Prohibited and Restricted Items (2023)

CBP has been entrusted with enforcing hundreds of laws for 40 other 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 would defeat our national interests. Sometimes the products that cause injury, or have the potential to do so, may seem fairly innocent. But, as you will see from the material that follows, appearances can be deceiving.

Before you leave for your trip abroad, you might want to talk to CBP about the 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. Examples of prohibited items are dangerous toys, cars that don't protect their occupants in a crash, bush meat, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol. Restricted means that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before the item is allowed to enter the United States. Examples of restricted items include firearms, certain fruits and vegetables, animal products, animal by products, and some animals.

The importation of absinthe is subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations (21 C.F.R. 172.510 and the Department of the Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulations (27 C.F.R. Parts 13.51, 5.42(a), and 5.65. The absinthe content must be "thujone free" (that is, it must contain less than 10 parts per million of thujone); the term "absinthe" cannot be the brand name; the term "absinthe" cannot stand alone on the label; and the artwork and/or graphics cannot project images of hallucinogenic, psychotropic or mind-altering effects. Absinthe imported in violation of these regulations is subject to seizure.

In addition to U.S. laws, the laws of the state in which you first arrive in the United States will govern the amount of alcohol you may bring with you, and whether you need a license. If you plan to bring alcoholic beverages with you, before you depart, you should contact the state's applicable alcoholic beverage control board to determine what you need to do to comply with that state's laws and regulations.

Automobiles imported into the United States must meet the fuel-emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency and the safety, bumper, and theft prevention standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Trying to import a car that doesn't meet all the requirements can be difficult. Please see the Importing a Motor Vehicle page for more information.

Almost all cars, vans, sport utility vehicles and so on that are bought in foreign countries must be modified to meet American standards, except most late model vehicles from Canada. Passenger vehicles that are imported on the condition that they be modified must be exported or destroyed if they are not modified acceptably. Also under these circumstances, the vehicle could require a bond upon entry until the conditions for admission have been met.

And even if the car does meet all federal standards, it might be subject to additional EPA requirements, depending on what countries it was driven in. You are strongly encouraged to contact EPA and DOT before importing a car.

Information on importing vehicles can be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency Web site. You may also find importation information from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.

Copies of the brochure Importing or Exporting a Car can be obtained by writing to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
P.O. Box 7407
Washington, DC 20044

You can also visit the Exporting a Motor Vehicle page. The EPA Automotive Imports Fact Manual can be obtained by writing to the Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460. You can also visit the EPA Web site.

Cars being brought into the United States temporarily, by nonresidents, (for less than one year) are exempt from these restrictions. It is illegal to bring a vehicle into the United States and sell it if it was not formally entered on a CBP Form 7501.

You may need a U.S. Department of Agriculture permit and/or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention permit to import biological specimens including bacterial cultures, culture medium, excretions, fungi, arthropods, mollusks, tissues of livestock, birds, plants, viruses, or vectors for research, biological or pharmaceutical use. Permit requirements are located under "Permits" on the USDA Web site and CDC permit information can be found on the Etiologic Agent Import Permit Program page.

Although ceramic tableware is not prohibited or restricted, you should know that such tableware made in foreign countries may contain dangerous levels of lead in the glaze, which can seep into foods and beverages. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that if you buy ceramic tableware abroad - especially in Mexico, China, Hong Kong or India - you have it tested for lead release when you return, or use it for decorative purposes only.

Most countries have laws that protect their cultural property. Art/artifacts/antiquities; archeological and ethnological material are also terms used to describe this material. These laws include export controls and/ or national ownership of cultural property. Even if purchased from a business in the country of origin or in another country, legal ownership of such artifacts may be in question if brought into the United States.

Therefore, although they do not necessarily confer ownership, you must have documents such as export permits and receipts when importing such items into the United States.

