The risk of illegal import

Are you making a new life chapter by relocating to Kuwait? Whether this is a business or personal decision, you must be very excited! There are a lot of new things you can learn about this country. From their history and Royal family to cultural and religious things. In preparation for relocation find the best land transportation company Kuwait has to offer. That might take time, but it is one of the first things you need to do. Transportation companies are very experienced and will be able to advise you on all you need to know. For example, how to avoid the risk of illegal import. All countries have a list of prohibited items for import, but if you are moving to Kuwait, you need to know what is on their blacklist.

Laws and regulations

Kuwait is a member of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) along with Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This is a political and economic alliance. Despite this fact, import/export does not run so smoothly between these countries. For example, shipping from Kuwait to Qatar might not always go easy as you would expect. There are numerous reasons why certain items will be prohibited for shipping, but they can all fall under the main two:

  • Religious reasons
  • Safety and protection

Why you should not risk illegal import?

If you want to move to another country, such as Kuwait, you should be respectful of their laws, culture, and religion. As a Muslim country, a lot of religion is involved in deciding on what would fall under legal and illegal items. As you are probably aware, they are not allowed to drink alcohol or eat pork. Therefore, you should restrain yourself from trying to ship any of these to the country and be at risk of illegal import. You should also avoid shipping into the country anything that might be offensive to their Royal family and their tradition.

Also, weapons and explosive materials are prohibited for import, but common sense will tell you that the reason behind this is not religious, but for mere protection. Trying to import something flammable or explosive puts everyone at risk, from you and your belongings, over freight company, to Kuwait Customs operatives.

Smith and Wesson gun as an example of risk of illegal import
Importing weapon is strictly prohibited

Import from other countries

The same rules apply for importing all goods from any country. But there is one exception though. Due to a very tumultuous past between Kuwait and Isreal, these two countries do not have any diplomatic relations. There is a law that prohibits importing anything Israeli, and when they say anything, they literally mean anything. If there is even the slightest percentage of Israeli origin in a certain item, it will not be allowed into the country. Kuwait even refuses entry to anyone whose passport was issued by Israel. So if you thought of ordering something online from Israel, you are risking illegal import, so think again.

Things to get rid of if you do not want to be in risk of illegal import

First of all, if you are moving your whole household, make sure you get rid of all the plants you have. Plants are not allowed for import. This can be a painful experience if you are a real plant lover and you spent precious time growing your flowers and cactuses. But your plants would not survive the long trip anyway and would die by the time they reached their destination. Transporting dying plants could cause pest infestation, which could affect other belongings being shipped with these plants. With this information in mind, you now understand why importing plants is illegal.

Perishable food is one more thing that is not allowed for import. The reason behind this is the same as for the plants, plus a very bad odor that food can emit.  Empty your fridge before leaving your house and packing your things. If you hire a professional moving company, they will be able to tell you all about dos and don’ts. This will allow you to decide on what to pack in a much easier way. Be careful though, as your movers might refuse to move some items, and for good reason.

Importing pets

This can be a tricky one, as you surely do not want to leave your pet behind, nor you should do that if there is a way to avoid it. But before making arrangments for relocation, familiarize yourself with customs laws. Some exotic animals might not be allowed and by trying to ship them you will risk illegal import. Check with moving companies that are specialized in moving pets on what is the best way for this experience to go pain-free. You might just need to file more paperwork in order to move your pet, but it will be worth it.

Owning an exotic pet might be risky

List of items that will cause a risk of illegal import

The list is growing each day, but below are summarized categories, that you should be aware of if you want to avoid being at risk of illegal import:

  • All items from Israel
  • Pork, alcohol and meat products
  • Ammunition and all sorts of explosive and deadly devices
  • Medical equipment
  • Media (video and audio cassettes, pornographic material, etc)
  • Electronic equipment
  • Other

Medical equipment

A lot of items fall under this category, but there are several worthwhile mentioning:

  • electronic cigarettes
  • drugs with or without prescription
  • some cosmetic products
  • medical and dental supplies
  • animal or other poisons


As women in Kuwait are covered in hijab, there are no media allowed that show female anatomy. Also, no training, entertainment nor promotional films can be carried in, without risking illegal import. Due to very strict laws, pornography is also forbidden.

Electronic equipment

If you think of moving to Kuwait, below should not be on your inventory list:

  • radio, television or radar equipment
  • phones, modems, computer components
  • CDs and laserdiscs
Computer components
Do not bring PC components with                                       you, they are illegal


Too many things are on this list, but we can summarize the most important for you:

  • Gold over 18 karats
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Lithium batteries
  • Plants (as already mentioned above)
  • All items offensive to Muslim religion or to Kuwait Royal family and their tradition