35 votes
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What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

It should be pointed out that smuggling doesn't just involve illegal goods but also includes legal goods that are brought in without following proper procedures such as paying required duties. https://...
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  • 594
32 votes
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Answering "Do you have anything to declare?" to customs in the absence of any explanation of the question

The answer has two parts depending on how you get here. Airline answer: Any such question by a CBP officer is merely a last-chance option to supplement the response you gave on the declaration form. ...
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21 votes

What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

england-and-wales In this instance you can consider this your lucky day. No drugs were found on you and hence your defence is airtight, even if that can no long be said about you after your cavity ...
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  • 2,665
14 votes

What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

A right of "citizenship" is that your own border guards can't refuse you entry. The corollary is: "Anyone else, they can refuse". If you pulled shenanigans like that, aside from ...
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12 votes
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How common are import bans of what is freely traded on national markets?

The import of slaves into the United States was banned in 1808, although slavery itself and the buying and selling of slaves remained legal on a Federal level until 1865. There were, of course, many ...
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11 votes

What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

Even though you probably ultimately wouldn't be convicted of smuggling an illegal substance, I can imagine a number of unpleasant things happening to you. This is not an exhaustive list, but off the ...
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9 votes

Answering "Do you have anything to declare?" to customs in the absence of any explanation of the question

it sounds like ignorance of the law could be a reasonable defense. Is it? No. I believe that is fundamental to many systems of law.
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6 votes
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Counterfeit vs. pirated goods

Counterfeit is a fake. It's made to look like the real thing. Pirated is an unauthorized manufacture of the real thing. Contraband is a thing that is imported (or exported) illegally. This can also ...
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  • 8,292
5 votes

What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

poland Article 24 of Polish Criminal Code says that provocation is illegal*, if you are trying to provoke someone to commit a crime. So, if you would try to ask border guard to turn a blind eye on ...
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  • 176
4 votes

Import Tax - "made in China" versus "made in Taiwan"

In term of international trade practice , "Taiwan" is technically the "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)" based on the entry agreement of World Trade ...
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4 votes
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Liabilities of countries as members of the Universal Postal Union

As for a member of the Universal Postal Union, what repercussions will occur for country B? None. Are they allowed to keep stealing stuff at the sender insurer's expense? Well, country B isn't ...
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4 votes

(How) Can I easily export produce from Serbia to Sweden via Hungary?

Serbia is not in the EU nor internal market, so when importing products you would have to follow specific product requirements, pay eventual import duties and internal taxes (VAT). I would recommend ...
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  • 141
4 votes
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Is it legal to ask an unknown person to buy something for me abroad, and then buy it back?

On the first page of https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/overview you find: "You can bring some goods from abroad without having to pay UK tax or ‘duty’ (customs charges), as long as they’re for your ...
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4 votes
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Does the receiver need to report invalid customs declaration on international shipment

Swiss customs has a form to submit questions like this and they gave me a very informative answer. As it turns out the receiver is also part of the customs process. If for some reason customs decides ...
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4 votes

What will happen if one is caught smuggling something that is not illegal?

Many contraband items are not illegal to posses. You cannot import meat from Brazil to the UK because the UK only allows meat imports from rabies free countries. Not because steak is illegal. You are ...
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  • 2,676
4 votes

Confusion about USA export regulations regarding electronics

It is hard to know with certainty why this distinction was made in this case. There is a fair amount of gamesmanship that goes into having a device classified as an administrative matter in dealings ...
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3 votes

How common are import bans of what is freely traded on national markets?

This is not as uncommon as you might think, but will probably depend highly on the locality. Neighboring countries may have different standards or weapons laws. On the German / Polish border, certain ...
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  • 4,211
3 votes

Sending dried fruits to Australia through courier

You would not be liable for a fine (If you think about it, how can you be - Australia does not have jurisdiction over you as you are in New Zealand, and you have broken no NZ law - Further, you ...
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  • 3,368
3 votes

Can I be prosecuted for smuggling as long as I honestly declare everything I'm bringing?

You don't get do-overs at the border The instant they catch you, they can charge you with absolutely anything that applies. They apply the laws which apply in their country. It's easy to forget ...
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3 votes

Can I be prosecuted for smuggling as long as I honestly declare everything I'm bringing?

If I attempt to carry such a product into the country, but then honestly declare it at the border (I would like to declare 10 kg of marijuana, sir), can I be prosecuted for attempted smuggling? This ...
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3 votes

Is it legel to sell used bikes online as a business?

There is nothing illegal about selling used bikes online. Importing goods is subject to legal regulation such as customs duties. These goods might even be subject to punitive steel and aluminum ...
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  • 140k
3 votes

In UK legislation, what does "reasonable grounds to suspect" mean?

The concept of reasonable suspicion is used throughout the common law world. While the Wikipedia article (at present) focuses on the term as used in the ‘stop and search’ context of Terry v. Ohio, a ...
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  • 3,796
2 votes

In UK legislation, what does "reasonable grounds to suspect" mean?

When the legislature uses the word “reasonable” they are instructing the court to apply the reasonable person test. For this law, the”reasonable person” is a trained customs officer, neither a ...
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2 votes

Do I need to pay duties when bringing items into country for storage?

Unless you operate a bonded warehouse, you must pay duties at time of import. A bonded warehouse is allowed to defer payment of duties until an item ships, and if the item returns to the originating ...
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  • 2,562
2 votes

Do I need to pay duties when bringing items into country for storage?

You would be importing them to Canada when they crossed the border, and importing them to the U.S. when they crossed back. If there are duties on those goods, you would pay two iterations of customs ...
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  • 140k
2 votes

Answering "Do you have anything to declare?" to customs in the absence of any explanation of the question

I would slightly amend some of the other answers here: ignorance of the law is not a defense, but it can be a mitigating factor in sentencing. If you intended to follow the law but were unaware of ...
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  • 913
2 votes

Can I claim if Customs open & damage my parcel even though contents clearly labelled & nothing was found

You may be entitled to compensation according to HMRC. The page gives addresses to send complaints to.
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2 votes

Legality of importation of Insulin from Mexico

Importation of drugs is not per se illegal, but in specific cases could be. 21 USC 331(d) prohibits "the introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any article in violation ...
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2 votes

How common are import bans of what is freely traded on national markets?

A current ban, though one I know little about, is China's waste import ban. It is apparently a total ban on the import of the listed wastes. I have to imagine that domestic trade is still free, as ...
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1 vote

What would happen if I transported 100+ items that a business owns for them

In general, items that are of value must be declared at customs when bringing them into a country, particularly items being brought in for sale or delivered after a sale. Failure to declare such items ...
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