While foreign laws may not be enforceable in the United States, they can cause certain U.S. laws to be invoked. For example, under the U.S. National Stolen Property Act, one cannot have legal title to art/artifacts/antiquities that were stolen - no matter how many times such items may have changed hands. Articles of stolen cultural property from museums or from religious or secular public monuments originating in any of the countries party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention specifically may not be imported into the United States.

U.S. law may also restrict the importation of specific categories of art/artifacts/antiquities. For example, U.S. laws restrict the importation of:

  • Any pre-Columbian monumental and architectural sculpture and murals from Central and South American countries;
  • Native American artifacts from Canada; Mayan pre-Columbian archaeological objects from Guatemala; pre-Columbian archaeological objects from El Salvador and Peru; archaeological objects like terracotta statues from Mali; Colonial period objects such as paintings and ritual objects from Peru;
  • Byzantine period ritual and ecclesiastic objects such as icons from Cyprus; and
  • Khmer stone archeological sculpture from Cambodia.

Importation of items such as those listed above is permitted only when an export permit issued by the country of origin where such items were first found accompanies them. Purveyors of such items have been known to offer phony export certificates.

(Video) Prohibited and Restricted Items

As additional U.S. import restrictions may be imposed in response to requests from other countries, it is wise for prospective purchasers to visit the U.S. Department of Statewebsite.

Merchandise determined to be Iraqi cultural property or other items of archeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific and religious importance illegally removed from the Iraq National Museum, the National Library and other locations in Iraq, since August 6, 1990, are also prohibited from importation.

Classified and Unclassified Items that have military application that are considered defense articles, thus require a license before the permanent export, temporary import and temporary export abroad. Such items may include software or technology, blueprints, design plans, and retail software packages and technical information. If CBP officials suspect that a regulated item or defense article has been temporarily imported/exported or permanently exported without a license, they are subject to detention and possible seizure for violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. A complete list of commodities and regulations can be found on the Directorate of Defense Trade Control's (DDTC) website. Teams that have both a commercial and military application are considered to be dual-use commodities and may require an export license depending upon the specifications of the commodities. These commodities may include hardware, software, technology, blueprints, design plans and technical information. A complete list of commodities and regulations controlled under the Export Administration Regulations can be found on the Bureau of Industry and Security website.

It is illegal in the United States to import, export, distribute, transport, manufacture or sell products containing dog or cat fur in the United States. As of November 9, 2000, the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 calls for the seizure and forfeiture of each item containing dog or cat fur.

The Act provides that any person who violates any provision may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each separate knowing and intentional violation, $5,000 for each separate gross negligent violation, or $3,000 for each separate negligent violation.

It is illegal to bring drug paraphernalia into the United States unless prescribed for authentic medical conditions such as diabetes. CBP will seize any illegal drug paraphernalia. Law prohibits the importation, exportation, manufacture, sale or transportation of drug paraphernalia. If you are convicted of any of these offenses, you will be subject to fines and imprisonment.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition and approves all permanent import transactions involving weapons and ammunition. If you want to import weapons or ammunition, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer. Also, if the National Firearms Act prohibits certain weapons, ammunition or similar devices from coming into the country, you will not be able to import them unless the ATF provides you with written authorization to do so. If the firearm is controlled as a U.S. Munitions List article and it is temporarily imported to the United States, or it is temporarily exported, it may also require a Department of State license or need to meet the conditions for a license exemption.

You do not need an ATF permit if you can demonstrate that you are returning with the same firearms or ammunition that you took out of the United States. To prevent problems when returning, you should register your firearms and related equipment by taking them to any CBP office before you leave the United States. The CBP officer will register them on the same CBP Form-4457 used to register cameras or computers. For more information, please refer to the Tip: Register Items Before You Leave The United States page.

For further information about importing weapons, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Office of Public and Governmental Affairs
99 New York Ave. NE
Mail Stop 5S144
Washington, DC 20226

The Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) regulates the permanent export, temporary import and temporary export of rifles and handguns, plus ammunition. If you want to temporarily import/export or permanently export rifles, handguns and ammunition, you must either obtain a license from DDTC or qualify for a license exemption under 22 CFR 123.17 or 123.18. The export of shotguns and buckshot is controlled under the Bureau of Industry and Security's Export Administration Regulations.

