Can I bring Food with me to the United States?

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The US Customs and Border Protection stated that agricultural items are not allowed to be brought into the US, because they may carry animal and plant pests and diseases. Such items include meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, soil, and animal or plant products. These pests and diseases are a threat to US food crop and livestock.

Most of these organisms are highly contagious animal diseases and they can cause damage to the livestock industry and losses in production, which results in increased costs for meat and dairy products. Other pests damage lawns, ornamental plants, trees, and even homes.

Bakery items and some types of cheese can be brought into the U.S.

To be allowed to bring these items to the US you must have an import permit, you may be allowed to import some plants, cuttings, unprocessed plant products, seeds and certain endangered species into the U.S. You will need to have an export permit from the country of origin for threatened or endangered species.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are partners who protect American agriculture against the introduction of foreign plant and animal pests and diseases at the nation's ports of entry. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) develops the policy that determine the types of agricultural products that can come into the country and what products are dangerous and should not be brought in. This agricultural policy is enforced by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at ports of entry. Confiscated items are destroyed carefully in special CBP facilities.


To know what you are allowed to bring contact the US agency at:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office of Field Operations
Agriculture Programs and Liaison
1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20229

For more information on agricultural policy, please call APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) at 1-866- SAFGUARD. If you have any questions please write to:
Quarantine Policy Analysis and Support Staff
4700 River Road
Unit 60
Riverdale, MD 20737

CBP: Protecting America's Agricultural Resources


Medicines are allowed to be brought into the US if they are not any of the prohibited drugs types such as GHB, Fen-Phen, Rohypnol etc. The quantity that you bring should really be for personal use depending upon your dosage and the duration of your stay. Medicines like cough medicines, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, stimulants or antidepressants that may be addictive or narcotics, might not be allowed into the U.S. However, if they are in original containers, limited quantity for personal use and with prescription or written statement from the physician that they are prescribed by him/her and they are necessary for the well-being of the patient, you should be allowed to bring it in.


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