When planning a trip, you tend to think about what to pack, where to stay once you arrive, and what activities you want to do while you’re there. What you don’t often think about are the laws of the country you plan to visit. Many people assume that what’s legal in their home country is legal elsewhere. However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, immigration lawyer and world traveler Jean Danhong Chen points out that certain destinations have some rather absurd laws that it’s important to be aware of when travelling. Though in most cases the laws might not apply to tourists, or even be enforced for locals, they’re something worth knowing when travelling abroad. Jean Chen has visited many of the regions below and on her trips has learned about a host of bizarre laws some countries have. Keep reading to discover 5 obscure laws to be aware of when travelling.
1. It is illegal to hold a salmon under suspicious circumstances in the United Kingdom
You read that right! There is a statute in the United Kingdom called The Salmon Act that came into effect in 1986. The intention of the act was to regulate salmon fishing; however, it’s frequently cited as one of the most unusual laws around the world owing to one section, Section 23, which states that it is illegal to “handle salmon in suspicious circumstances.” Jean Danhong Chen asserts that while the language used might sound a little ridiculous to some, the intention of the provision was noble. The section set out to crack down on illegal salmon fishing by effectively making it a crime to receive or dispose of salmon that was illegally fished. Beyond Section 23, the act covers a range of matters relating to salmon fisheries, such as trade regulations for salmon dealers.
2. It is illegal to chew gum in Singapore
In 1992, then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong introduced a ban on chewing gum that came into effect via the Control of Manufacture Act. The ban came as a result of a 1983 report that claimed gum was causing maintenance problems in public infrastructure, as well as after a series of incidents in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in which vandals were sticking gum to the door sensors of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit trains. This prevented the doors…