Sending Seeds (and Other Things) Around the World

Sending our seed paper cards around the world – it sounds easy enough, right? It is, except some countries are very strict when it comes to deciding what is allowed to cross their borders. That is undoubtedly a great thing, you don’t want a foreign species of flowers destroying your ecosystem. However, that is not what kept us giggling throughout the long hours of otherwise very boring research. You see, while there are many reasonable restrictions imposed, there is also a number of less reasonable ones. The ones that make you wonder what happened, what did customs officers uncover in a random package, that made them add this specific thing to the restriction list…

While the list of countries that restrict seed import is rather short and uninteresting (though definitely worth checking!), we welcome you to have a look at what else you are not allowed to ship to countries around the world. You know, just in case.


  • Lithuanians won’t allow you to send them more than 5 kg of sugar at once.
  • We all know the stereotype of Germans being the orderly type – well, you can only send them playing cards in “complete and properly wrapped decks”.
  • The Japanese will not accept any shipped hoverboards or gyroboards. They are probably too cool for them anyway.
  • Bulgarian customs officers must’ve received a lot of annoying musical greeting cards, because they decided to ban their import, thus getting rid of them forever.
  • Czechs and Slovaks will not accept any chain letter mail. They probably have enough of their own going around.
  • You are not allowed to send any typewriter ribbons or (human?) hair to Italy.
  • Nepal will not let any cloves cross their border, while Nicaragua won’t allow any police whistles.
  • The import of any statues used for religious worship is forbidden in Maldives.
  • The Malawi government must be very concerned for their citizens’ well-being, expecially since they forbid the import of aphrodisiacs and correspondence concerning fraudulent enterprises or fortune telling.
  • Do not send any Football Pool printed matter to Lesotho! We’re looking at you, America, because everywhere else in the world football is played with a round ball.
  • Iran forbids the import of fashion newspapers. Does that mean that fashion magazines are OK?
  • Ecuador wants no Panama or Mocora hats and no straw used for their production to cross its border. Oh, and also, no sticks!
  • This item restricted by Albania deserves a direct citation: “Extravagant clothes and other articles contrary to Albanians’ taste.” How very…exact?
  • No TOEFL tests are allowed to be imported into Pakistan.
  • Shaving brushes made in Japan are not allowed in Saint Lucia. Makes us wonder, what happened there.
  • Do not ship feeding bottles to France.
  • No soil, household waste or frozen water may be shipped to the United Kingdom. Very clever, why import frozen water when you have plenty of your own to freeze.
  • And, unsurprisingly, the Democratic Republic of Korea prohibits all merchandise.