought home.

Prohibited for IMPORT into Russia (something that fits the category of souvenirs):

The maximum permissible weight of imported goods is 50 kg.

The cost of imported goods when crossing air borders should not exceed 10,000 euros, when crossing other borders — 1,500 euros.

Keywords: Law | Souvenirs | Tourism

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