Many countries will not allow you to enter with a firearm even if you are only traveling through the country on the way to your final destination. If you plan to take your firearms or ammunition to another country, you should contact officials at that country's embassy to learn about its regulations.

Certain fish and wildlife, and products made from them, are subject to import and export restrictions, prohibitions, permits or certificates, as well as requirements. CBP recommends that you contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before you depart if you plan to import or export any of the following:

  • Wild birds, land or marine mammals, reptiles, fish, shellfish, mollusks or invertebrates;
  • Any part or product of the above, such as skins, tusks, bone, feathers, or eggs; or
  • Products or articles manufactured from wildlife or fish.

Endangered wildlife species, and products made from them, generally may not be imported or exported. You will need a permit from the FWS to import virtually all types of ivory, unless it is from a warthog. The FWS has many restrictions and prohibitions on various kinds of ivory - Asian elephant, African elephant, whale, rhinoceros, seal, pre-Endangered Species Act, post-CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and many others - and urge you to contact them before you acquire ivory in a foreign country. You may contact the Management Authority at 1-800-344-WILD(1-800-344-9453) Pressing Option 3 will provide you with general information, and Option 4 will connect you to the permits section. You can also get information on permits at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service web site.

You may import an object made of ivory if it is an antique. To be an antique the ivory must be at least 100 years old. You will need documentation that authenticates the age of the ivory. You may import other antiques containing wildlife parts with the same condition, but they must be accompanied by documentation proving they are at least 100 years old. Certain other requirements for antiques may apply.

If you plan to buy such things as tortoiseshell jewelry, or articles made from whalebone, ivory, skins or fur, contact the:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Law Enforcement
5275 Leesburg Pike,
Falls Church, VA 22041

You can also call 1-800-344-WILD(1-800-344-9453)or visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Web site. Hunters can get information on the limitations for importing and exporting migratory game birds from this office as well or from the Migratory Birds page.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated specific ports of entry to handle fish and wildlife entries. If you plan to import anything discussed in this section, please contact CBP about designated ports and the brochure Pets and Wildlife, which describes the regulations CBP enforces for all agencies that oversee the importation of animals.

Some states have fish and wildlife laws and regulations that are stricter than federal laws and regulations. If you are returning to such a state, be aware that the stricter state laws and regulations have priority. Similarly, the federal government does not allow you to import wild animals into the United States that were taken, killed, sold, possessed or exported from another country if any of these acts violated foreign laws.

You may bring bakery items and certain cheeses into the United States. The APHIS Web site features a Travelers Tips section and Game and Hunting Trophies section that offers extensive information about bringing food and other products into the U.S. Many prepared foods are admissible. However, bush meat made from African wildlife and almost anything containing meat products, such as bouillon, soup mixes, etc., is not admissible. As a general rule, condiments, vinegars, oils, packaged spices, honey, coffee and tea are admissible. Because rice can often harbor insects, it is best to avoid bringing it into the United States. Some imported foods are also subject to requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act or BTA), Public Law 107-188, established the requirement that food items, imported (or offered for import) for commercial use, including hand-carried quantities, be properly reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to arrival of those items in the United States. The FDA prior notification timeframes (by transport mode) are two hours by land, four hours by rail or air, eight hours by vessel and prior to the "time of mailing" for international mail.

(Video) Prohibited & Restricted Items Rap

Food that was made by an individual in his/her personal residence, or food purchased by an individual from a vendor that is sent by that individual as a personal gift (for non-business reasons) to someone in the United States is not subject to Bioterrorism Act requirements. However, food that is sent to an individual in the United States by a business is subject to special requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For instance, if you go to a food shop in England and buy a gift basket, then take it to the post office or a courier service to send to a friend, the shipment is not subject to BTA requirements. But if you go to that same shop and ask them to send the gift basket for you, the shipment is subject to BTA requirements, and the vendor will have to file Prior Notice. Many travelers are finding that vendors will not ship food directly to U.S. residents because the reporting requirements can be time-consuming to complete.

