Sunday 7 June, 2020

Customs clamps down on importation of ‘adult toys’

Photo courtesy Unsplash.

Photo courtesy Unsplash.

Unlike the UK, where one can walk into stores like Ann Summers, or Adam and Eve in the US, and buy adult toys, in Trinidad and Tobago it is illegal to import one even for personal use.

E-courier Websource reminded customers on Friday via email that the item is listed as prohibited by the Customs and Excise Division and will be confiscated if imported, even if the item is for personal use.

“As part of our efforts to maintain the efficiency of our operations, we will be updating you periodically with both new procedures and reminders of any applicable policies.”

“These updates are important as they will contain valuable information to help keep your online shopping and shipping experience enjoyable.”

“Please note that Customs will be inspecting all packages to ensure compliance with law. As such, they can and will seize the items listed below and any other prohibited items. This is not an exhaustive list,” the company said.

The list includes adult toys, items with camouflage print, seeds (except with the relevant permits), cigarettes, honey, soil and toy guns, among others.

Meanwhile, Head of the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD), Folade Mutota, told LoopTT she finds the prohibition ‘curious’, asking what, if any, security risk the items would pose.

A representative from the Customs and Excise Division said the prohibition stems from old legislation regarding the use or sale of pornographic items which has never been changed.

Section 45(l) of the Customs Act prevents the importation of "indecent or obscene prints, paintings, photographs, books, cards, lithographic or other engravings, gramophone records, or any other indecent or obscene articles or matter".

Under Section 46 (g) of the Criminal Offences Act, any “person who offers for sale or distribution, or who exhibits to public view any profane, indecent, or obscene, paper, print, drawing, painting, or representation” may be ‘deemed a rogue and vagabond’ and found liable to imprisonment for two months.

Likewise, under Section 7 of the Summary Offences Act, “any person who is convicted on indictment of…any public and indecent exposure of the person; any public selling or exposing for public sale or to public view of any obscene book, print, picture or other indecent exhibition” can be found upon conviction liable to ‘any term warranted by law’.

Some stores listed on Facebook and listed as based in Trinidad have advertised adult toys for sale. 

LoopTT has reached out to the relevant Ministries for more information.


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