What You Can & Not Bring in Tunisia

Page update - Jan 19, 2023

The Tunisian Customs Code ("Code des Douanes"), last edition of 2008, as well as its annexes, some 20 acts adopted in 2009, define the rules for the importation of valuables by tourists into Tunisia. All these documents are freely available on the Tunisian Customs website in French.

If you want, you can study these documents, but it is quicker and easier to read this page to the end. So, what to take with you on your flight to Tunisia and what to get off of your suitcase.

What is FORBIDDEN to bring into the country

- Narcotic drugs except medication for personal use. If the drug is prescribed by a doctor, a visitor needs to have a prescription certificate translated in French. It is better not to take any chances and consult on this subject with the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia.

- Weapons, other than hunting and sporting weapons, for which a permit must be obtained from the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior. Pocket knives and kitchen knives are allowed to be imported.

- Animals and plants protected by CITES, their parts or products made of it. The rules for importation of pets are detailed below.

- Henna and henna products. This rule seems funny, but only at first glance. Henna is banned from entry into many countries because of attempts to import drugs under its guise or in a mixture with it.

- Palm trees and their products. Fruit, such as dates or coconuts, may be brought in and out of the country.

- Pornographic products. It is important to note here that Tunisians have a much wider notion of it than we do. The word "pornography" here means even topless photos. Be careful.

- Explosives, toxic, radioactive materials.

- Any counterfeit items.

- Anything of historical or cultural value. Be careful with antiques, leave any antiques at home e.g. pocket clocks, jewelry, cigarette cases and the like.

Tobacco and cigarettes

There is a nuance in Tunisian customs regulations. In most countries, the customs rules state that cigarettes may only be imported by persons aged 18 years or older. The Tunisian laws are silent on this point. In theory, even an infant child can bring tobacco into Tunisia duty-free.

The allowance is: up to 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 500 grams of loose tobacco (pipe, chewing, snuff).

You may find a figure of 400 cigarettes on some websites. The official limit is 200, but the Tunisian customs officers usually don't pay attention to exceeding. We underline the word 'usually'. Don't risk it in vain, especially as cigarettes are cheap in Tunisia and the range in the shops is wide (pictured near, click on the photo to enlarge). For the local prices, read our in-depth review "Cigarette prices in Tunisia".


Similarly, there is no age limit in the Tunisian customs regulations.

You can bring in: up to 1 liter of spirits (strength of 25% or more) or up to 2 liters of weak alcohol (strength is less than 25%).

Customs officers are watching this rule closely. There have been many complaints on tourist websites resembling the following one, "Two bottles of whisky found, one was boldly confiscated". It is likely that someone is buying up confiscated alcohol from customs officers.

What else you can bring in freely

- Up to 1 liter of toilet water or up to 250 milliliters of perfume.

- Quote: "Gifts for non-commercial use". A specific figure for this restriction is not given, it is up to the tourist to guess. IATA (International Air Transport Association) recommends bringing gifts and souvenirs with a total value of up to 75 Tunisian dinars (or 25 US dollars). In any case, customs officials will judge the value of these items 'by eye'. Try not to bring items that look expensive.

- Items for personal use - 1 laptop or netbook or tablet PC, 1 photo or video camera, a small iron, hairdryer, electric razor.

- One mobile phone or smartphone can be brought through customs, but tourists usually get through with two mobile phones or smartphones without any problems.

Importation of currency

It is strictly forbidden to bring in Tunisian dinars (pictured near, click to enlarge). This currency is not even exchangeable outside Tunisia. If you decide to try exchanging the dinars in your home country, forget the idea, you will only lose time.

Tunisian authorities take the currency control at the border very seriously. The currency control inside the country is also very strict. The rules are regulated by Decree 2007-394 of February 26, 2007.

If you bring in an amount greater than the equivalent of 5,000 dinars, the declaration is obligatory. The money cannot be taken out when leaving the country without the declaration. You won't even be able to transfer the money into a non-cash form (into a bank account), because a bank employee will require your passport with the currency declaration stamp (by the law).

Theoretically, even traders are obliged to require your passport with the stamp for large purchases, but they do not. Theoretically, it is an offense even to carry currency worth over 25,000 dinars without the declaration stamp!

The authorities are fighting illegally gained income - corruption, drug trafficking, e.t.c. If the customs officers find an object of value (expensive carpet, gold jewelry or something similar) in a tourist's belongings when leaving the country, they may well ask for the documents - a currency declaration stamp or a bank statement on the withdrawal of money from the account. You will have to prove that you bought the item with legitimate money.

The currency declaration stamp is valid for 3 months, after which you cannot take the currency out of the country!


Any pet must have a Health Certificate and a microchip.

Cats and dogs must have a certificate of rabies vaccination from 3 to 12 months ago. Please contact the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia for details.

Prohibited entry:

- Dogs of the following breeds: Boerboel, American Pitbull Terrier, Rottweiler and Tosa Inu (Japanese Mastiff). These are fighting dogs, except for Rottweilers, which are service dogs. Why the Rottweilers displeased the Tunisians so much is unknown.

- Falcons of all kinds.

The Tunisian rules are written in such a way that you can theoretically bring a crocodile into Tunisia (if not a protected species by CITES), but you can't bring a Rottweiler. There are no perfect laws.

Important to know

- Restrictions apply not only when you enter but also when you leave the country. Read our review "What you can and cannot take out of Tunisia";

- To bring or not to bring your alcohol? This is a question on the minds of many. Read about the prices of alcohol in Tunisian shops in our detailed review "Alcohol in Tunisia - prices and rules".

Have a pleasant getting through Tunisian customs control. Read our other pages about Tunisia (find the pages list below). © 2020-2024