In general, failure to provide complete, timely and accurate prior notice for Bioterrorism Act regulated items, can result in refusal of admission of the merchandise, movement of the goods to an FDA registered facility (at importer expense) and/or civil monetary penalty liabilities for any party that was involved in the import transaction.

Bringing fruits and vegetables depends on a number of factors. For instance, consider the apple you bought in the foreign airport just before boarding and then did not eat. Whether or not CBP will allow the apple into the United States depends on where you got it and where you are going after you arrive in the United States. The same would be true for Mediterranean tomatoes. Such factors are important because fresh fruits and vegetables can introduce plant pests or diseases into the United States.

One good example of problems imported fruits and vegetables can cause is the Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak during the 1980s. The outbreak cost the state of California and the federal government approximately $100 million to get rid of this pest. The cause of the outbreak was one traveler who brought home one contaminated piece of fruit. It is best not to bring fresh fruits or vegetables into the United States. However, if you plan to, contact either CBP or check the Permits section on the USDA-APHIS Web site for a general approved list on items that need a permit.

Note: The civil penalty for failing to declare agricultural items at U.S. ports of entry will cost first time offenders $300. The penalty for the second violation goes up to $500. To avoid receiving a penalty all agricultural items and present them to Customs and Border Protection for inspection so that an agriculture specialist can determine if it is admissible.

Information on bringing back your game or hunting trophy can be found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Information on Hunting and Fishing page. Currently, 14 ports of entry are designated to handle game and trophies; other ports must get approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to clear your entry.

Depending on the species you bring back, you might need a permit from the country where the animal was harvested. Regardless of the species, you are required to fill out a Fish and Wildlife Form 3-177, Declaration for Importation or Exportation.

Trophies may also be subject to inspection by CBP for sanitary purposes. General guidelines for importing trophies can be found on under the APHIS Import Authorization System (IAS) on the Guidelines for the Importation of Ruminant, Swine, and Bird Trophies page, or by writing to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Information on bringing back your game or hunting trophy can be found at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Information onHunting and Fishingpage. Currently, 14 ports of entry are designated to handle game and trophies; other ports must get approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to clear your entry.

Depending on the species you bring back, you might need a permit from the country where the animal was harvested. Regardless of the species, you are required to fill out aFish and Wildlife Form 3-177, Declaration for Importation or Exportation.

Trophies may also be subject to inspection by CBP for sanitary purposes. General guidelines for importing trophies can be found on under the APHIS Import Authorization System (IAS) on theGuidelines for the Importation of Ruminant, Swine, and Bird Trophiespage, or by writing to:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
APHIS, VS, Strategy & Policy, APIE
4700 River Road, Unit 40
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231

You can also call(301) 851-3300, option 4.

Nonhuman primate trophy materials may require a permit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prospective importers of nonhuman primate trophy materials from nonhuman primates should review the permit requirements and complete an application form, following the Guidance for Individuals Wishing toImport Non-Human Primate Trophies, Skins or Skulls. Trophy materials of other animals under import embargo because of viral zoonotic infections, such as civets, Asian birds, and African rodents, may be imported if the body has been sufficiently processed to render it non-infectious. Proper methods of accomplishing this include:

  • Heating to an internal temperature of 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) or placing in boiling water for a minimum of 30 minutes);
  • Preservation in 2 percent formaldehyde;
  • Chemically treating in acidic or alkaline solutions (soaking in a solution below pH 3.0 or above pH 11.5 for 24 hours); or
  • The use of hypertonic salts.

Also, federal regulations do not allow the importation of any species into a state with fish or wildlife laws that are more restrictive than federal laws. If foreign laws were violated in the taking, sale, possession or export to the United States of wild animals, those animals will not be allowed entry into the United States.

