From nuclear dust to stone sculptures: UAE customs officials outline banned items for travellers

The Federal Customs Authority is highlighting travel regulations and warning of the consequences of smuggling

Customs officials are seeking to ensure safe travel for all after releasing a list of items passengers are banned from transporting to and from the UAE.

The Federal Customs Authority said prohibited goods included narcotics, raw ivory, laser pens with red lights, fake and counterfeit currency, and substances containing nuclear rays and dust.

Live animals (specifically pigs), stone sculptures, gambling paraphernalia, nylon fishing nets, religiously offensive or immoral drawings and betel leaves also make the banned list.

Officials said the value of gifts carried by travellers should not exceed Dh3,000 and the cap on cigarettes was 200.

Additionally, tobacco products and alcoholic drinks should not be carried by travellers below 18 years.

All travellers coming to or departing the country should disclose any currencies and precious metals or stones valued more than Dh60,000.

The authority has posted an awareness video – in Arabic, English and Urdu – on its website to ensure people abide by the customs regulations of the Emirates and other Gulf countries.

Warning for smugglers

The FCA said passengers caught smuggling face both prison sentences and fines.

The authority said smuggling offences included transporting or possessing prohibited or restricted goods, failing to declare commercial goods, furnishing forged documents and placing false signs to evade duties.

What luggage is allowed?

The FCA said permitted luggage includes movie projection devices, radio and CD players, digital cameras, TV and receiver (one of each), personal sports equipment, portable computers and printers, and medication for personal use, provided it complies with applicable regulations.

Officials stated that entry of some restricted items may be permitted following consent from authorities.

This includes live animals, weapons, ammunitions, explosives and fireworks, medicines, drugs and medical equipment and instruments, alcoholic drinks, cosmetics and personal care products, raw diamonds and cigarettes manufactured and processed from tobacco.

Advice for travellers

The FCA offered tips for travellers to ensure stress-free trips.

These include not receiving luggage or bags in a country of departure without knowing their contents, not exchanging luggage with friends without checking what is inside and always carrying a certified prescription for medications. Travellers were also urged to follow guidelines and instructions issued by airlines and forwarding companies, and not to conceal information on prohibited or restricted substances.