Customs officials are the front line in preventing prohibited items from entering the country. They quiz passengers at air and sea ports, and search freight shipments for concealed goods.
Most countries share a standard list of banned items, such as guns and explosives. However, some nations are stricter than others, and there are some very unusual regulations around the world. For example, Saint Lucia bans the import of Japanese shaving brushes, thanks to an anthrax contamination scandal in the early 1900s.
Closer to home, Tunisia prohibits the import of pencils... and strangely, Italy only allows shipments of toys if they’re made of wood.
From communist contraband to banned books, here are some of the most unusual customs regulations from around the world.