What Products Are Prohibited by U.S. Customs or Require Special Clearance?


Quick Answer

Many items prohibited by U.S. customs come from endangered animals, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. In addition, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency restricts certain agricultural products.

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Full Answer

People who wish to bring ivory into the country should ensure it is an antique that is more than 100 years old. In addition, they cannot bring back fur from spotted animals, anything made from sea turtles, fur from marine animals, items made from wild bird feathers, crocodile and caiman leather and most types of coral. People who bring such items into the U.S. may face fines, and they may have them confiscated.

As certain agricultural items can introduce foreign diseases to the U.S. eco system, they are banned. Because of this, people who are traveling into the U.S. with soils, plants and foods need to declare them at customs. This includes items in carry on baggage, cargo baggage and vehicles. In addition, people who work in agricultural environments may need to declare their occupation, as they can carry diseases through on their shoes. Upon receiving such declarations, experts analyze the products in question and determine whether they need destroying or whether they can pass into the country. Not declaring such items can result in a fine.

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