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Prohibited and Restricted Goods

Contact Us - Customs and Excise

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  • Prohibited and Restricted Goods

    • There are some goods that you are not allowed to bring into the Bailiwick of Guernsey regardless of where you are travelling from. These goods are known as "prohibited goods" and are banned. They will be seized by customs and you may be prosecuted. These goods include: 
      • Illegal drugs - such as heroin, morphine, cannabis, amphetamines, synthetic cannabinoids, LSD and MDMA (ecstasy);
      • Offensive Weapons - such as flick knives, butterfly knives, knuckledusters, sword sticks, batons, throwing stars, samurai swords and some martial arts equipment;
      • Self-defence sprays i.e. pepper spray, CS gas, mace;
      • Electric shock devices such as stun guns;
      • Indecent and obscene materials -including pornographic material.                                                                                                                                                                                                     
    • Some goods are banned but in certain cases may be brought into/sent out of the Bailiwick of Guernsey if you have obtained the relevant licence or permit prior to importation/exportation. In some cases it may also depend upon where they are imported from or exported to. These goods are known as "restricted goods":                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
      • Firearms and component parts of firearms, ammunition and explosives (including fireworks);
      • Animals and birds;
      • Prescription medication from outside the United Kingdom Crown Dependencies Customs Union;
      • Cash including bullion, travellers cheques, and precious metals;
      • Endangered species whether alive or dead, including goods made from them like fur, ivory and reptile leather;
      • Uncooked meats and poultry;
      • Certain plants, trees, shrubs, potatoes, fruit and vegetables.
  • Information on the Seizure of Goods

    • Seizure of goods can take place under the relevant provision of the Customs & Excise Law of 1972 (as amended).  These powers are very wide and apply to what is called all "customs assigned matters". This includes where there is any prohibition or restriction in place on the importation or exportation of any goods, as well as where goods are liable to any Import duty or excise. 
    • Seizure is a civil procedure taken against the goods and often runs in parallel to criminal proceeding against persons who have committed customs, money laundering or drug trafficking offences. However on some occasions the Guernsey Border Agency (GBA) will take seizure action only where the circumstances make it more proportionate than an instigating prosecution.
    • Seizure action is a globally utilised mechanism by most Customs authorities worldwide not just by the Guernsey Border Agency and therefore similar provisions tend to apply in most countries.
    • Persons who are the owners of the goods may appeal against a seizure. Where goods are seized in the absence of the importer a notice of seizure will be sent to the address if that information is available, or a notice will be placed in La Gazette Officielle.  The law however states that if the goods are found to be so liable they shall be forfeited.
  • What goods are liable to seizure?

    • Prohibited goods (as detailed above) - All goods which are subject to an import or export prohibition are liable to forfeiture.
    • Restricted Goods (as detailed above) - All goods which are subject to an import or export restriction are liable to forfeiture if imported or exported without the necessary authority.
    • Dutiable goods imported over the permitted personal allowances if not declared to Customs, or if the relevant duties have not been paid (for more information on personal allowances please see the information in the downloads section of this page):   
      • Cigarettes, cigarillos, cigars and other tobacco product;
      • Alcoholic drinks such as spirits, liqueurs and wine including fortified and sparkling wine;
      • Beer and cider;
      • Hydrocarbon oils;
      • Other goods originating from outside of the Customs Union which are liable to customs duty;
      • Dutiable goods which have been abandoned on ships, aircraft or in the terminal buildings.
    • Cash when not properly declared:
      • Cash on the person over the equivalent of £10,000 must be declared on the prescribed form before travel or on importation. Cash is not simply bank notes but includes coins in any currency, postal orders, cheques of any kind (including travellers cheques), bankers drafts, bearer bonds and bearer shares, postage stamps from any jurisdiction and bullion (which includes gold, silver, palladium and platinum whether pure or impure) ingots and coins - Cash declaration forms are freely available from GBA offices and further details regarding declaring cash can be found here.
      • All the above by post over £50;
      • All the above in freight any amount.
  • Other reasons why goods can be seized

    • In addition to all the above goods are liable to forfeiture if:     
      • They are not declared to a Customs Officer. This includes not completing customs declarations for post and freight consignments;
      • They are falsely or improperly declared (either to an Officer or on customs declarations and any associated paperwork);
      • The goods are in any way hidden or concealed;
      • The goods are packaged in a manner to deceive an officer;
      • Goods are packed or mixed with dutiable or prohibited or restricted goods;
      • Vehicles, ships (including all boats of any type) aircraft used to transport goods liable to forfeiture or are adapted in any way for the purpose of smuggling.


Personal Allowances

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