Different countries have different regulations for the products that enter their territories. Most of the bans have security reasons as they refer to bombs, guns or other weapons. Other regulations prohibit various substances or ingredients found in food or drinks. However, there are quite a few cases of truly weird items that are banned from import. Most of you probably know about the delicious Kinder Egg made out of chocolate and milk, which has a surprise toy inside that children can assemble. No, you haven’t heard of it? Well, that’s because it is banned in the U.S. There are many other such unusual products. Here is a list of the top 10 unexpected items banned from import by different countries.
10. Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew, a type of sweet soda produced in the U.S., is banned in both Japan and Europe. This is because it is made out of Brominated Vegetable Oil. If consumed, the oil can lead to nerve disorders, lesions of the skin or even memory loss.
9. Musical Cards
Saudi Arabia has prohibited the import of musical cards, as they can prove offensive to different religions. But the country didn’t stop here: it also banned the use of car horns and music in stores or public places, due to the same reasons. We could add these to our list of 10 unexpected items banned from import as well.
8. Chewing Gum
The very popular chewing gum is banned from import in Singapore, and no one there has been allowed to chew gum for about 24 years. If someone does it however, he or she will receive a nasty fine. Despite the ban, doctors can prescribe gum, but only for therapeutic reasons.
7. Puffer Fish
The consumption of puffer fish is strictly forbidden in the European Union. While very popular in Japan, eating a puffer fish can lead to death by asphyxiation. How is that? While most of us would think of the many spikes on such a type of fish, apparently it also has toxic organs. As they say, there are plenty of other fish in the sea…
Haggis is a type of food made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, along with seasoning, oatmeal and onions. However, haggis has been banned in the U.S. for about 45 years. The fact that the ban on beef from Scotland has been lifted in the 1990s, it did not affect the prohibition of haggis, because sheep’s lungs are still banned.
The movie Borat, produced by Sacha Baron Cohen who is also the main actor, is banned in Kazakhstan. Since the movie did feature comedic scenes that might have seemed offensive to some, Arabic and Russian speaking countries have also prohibited the movie. The only one to make an exception is Lebanon.
Incandescent lightbulbs are prohibited in Cuba since 2005 and Australia since 2007. The people who live there prefer to use lightbulbs that save energy, as these are very efficient. It’s not bad to think every now and then of the environment.
3. Second-hand Mattresses
Due to sanitary reasons, second-hand or used mattresses are banned in Canada. It is well known that bedbugs like to inhabit mattresses. However, old mattresses can be imported by the country if they come with a certificate that demonstrates that the item has been fumigated and cleaned in the place where it came from.
2. Prison-made Goods
Canada seems to have a lot of regulations for the flow of goods. Anything that is manufactured by prison inmates is forbidden from entering the country, be it clothing, materials or even bicycles.
Returning to Saudi Arabia, masks are also among the unexpected items banned from import. The law refers to notorious masks such as the Guy Fawkes one which is the symbol of the hacker group Anonymous. However, it also includes the innocent masks used at children’s parties.