Warning:There are many regulations, enforced by various agencies, governing the importation of animals and animal parts. Failure to comply with them could result in time-consuming delays in clearing your trophy through CBP. You should always call for guidance before you depart.

Gold coins, medals and bullion, formerly prohibited, may be brought into the United States. However, under regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, such items originating in or brought from Cuba, Iran, Burma (Myanmar) and most of Sudan are prohibited entry. Copies of gold coins are prohibited if not properly marked by country of issuance.

Haitian goat hide drums have been previously linked to a case of cutaneous anthrax, and the CDC restricts entry of animal hide drums from Haiti if they have not been processed in a way that renders them non-infectious. Travelers should be aware that untanned animal hide drums from Africa may pose a similar but low risk for cutaneous anthrax.

Meats, Livestock and Poultry: The regulations governing meat and meat products are stringent. You may not import fresh, dried or canned meats or meat products from most foreign countries into the United States. Also, you may not import food products that have been prepared with meat.

The regulations on importing meat and meat products change frequently because they are based on disease outbreaks in different areas of the world. APHIS, which regulates meats and meat products as well as fruits and vegetables, invites you to contact them for more information on importing meats. A list of countries and/or regions with specific livestock or poultry diseases can be found at the Animal Disease Status page.

Rule of thumb: When you go abroad, take the medicines you will need, no more, no less. Narcotics and certain other drugs with a high potential for abuse - Rohypnol, GHB and Fen-Phen, to name a few - may not be brought into the United States, and there are severe penalties for trying to do so. If you need medicines that contain potentially addictive drugs or narcotics (e.g., some cough medicines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, antidepressants or stimulants), do the following:

  • Declare all drugs, medicinals, and similar products to the appropriate CBP official;
  • Carry such substances in their original containers;
  • Carry only the quantity of such substances that a person with that condition (e.g., chronic pain) would normally carry for his/her personal use; and
  • Carry a prescription or written statement from your physician that the substances are being used under a doctor's supervision and that they are necessary for your physical well being while traveling.

U.S. residents entering the United States at international land borders who are carrying a validly obtained controlled substance (other than narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD), are subject to certain additional requirements. If a U.S. resident wants to bring in a controlled substance (other than narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or LSD) but does not have a prescription for the substance issued by a U.S.-licensed practitioner (e.g., physician, dentist, etc.) who is registered with, and authorized by, the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe the medication, the individual may not import more than 50 dosage units of the medication into the United States. If the U.S. resident has a prescription for the controlled substance issued by a DEA registrant, more than 50 dosage units may be imported by that person, provided all other legal requirements are met.

Please note that only medications that can be legally prescribed in the United States may be imported for personal use. Be aware that possession of certain substances may also violate state laws. As a general rule, the FDA does not allow the importation of prescription drugs that were purchased outside the United States. Please see their Web site for information about the enforcement policy for personal use quantities.

(Video) Prohibited Items in the Airplane (NOT Allowed to Pack)

Warning: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibits the importation, by mail or in person, of fraudulent prescription and nonprescription drugs and medical devices. These include unorthodox "cures" for such medical conditions as cancer, AIDS, arthritis or multiple sclerosis. Although such drugs or devices may be legal elsewhere, if the FDA has not approved them for use in the United States, they may not legally enter the country and will be confiscated, even if they were obtained under a foreign physician's prescription.

Additional information about traveling with and importing medication can be found at the FDA's Drugs page.

The FDA is responsible for pharmaceutical admissibility determinations. If you have any questions as to whether a specific pharmaceutical may be imported into the United States, please contact the FDA, Division of Import Operations and Policy, at (301) 796-0356.

If you have any questions regarding the importation of a controlled substance into the United States, please contact the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control, International Drug Unit, at (202) 305-8800.

