THERE are all sorts of nice things you can bring back from your holidays. But there are also plenty of nasties and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has provided some useful information on how travellers can stay on the right side of the law.
Customs officers at Manchester Airport often come across passengers attempting to bring in all kinds of prohibited or unusual goods. Recent examples include:
* Five flick knives, six knuckle-dusters and a stun gun from Bangkok.
* Death stars from Thailand.
* A swordstick from the Canary Isles.
* Class A drugs hidden in places such as shampoo and body lotion, inside wax candles or labelled as kitchen spices.
* Two live terrapins from Hong Kong.
* Two tortoises from Tunisia.
* An alligator head from Orlando.
* A tinned sheep's head from Iran.
* Twenty duck eggs, with leopard bone, octopus, and milk powder, from China.
* A total of 81 counterfeit T-shirts with designer labels, along with designer watches and bags, from Turkey.
Linda Paul, HMRC's head of detection for the North West, said: 'We want travellers to have a safe and happy holiday this summer but we do need to reinforce these messages to the public.
'Restrictions on what can and cannot be brought back into the UK are set by the Government to protect the UK and its citizens.
'We get a lot of passengers through Manchester Airport who either exceed their duty-free limit or who attempt to bring in banned or restricted goods.
'The majority of these travellers genuinely do not realise they are breaking the law.
'However, there are also passengers who try to flout the rules and we want to send a clear message to them that we have a strong presence at Manchester Airport.'
'We won't let terror alert spoil our holiday' > > >
'We won't let terror alert spoil our holiday'
SCORES of families from Halton were caught up in the national terror alert after hundreds of planes were grounded at Liverpool and Manchester airports.
Holidaymakers from Widnes and Runcorn expecting to fly last Thursday had their plans scuppered when a terrorist threat sparked a security alert in airports across the UK.
Huge queues built up at check-in desks as airport staff enforced rigid security procedures.
A joint operation by the Metropolitan Police's anti-terrorist branch and security service uncovered a suspected plan to detonate bombs smuggled on board an aircraft in hand luggage.
Passengers had to transfer permitted personal belongings into clear carrier bags.
One Widnes-based passenger said he had never seen so many police at an airport before.
He said: 'Armed police patrolled Liverpool John Lennon Airport as we made our way through. It was the busiest I have seen the airport and I have flown from Speke a number of times.'
About 20 flights were due to leave before noon but by 9am seven of those flights - including those to Shannon, Berlin, Venice and Carcassonne - had already been cancelled.
At Manchester Airport, one family said they would rather be delayed and queue with the other 300 passengers than put their lives at risk.
One passenger said: 'I'd rather be safe than sorry. If it means we have to be delayed three hours and queue up with all the others then so be it. We won't let it spoil our holiday.'