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TravelHaven Tips — Know Before You Go

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is responsible for border management and control at all points of entry into the United States. This includes customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection. If you are planning to travel abroad, you probably should check the CBP’s website Know Before You Go – Rules for Bringing Items into the U.S. You can learn about traveler entry forms, agricultural products allowed and prohibited, what items are dutiable, and other information about the re-entry process.

CBP is entrusted with enforcing hundreds of laws for forty government agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These agencies require that unsafe items are not allowed to enter the United States. CBP officers are always at ports of entry and assume the responsibility of protecting America from all threats.

The products CBP prevent from entering the United States are those that would injure community health, public safety, American workers, children, or domestic plant and animal life, or those that might damage the national interest. Sometimes products that seem may seem harmless can cause injury.

Before you leave for your trip abroad, you might want to check with CBP about any items you plan to bring back to be sure they’re not prohibited or restricted. Prohibited means the item is forbidden by law to enter the United States. Restricted means that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before the item is allowed to enter the United States.

Many agriculture products are prohibited entry into the United States from certain countries because they may carry plant pests and foreign animal diseases. All agriculture items must be declared and are subject to inspection by a CBP Agriculture Specialist at ports of entry to ensure they are free of plant pests and foreign animal diseases. Prohibited or restricted items may include meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, seeds, soil and products made from animal or plant materials.

You don’t want your trip to end on a bad note, so check with the Customs and Border Protection Agency and know before you go.