Export tips: The top six craziest customs regulations

It's hard enough to get your products across continents and oceans and into the hands of your customers without the added burden of wacky - and seemingly nonsensical - customs regulations. To help you avoid getting snarled in international red tape, here are the most illogical customs regulations to look out for when trading abroad.

  • The import of dental products to Algeria is prohibited
  • A license is needed to import tents into Jordan
  • Nigeria says no to the import of wheelbarrows and plastic flowers
  • Artwork destined for Armenia can only be sent to companies, not individuals
  • Maps are not allowed on diaries and GPS systems going into Argentina
  • No matching pairs of shoes to be sent to South Africa, Mexico or India

Confused? Phil Couchman, CEO of DHL Express UK and Ireland, is at hand to explain the thinking behind some of these illogical injunctions.

"Many customs regulations are based on local and political issues which can be difficult for a UK small business to anticipate and prepare for," he explains. "For instance - Morocco bans the import of maps not complying with Moroccan border territory in the Sahara Desert.

"Just because we live in a globalised world of international trade doesn't mean that quirky customs won't stop you getting your product to market. Not knowing these details could mean the difference between making a sale and winning in brand new markets."

Make sure your big export market doesn't ban the import of your product. Check the regulations before you post!

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