We just returned from a wonderful week at TI. I wanted to let everyone know that if you make a hat at the hat weaving class you probably won't be able to bring it through customs, mine was taken away because the palms that the hats are made out of may have mites in them. Just a FYI for everyone!
We also purchased two of the hats but the gentleman warned us to check them in our luggage as we wouldn't be permitted to carry them on. That's what we did and had no problem. So sorry to hear that yours were confiscated.
When we made a hat at CSA last year, we sent it back through our checked luggage, and it got through without a problem.
I would imagine if you're wearing a hat that's still green would set off an automatic red light at customs. I know the year before, after coming off a cruise, customs was worried about my straw hat -- which I'd bought at JC Penney's in Richmond VA!!!
Don't be surprised though if you do check them and they aren't there when you arrive. It's not that someone is stealing them so much as you are not supposed to bring agricultural items into the country without being checked, so that can be confiscated.
Just a thought, if it's illegal to bring hats into the country on show on head, it must be even more illegal to smuggle them in.
I have no idea what the true risk is of bringing in jamaican critters which live in live hats but not in clothing, but if, for example the UK authorities caught us bringing in stuff which is banned - unpredictable results may occur.
- confiscation and a stern talking to at least. Your customs/ immigration people are more strict than ours are ( in my experience ) so you may not enjoy the experience if unlucky enough to be singled out.
I brought ours back in a back pack that I used as a carry on and nobody ever looked at twice. Had I known it was against the rules I might have been worried about it. Oh well the laws only really apply when they feel like enforcing them.
More than likely IF you get caught with it they will just conficate it and throw it in the trash as they send you to your gate. I once brought home a cigar from origins unknown, tried to show it to customs and was told to move on[with the cigar].