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O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

Old Nov 4th 2002, 12:21 am
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Default O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

Hello,

So, here is the list I got at the airport in Detroit at a little booth where they have customs booklets. This one is form the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Program Ais No. 1083, and it is called Traveler's tip on bringing Food, Plant, and Animal Products Into the United States.

p.9: General List of Approved Products

This list covers products from all areas except Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Bamboo, dried poles only, no green at all
Beads made of seeds (but no jequirity beans)
Breads, cakes, cookies, and other bakery goods
Candies
Cheeses, hard, fully cured (but not cottage cheeses)
Coconuts (but husks or milk must be removed)
Coffee, rosted beans only
Dried foods, including milled rice, beans, and tea
Fish
Flower bulbs (but not crocosomia, gladiolus, and watsonia bulbs from Africa, Argentina, Brazil, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, or Uruguay)
Flowers, most fresh or dried kinds (but not with roots), except eucalyptus
Fruits, canned or dried products only
Herbarium plants (but not witchweed)
Herbs, dried, for medicinal use
Mushrooms
Nuts (but not chesnuts or acorns or nuts without outer husks)
Sauces, canned or processed
Seaweed
Seeds (seeds of flowers and vegetables are generally enterable. Seeds of woody trees and shrubs require nursery stock permit from PPQ)
Shamrocks, without roots or soil
Soup and soup mizes (but not those containing meat)
Spices, dried (but not curry leaves)
Straw animals, hats, baskets, and other souvenirs (but not items stuffed with straw)
Vegetables, canned or processed

Generally, I have a list with all the products I have in my suitcases, and never had a problem.

Caroline
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Old Nov 4th 2002, 1:01 am
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Default

Actually, the pamphlet is available on the internet at:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/travel/usdatips.html

and the list I just typed in my previous post is actually available at:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/travel/usdatips.html#approved

Caroline
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Old Nov 4th 2002, 8:34 pm
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Marjeta
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Default Re: O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

Thanks Caroline. Just one more question. Whenever I went through
customs in the US they never checked my bags. So is it ok to not say
anything when you carry goods that are allowed or are you supposed to
report everything anyway?

M
 
Old Nov 4th 2002, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?


Thanks Caroline. Just one more question. Whenever I went through
customs in the US they never checked my bags. So is it ok to not say
anything when you carry goods that are allowed or are you supposed to
report everything anyway?

M
That one, I am not sure of.

When I fill out the customs form, I have a form in french, and the wording doesn't ask you for "food" but specifically for meat, agricultural products, and so on (I don't have the form under my eyes. I will check if I have an extra one at home). I was first thinking of checking "yes" to that question, when I realized that I did have food but none of the products that were mentioned on my customs form. So, I asked the airline staff who is supposed to help you with the I-94 and customs form, and showed her my list of food. She told me to check the "no" answer, which I did.

For almost every trip, I am asked to check agriculture. They always scan my two suitcases (one and a half full of food), and ask me if I have plants and other specific items which are not allowed, so I say no. They never saw something fishy on their screens, and never searched my suitcases. So, I never found out if the "no" on the customs form is the correct answer (but I am fine with that! At one of my agricultural checks, there was this guy who had mangoes in his suitcases and the agriculture guy was extremely mean). I always have a detailled list of the food products I take with me as well as the pamphlet with the list.

Caroline
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Old Nov 5th 2002, 4:56 pm
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Marjeta
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Default Re: O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

Thanks. They never made me go through agriculture check (might have
been just luck) but I do remember now the forms that you are talking
about. I guess if I follow the list not much can go wrong. Thanks
again.

Marjeta



Caro wrote in message news:...
    > >
    > > Thanks Caroline. Just one more question. Whenever I went through
    > > customs in the US they never checked my bags. So is it ok to not say
    > > anything when you carry goods that are allowed or are you supposed to
    > > report everything anyway?
    > >
    > > M
    >
    > That one, I am not sure of.
    >
    > When I fill out the customs form, I have a form in french, and the
    > wording doesn't ask you for "food" but specifically for meat,
    > agricultural products, and so on (I don't have the form under my eyes. I
    > will check if I have an extra one at home). I was first thinking of
    > checking "yes" to that question, when I realized that I did have food
    > but none of the products that were mentioned on my customs form. So, I
    > asked the airline staff who is supposed to help you with the I-94 and
    > customs form, and showed her my list of food. She told me to check the
    > "no" answer, which I did.
    >
    > For almost every trip, I am asked to check agriculture. They always scan
    > my two suitcases (one and a half full of food), and ask me if I have
    > plants and other specific items which are not allowed, so I say no. They
    > never saw something fishy on their screens, and never searched my
    > suitcases. So, I never found out if the "no" on the customs form is the
    > correct answer (but I am fine with that! At one of my agricultural
    > checks, there was this guy who had mangoes in his suitcases and the
    > agriculture guy was extremely mean). I always have a detailled list of
    > the food products I take with me as well as the pamphlet with the list.
    >
    > Caroline
 
Old Nov 5th 2002, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: O/T: Bringing food into the US - What is allowed?

Originally posted by Marjeta
Thanks. They never made me go through agriculture check (might have been just luck) but I do remember now the forms that you are talking
about. I guess if I follow the list not much can go wrong.
Algricultural checks are nothing as long as you do not have anything that is not allowed. I must have been asked to go to "agriculture" about 2/3 of the times I have traveled back from France (and one time where my plane came from London where I didn't even have my suitcases as they didn't make the connection and were still in London). I must have the look of a person who is likely to bring all kind of bad food stuffs in the US... Anyway, it is just a matter of putting your suitcase in their "plant detecting" machine that looks like an X-Ray machine and sometimes of answering a couple questions about whether you have plants and other stuffs they don't want you to bring in the US. You have to go to agriculture when either immigration (I think anyway) or the customs people at the exit of the airport put an A on the top of your customs form.

Caroline
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