MONKEYS, a sub-machine gun, the skin of a caracal and a machete are among the more unusual items that have seized by Revenue over the year.
It has also seized two gemsbok horns, 79 animal snares, one stun gun, five flick knives, one sub-machine gun and six pepper sprays which had been posted to Ireland from abroad.
As well the two monkeys they also seized several monkey body parts, along with the caracal skin (a middle-eastern or African cat resembling a lynx).
Revenue has raked in just more than €2.2 million in the year to the end of October at the country’s ports by slapping a custom charge on items ranging from Ugg boots to cosmetics.
Over the year the top four products that were subject to custom charges at the Dublin mail centre were cosmetics, mobile phones, Nintendo DS Lites and Ugg boots. At Portlaoise the main items were clothes, mechanical and car parts, cosmetics and digital products.
A spokesman for An Post said “rules are rules” and Revenue is just doing its job when it imposes custom charges on parcels.
“We have seen a huge increase in online shopping over the last few years and this is no different this year,” he said.
A spokesman for Revenue said that when a parcel arrives in the country it is handed over to An Post and transferred to one of its mail centres.
Revenue has custom officials based at these centres and the parcel is put through a scanning machine and if Revenue staff feel it should be subject to a custom charge it is opened.
“An Post will pay the custom charge on smaller items and the customer will pay back An Post,” said the spokesman.
He said there has been a large increase in the number of fake branded items, such as Adidas sweaters and Nike trainers that are being brought into the country.
If any of these are found to be fake they will be seized by Revenue.
Goods ordered by a private individual, over the internet or from a mail order catalogue from EU Member States are not liable to customs duty.
However excise duty is payable on products such as alcohol and tobacco ordered for personal use from EU member states over the internet.
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