Generally, you may not bring in any merchandise from Cuba, Iran, Burma (Myanmar) or most of Sudan. The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury enforces economic sanctions against these countries. To bring in merchandise from these countries, you will first need a specific license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. Such licenses are rarely granted. You can write to the:

Office of Foreign Assets Control
Department of the Treasury
Washington, DC 20220

These regulations do change from time to time, so it is suggested that you contact the Office of Foreign Assets Control before traveling to these countries to determine what may or may not be brought back.


  • You may, however, bring from any of these countries information and informational materials - books, magazines, films, posters, photographs, microfilms, tapes, CDs, records, works of art, etc. Blank tapes and blank CDs are not informational materials.

    Gifts of up to $100 (U.S.) in value.

  • Household and personal effects, of persons arriving in the United States that were actually used abroad by the importer or by other family members arriving from the same foreign household, that are not intended for any other person or for sale, and that are not otherwise prohibited from importation, and

  • Accompanied baggage from personal use normally incident to travel.

  • Allowed importations of merchandise from Sudan include gifts of up to $100 (U.S.) in value.

  • Importations of merchandise from Sudan are generally allowed if acquired directly from these parts of Sudan: Southern Sudan, Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains State, Blue Nile State, Abyei, Darfur, and certain marginalized areas in and around Khartoum. (Note that such merchandise may not be commercially shipped through Khartoum, Port Sudan or other areas of Sudan that remain subject to sanctions.)

  • There are non-comprehensive embargo programs administered by Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control with respect to the following regions, countries or entities: Western Balkans; Belarus, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq (for cultural property), Liberia (Former Regime of Charles Taylor), Sierra Leone, Syria, Zimbabwe, and Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or its Democratic Processes and Institutions.

OFAC also administers programs that target individuals and entities wherever they are located. Those programs currently relate to foreign narcotics traffickers, foreign terrorists, and Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferators. See OFAC's Website for a list of those persons and entities.

There are some travel restrictions with respect to certain embargoed countries. You should check the Sanctions Programs page to determine which countries are subject to travel restrictions before making any plans to visit these countries

If you plan to take your pet abroad or import one on your return, please review a copy of the CBP brochure Pets and Wildlife. You should also check with state, county and local authorities to learn if their restrictions and prohibitions on pets are stricter than federal requirements.

Importing animals is closely regulated for public health reasons and also for the well-being of the animals. There are restrictions and prohibitions on bringing many species into the United States.

Cats are subject to inspection at ports of entry and may be denied entry into the United States if they have evidence of an infectious disease that can be transmitted to humans. If a cat appears to be ill, further examination by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense might be required at the port of entry.

Cats are not required to have proof of rabies vaccination for importation into the United States. However, some states require vaccination of cats for rabies, so it is a good idea to check with state and local health authorities at your final destination.

All pet cats arriving in the state of Hawaii and the territory of Guam, even from the U.S. mainland, are subject to locally imposed quarantine requirements.

Dogs must also be free of evidence of diseases that could be communicable to humans. A general certificate of health is not required by CDC for entry of pet dogs into the United States, although some airlines or states may require them. Dogs must have a certificate showing they have been vaccinated against rabies greater than or equal to 30 days prior to entry into the United States. This certificate should identify the dog, show the date of vaccination, the date it expires (there are one-year and three-year vaccinations), and be signed by a licensed veterinarian. If the certificate does not have an expiration date, CBP will accept it as long as the dog was vaccinated 12 months or less before coming to the United States. Dogs coming from rabies free countries do not have to be vaccinated.

These requirements apply equally to service animals such as Seeing Eye dogs.

If your pet does not meet CDC's entry requirements as described above, contact CDC at CDCAnimalImports@cdc.govto discuss your particular situation.

Birds may be imported as pets as long as you comply with APHIS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife requirements.

Advisory: Until further notice, there is a temporary ban on the importation of pet birds from countries/ regions affected with highly pathogenic Avian influenza subtype H5NI. See the Animal and Animal Product Import Information page for more information.

