Prohibited or restricted goods
Some live animals and plants, as well as derived products may belong to endangered species. Those are protected by the CITES convention and subsequent European legislation (e.g. a parrot, or a wooden figure made out of Dalbergia nigra).
Other national regulations protecting the local environment against invasive species may also be in place.
The importer, when ordering online sensitive products should first be aware of these restrictions, so that required permits and/or notifications are issued before the product arrives.
For more information, visit the UNEP-WCMC Species Database website.
Some dangerous chemicals are also strictly prohibited or restricted.
Some related practical examples are: mercury thermometers, pesticide DDT, pre-charged air conditioners containing HCFCs.
These restrictions are put in place by the following pieces of legislation known as Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), Prior Informed Consent Regulation (PIC), Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (FGG) (the last one currently under revision to include additional prohibitions), among others.
For more information, visit the European Chemicals Agency website.
Counterfeit or pirated goods
If customs officers suspect that goods bought on Internet and imported from third countries infringe an intellectual property right, they may detain the goods and inform the declarant or holder of the goods as well as the holder of an intellectual property right. The latter may decide to bring the case to the court.
Some Member States have implemented procedures providing for the simplified destruction of goods considered to be infringing intellectual property rights under certain conditions, without the need to formally establish an infringement in court.
For more information, check out the dedicated pages on counterfeit and piracy.