Jacob
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Henrico
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I had the occasion to ship some games to Greece the other day which was kind of cool. When you ship internationally there is a list of restricted items that cannot be shipped.

Here is the list for Greece:

United States Postal Service wrote:
Aluminum foil for tobacco manufacturing.
Arms and weapons.
Coins; traveler’s checks; platinum, gold or silver, manufactured or not; precious stones; jewelry; and other valuable articles, except banknotes, currency notes (paper money), securities payable to bearer may be sent in registered First-Class Mail International shipments.
Firearms, swords, and any articles containing them.
Fresh meat, preserved meat, rawhides, wool, and other animal products must be accompanied by a certificate showing the place of origin and stating that it is free of disease.
Human remains.
Live plants and animals.
Perishable infectious biological substances.
Perishable noninfectious biological substances.
Playing cards; saccharine; tobacco, cigars, cigarettes; and cigarette papers.
Radioactive materials.


Arms and weapons, swords, disease-ridden meat, human remains, radioactive materials...ok, I'll buy that. I can understand why those thing shouldn't be shipped.

But, PLAYING CARDS??????

I have to admit, I kind of got a kick out of that.. Good thing EastFront and WestFront aren't CDGs...

So ok, Greek Geeks. Why on earth are playing cards a restricted item in your country? I have to know!! =)
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Vasilis
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Ι really don't know. The intent of the law sometimes is out of this world!

If I have to guess it must have something to do with illegal card gaming. You know betting with real money, illegal poker clubs and so on.

I also have to add that a recently voted law forbids the use of slot machines and all relevant types of games. Greece is paying a fine of approximately 1 million euro per month to European Union for two years now for having this law in effect.

There are talks about making slot machines legal again to avoid the fine. Maybe the change will affect the "playing cards" clause that you posted above. laugh

Of course if you send "card games" and not "playing cards" I guess everything will be fine even now.
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kelsith
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Bloomington
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Just a thought it might be because of the density of a deck of cards. Although a normal deck of cards would be no big deal if you stacked a few on top of each other....(or say piled up Dominion and its sequels) You could make basically a paper brick that might be challenging for some of the X-ray machines to read into...And although its probably a deck of cards someone MIGHT hollow out a little hole into the deck of cards and mail a vial of some who knows what. Crack/Anthrax/Ebola.

...Think of how the rockpick was hidden inside the Bible in Shawshank Redemption.

Although if this were the case I don't really see why it would be listed with other "sin" items (tobacco/sweetner/etc...) so its entirely possible (likely) that I am just talking out my backside.
 
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jumbit
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I work in international trade. I'd say because it was classified as gambling materials, seeing as it's on the same row as the other "sin" imports. As to why it's there? Who can say? These things are implemented by government, so there's no telling who influenced the legislation. Could be dozens of influences, all with contradictory goals and varying levels of pull. For all we know, there's some powerful playing card union in Greece that doesn't want any foreign competition. I've seen crazier situations!
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Peter
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Carol Stream
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Translation issue? Could the Greek word for Playing Cards be in translated different ways? Should probably check the Greek wording of the list.
 
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alan beaumont
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DANGEROUS things
I seem to recall that in the Birmingham 6 bombers trial back in the 1970s the suspects apparently tested positive for explosives contact. It turned out the test would give a false positive for the coating found on playing cards and they had been playing cards before their arrests. (Years later they were acquitted).
I would not be surprised if this rule was an artifact left over from the 1970s.
 
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Andy Holt
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Rayleigh
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This is speculation (like all the previous replies :-) but
the other items on the same line of the list are heavily taxed or state monopolies in many countries.
Probably that is the reason.

(or perhaps Greeks are only permitted to gamble on Backgammon!)

Andy
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Michael Barlow
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Stratford
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Cards? But not dice? Don't gamblers dice in Greece?
 
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