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Bringing Foreign Products into the United States

The United States prohibits travelers from bringing many fruits, vegetables, meats, plants, soil, and other products from abroad into the United States. These products may carry harmful insects or diseases that could damage U. S. crops, forests, gardens, and livestock. In general, travelers may not bring the products in person, nor can they import them through the mail. In addition to these items, it is a crime to bring many wildlife souvenirs into the United States. These crimes are specified in U. S. laws and in international treaties. The list of prohibited items is long, and includes those made from sea turtle shell, reptile skins or leathers, ivory, furs from endangered species, as well as items manufactured from coral reefs. Consequently, travelers should not purchase wildlife souvenirs, especially if they are unsure about being able to bring them legally into the United States. The penalties for violating these laws are severe; at the very least, the purchases could be confiscated.

When returning to the United States from a trip abroad, if travelers needed their passport for their trip, they will need it when they go through U. S. Immigration and Customs. If they took other documents with them such as an International Certificate of Vaccination, international driver’s license, medical documents, a customs certificate of registration for foreign-made personal articles, they will need them upon their re-entry to the United States.


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