All non-U.S. origin pet birds imported into the United States (except from Canada) are required to be quarantined for 30 days in a USDA animal import quarantine facility at the owner's expense. A reservation at the facility must be made in advance by contacting the USDA port veterinarian at one of the special ports of entry listed below. A cost estimate for the quarantine will be provided at that time. Once the reservation is made and payment is received in full for all quarantine services, the animal import quarantine facility will issue a USDA import permit (VS Form17-129). This permit must accompany the bird while in transit.

The USDA defines pet birds as those that are imported for personal pleasure of their individual owners and are not intended for resale.

Document and Quarantine Requirements:

(Video) UPS Restricted & Prohibited Items

  • USDA import permit (VS Form17-129);
  • Current Health Certificate issued by a full-time salaried veterinarian of the agency responsible for animal health of the national government in the exporting country of origin;
  • 30-day Quarantine in an USDA Animal Import Center; and
  • Fish and Wildlife Services Certification (if necessary).

USDA Quarantine Centers and Ports of Entry

All non-U.S. origin pet birds must enter the country and undergo quarantine at one of the following import quarantine facilities.

These are the only ports of entry available for importing non-U.S. origin pet birds.

New York Animal Import Center (NYAIC)
230-59 Rockaway Blvd., Suite 101
Jamaica, NY 11413
Telephone: (718) 553-3570
Fax: (718) 553-3572
Port of Entry: JFK International Airport

Miami Animal Import Center
6300 NW 36 Street
Miami, FL 33122
Telephone: (305) 876-2200
Fax: (305) 876-2201

Port of Entry:Miami International Airport

The 30 day quarantine period officially begins when your pet bird arrives at the quarantine facility.

For additional information visit the APHIS Animal Health page.

Other common pets such as rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs may be imported if they are in good health. The importation of reptiles and invertebrates is restricted; please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for additional guidance. Most species of snails are not admissible. Contact APHIS for additional information. All civets, African rodents and nonhuman primates are prohibited except for science, education and exhibition. These species cannot be imported as pets. Refer to the CDC's Traveling with Pets, Importation of Animals and Animal Products into the United States page for more information.

CBP will not examine film you bought abroad and are bringing back unless the CBP officer has reason to believe it contains prohibited material, such as child pornography.

You will not be charged duty on film bought in the United States and exposed abroad, whether it is developed or not. But film you bought and developed abroad counts as a dutiable item.

Some plants, cuttings, seeds that are capable of propagation, unprocessed plant products and certain endangered species are allowed into the United States but require import permits and other documents; some are prohibited entirely. Threatened or endangered species that are permitted must have export permits from the country of origin.

Every single plant or plant product including handicraft items made with straw, must be declared to the CBP officer and must be presented for CBP inspection, no matter how free of pests it appears to be. For information on importing plants or plant products visit the Plant, Organism and Soil Permits page.

Soil is considered the loose surface material of the earth in which plants, trees, and scrubs grow. In most cases, the soil consists of disintegrated rock with an admixture of organic material and soluble salts. Soil is prohibited entry unless accompanied by an import permit. Soil must be declared and the permit must be verified.

In general, there is no limit to how much fabric and clothing you can bring back as long as it is for your personal use or as gifts. If you have exceeded your personal exemption, you may have to pay duty on the items. Unaccompanied personal shipments (packages that are mailed or shipped), however, may be subject to limitations on amount.

On January 1, 2005, quotas for all countries that are part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) were eliminated. There are still some countries, like Vietnam, that are not part of the WTO that have quotas in place for commercial shipments. These countries may require an additional document called a "visa" accompany the shipment.

China could have limits on particular garments called "safeguards." It is recommended that you contact a CBP import specialist in your area or at the port where you plan to import to determine what countries are subject to quotas and what products from China are subject to safeguards.

There may be additional documentation required for textiles from other countries such as the African countries that require a visa to be placed on a commercial invoice in order to get duty-free treatment. There may also be a certificate of eligibility document requirement to get duty-free treatment under many of the free trade agreements that are negotiated between the United States and the foreign government. These are not admissibility documents, but allow you to import your garments duty-free, provided certain conditions are met.

