An import licence is required to be produced when you are importing ‘controlled goods’. What we mean when we talk about controlled goods or controlled items, are products over which a government department or agency exercises governance, over and above the national customs authority.
Items such as weapons, or other military hardware would obviously fall under this category and require you to have an import licence in place in advance of import. Less obvious to many, the import of items such as some foodstuffs, tableware, toy guns, chocolate coins, and plants are also very often restricted.
The implications of failing to produce an import license for your goods at the time of import could lead to significant custom penalties, delays or confiscation of your goods or, in very serious cases, imprisonment.