There are things that are considered harmless in much of the world that can cause problems in certain countries or regions of the world.  You can bring many of these items on most trips you might take but its important to research the location you are going to prior to your travel to determine if what you are carrying might be a concern.

  • Reading material or other media such as CDs, DVDs, etc. that might be considered pornographic in certain socially conservative countries – particularly areas of the Middle East and South Asia.  This may include things like fashion magazines that would be perfectly acceptable in much of the world.
  • Reading material or other media that has a political orientation or that is critical of the government of the country where you are traveling.
  • Reading material or other media of a religious nature to include Bibles that may make it appear you are proselytizing your religion.
  • Military, police or security equipment or uniforms to include camouflage clothing or other items of a military appearance.
  • Ammunition to include spent shell casings and inert devices.
  • Reading material or other media related to military training.
  • Medicines — you should research local laws before traveling.  Some medicines that are over-the-counter in the US require a prescription overseas.  Additionally some countries prohibited bringing in prescription medication even with a prescription unless it has been previously approved in writing by their ministry of health.  As an example United Arab Emirates has a list of about 374 banned medications.
  • Encryption software on your computer or mobile phone is prohibited in some countries.  In others it is permitted but only with a special license from the host government.

The best way to avoid running afoul of local laws is to research the topic as thoroughly as possible before departing on your trip.

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