Four Things That Customs May Seize When Moving Abroad

When planning out an international move, you should be aware that customs may hold and destroy some belongings you wish to take with you. An international move brings with it the added complication of dealing with another set of laws regarding importation of certain items. Exactly what may cross the border will depend on the specific country’s laws. Below is a list of items that a country's customs agents might not allow you to bring during your move:


The United States is unique in that firearms are widely held by private citizens. In most other countries, private citizens may not own firearms, and if they can, there are heavy restrictions on what they can have. So if you’re trying to bring your guns and ammunition to your new country, there’s a good chance you can’t. At the very least, you’ll probably need to go through special paperwork to get them through customs.

Pornographic Materials

Even in the United States, with some of the most liberal free speech and press laws in the history of the world, adult materials are subject to restrictions on who sells them and who may possess them. It's no surprise that many countries go further and prohibit their possession by anyone within their borders.

Alcohol and Narcotics

These are subject to heavy regulation in the United States and the vast majority of other countries (assuming they're not illegal). As a result, if you want to consume any of these, even for a valid medical reason, you may need to follow your new country's specific rules regarding their use. This usually includes not being able to import them during your move.

Agricultural Products

Bringing non-native plants and animals, including seeds, is usually a no-no. Newly introduced plants and animals can wreak havoc on an ecosystem that is unfamiliar with them. Moving internationally isn’t easy, and it comes with risks of losing your belonging due to actions by customs officials. To help reduce this risk, contact our professional moving team at Nilson Van for your next move.

Whether your move is big or small, our skilled movers are dedicated to helping you every step of the way, no matter where life takes you.