Why Borat Can’t Go Home

photo by Stuart [CC BY-SA 2.0], via flickr

Sacha Baron Cohen’s film Borat is banned from import to Kazakhstan. Though the film was never released, a few Amazon copies have snuck past officials. The film is also banned in Russian and most Arabic-speaking countries, except Lebanon. You won’t be brushing up on your cultural learnings with Borat anytime soon in these countries.



Lightbulbs banned in Australia
photo by Ramunas Geciauskas [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

You know that lightbulb moment you get when you have a bright idea? Kind of hard to have with the new energy efficient lightbulbs that save up to 75% in energy. Incandescent lightbulbs are banned in the “down under” after Australia passed a law in 2007. Similarly, Cuba banned all import of the lightbulbs in 2005.


Second-hand Mattresses

Canada banned second-hand mattresses
photo by Nahemoth [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

Canada has banned used or second-hand mattresses. Old mattresses are not allowed in the country unless the item has a certificate to verify it has been cleaned and fumigated in the country of export. Bedbugs and fire safety concerns were behind the decision.


Goods Made in Prison

Prison cells
photo by miss_millions [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

Any goods manufactured or produced wholly or partially by prison labour are banned from entering Canada. This includes bicycles, rubbish bags, leather goods and products. Quite what our Canadian cousins have against things made by inmates, we believe in rehabilitation.

Go on, give them a (prison) break.


Fancy Dress Masks

Masks banned in Saudi Arabia
By Kashfi Halford from London, United Kingdom – The masked crusader, CC BY 2.0

Masks cannot be sent to Saudi Arabia. In 2013, Guy Fawkes’ masks were banned following the movie V for Vendetta. The mask became a popular way from protesters to protest and retain their anonymity. Children’s parties and masked balls have a hard time.

While us normal folks wouldn’t imagine most of this, and can have a decent chuckle at some very strange rules, it gets a little more serious if you are actually wanting to send things like this abroad. A quick example not mentioned above – wheelbarrows are banned in Nigeria, and you can’t send a Kinder egg to a kid in the States! It’s a strange world…

Mark Bunce is a content executive at Fastlane International™, a leading online international courier service.


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