You’d have to think pretty long and hard to come up with something that a customs official has never had to deal with in the line of duty. And a list recently put together by fly.co.uk shows just how unusual some hauls have been.
At Fort Lauderdale airport officers once had to deal with a particularly slippery customer, when a woman attempted to board a plane with a python in her bra. The passenger tried to convince customs officers she had a sock down her top, but a search revealed it was in fact a live snake.
Strange noises emanating from underneath a woman’s skirt caught the attention of customs officers in Melbourne, Australia. After an inspection they found the noises were being made by 51 tropical fish that the woman had gone and hidden up her dress in a specially designed apron.
Live creatures aren’t the only thing officials have to watch out for. At Manchester Airport, staff must certainly have been puzzled when they found a flat-pack kitchen which a passenger was attempting to take on a plane, while officers at Palm Beach International Airport discovered a number of human heads being transported in a cooler box. It turned out the heads were being moved by a medical research company which had a permit to carry body parts.
And while most people won’t try and have kitchens or human heads delivered to the other side of the world, you still need to be careful that the items you want delivered are not on the list of banned items. Even if you are not trying to take items through customs yourself, but rather sending them with a parcel courier company, you still need to adhere to strict rules on what can and can’t be sent abroad.
It’s really not that surprising that explosives, firearms, animals and flammable substances are on the list of banned items. However there are other, more innocuous items that are also prohibited. Jewelry over £1,000 in value for example, more than two mobile phones, prescription drugs and cash are also banned by some couriers. custom socks