Good planning is the key to a smoother travel experience at the airport. Knowing what you can – or cannot – put in your carry-on and checked baggage is essential.
Aviation baggage policy aside, it should also be noted that many countries have restrictions on what travelers can bring in and out of their respective borders. These could include things like food, pets, and medicine.
Travelers who violate foreign customs rules can be detained at the airport, fined, have the items confiscated and, in some cases, face a prison sentence.
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This also applies to Malaysia, where the Royal Malaysian Customs Department has a list of prohibited items for import and export.
The department, on its website, begins with a welcome note: “We are committed to providing the best and most professional services to all travelers and to making them feel comfortable, satisfied and welcomed when they are in Malaysia and when leaving Malaysia. »
However, he also warns that there are commodity regulations that must be adhered to.
“Under the provisions of the Customs (Amendment) Act 1967 2019 and the Customs Regulations 2019, travelers entering or leaving Malaysia are required to declare all dutiable or prohibited goods in their possession, either on their own person, either in one of their luggage or in any of their vehicles.
“Failure to declare or false declarations constitutes an offense”, specifies the department.
It is now common knowledge that the import and export of illicit drugs (morphine, heroin, candu, marijuana, to name a few) is strictly prohibited. Travelers, however, might also be surprised by some of the restricted items.
Rattan (in its raw form) and orchids are two such items. It is absolutely forbidden to export the former out of the Malay Peninsula. The ban was reportedly imposed to protect rattan industries in the country and to prevent foreign countries where rattan is not available from mass-producing rattan items.
As for orchids, some species native to Malaysia are already threatened and must therefore be protected. Bringing orchids out of the country without a license or permit is an offence.
For travelers entering Malaysia, indecent prints, paintings, photographs, books and any other media of this nature are prohibited. Pens, pencils and other syringe-like items are also not permitted.
Interestingly, all genera of Piranha fish are also prohibited from introduction.
On another note, some prohibited items may actually be allowed in or out of Malaysia, if you obtain an official permit for them before travelling. To find out if your item is prohibited or not, browse www.customs.gov.my or speak to a responsible officer.
For added safety, be sure to check the regulations of your destination country before travelling. General information about a foreign country’s customs policy is also usually available through official government channels online.