CBP enforces laws relating to the protection of trademarks and copyrights. Articles that infringe a federally registered trademark or copyright or copyright protected by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works are subject to detention and/ or seizure. Infringing articles may consist of articles that use a protected right without the authorization of the trademark or copyright owner or articles that copy or simulate a protected right.

Articles bearing marks that are counterfeit or inappropriately using a federally registered trademark are subject to seizure and forfeiture. The importation of articles intended for sale or public distribution bearing counterfeit marks may subject an individual to a civil fine if the registered trademark has also been recorded with CBP. Articles bearing marks that are confusingly similar to a CBP recorded registered trademark, and restricted gray market articles (goods bearing genuine marks not intended for U.S. importation for which CBP granted gray market protection) are subject to detention and seizure.

However, travelers arriving in the United States may be permitted an exemption and allowed to import one article of each type, which must accompany the person, bearing a counterfeit, confusingly similar or restricted gray market trademark, provided that the article is for personal use and is not for sale.

This exemption may be granted not more than once every 30 days. The arriving passenger may retain one article of each type accompanying the person. For example, an arriving person who has three purses, whether each bears a different infringing trademark, or whether all three bear the same infringing trademark, is permitted only one purse. If the article imported under the personal exemption provision is sold within one year after the date of importation, the article or its value is subject to forfeiture.

In regard to copyright infringement, articles that are determined by CBP to be clearly piratical of a protected copyright, i.e., unauthorized articles that are substantially similar to a material protected by a copyright, are subject to seizure. A personal use exemption for articles, similar to that described above also applies to copyrighted articles for the personal, non-commercial use of the importer and are not for sale or distribution.

You may bring back genuine trademarked and copyrighted articles (subject to duties). Products subject to copyright protection most commonly imported include software on CD-ROMs, sound recordings, toys, stuffed animals, clothing with cartoon characters, videotapes, DVDs, music CDs and books. Products subject to trademark protection most commonly imported include handbags and accessories, and clothing.

(Video) #TalkTax Prohibited and Restricted Imports


What does prohibited and restricted items mean? ›

Examples of prohibited items are dangerous toys, cars that don't protect their occupants in a crash, bush meat, or illegal substances like absinthe and Rohypnol. Restricted means that special licenses or permits are required from a federal agency before the item is allowed to enter the United States.

What is a prohibited item? ›

prohibited item means any good or material the carriage of which is prohibited by any law, rule and or regulation a country from or to which the postal item (s) are being delivered.

Can I send a knife in the post? ›

Sharp objects like knives*, kitchen utensils and gardening tools may only be posted if they are packaged appropriately so that they are no risk to employees, other postal items or recipients.

Can you send Vapes with Royal Mail? ›

UK & International destinations - Allowed in the mail, with restrictions and packaging guidelines below: Each package must contain no more than two assembled e-cigarettes and should be securely packed to prevent movement in the outer packaging.

What is restricted example? ›

The definition of restricted is something that is contained or limited in some way. When you are allowed to only go as far as your front yard, this is an example of a time when you are restricted.

What are the examples of restricted goods? ›

Prohibited goods
  • Narcotics and habit-forming drugs.
  • Poisons and toxic substances.
  • Certain types of firearms, military weapons.
  • Certain types of explosives and fireworks.
  • Cigarettes (over a specific mass)
  • Counterfeit goods.
  • Illegal reproductions of copyrighted works.
  • Goods manufactured in prisons.

What goods are prohibited or restricted? ›

Prohibitions and restrictions
  • domestic cats or dogs.
  • illegal or dangerous drugs.
  • indecent or obscene goods.
  • certain foodstuffs, mainly meat, milk, fish or products thereof.
  • products of endangered species.
  • protected items of international heritage.
  • medicines.
  • firearms, weapons, fireworks or explosives.

What is difference between restricted and prohibited? ›

What's the difference between prohibited and restricted goods? While forbidden – in this case prohibited – goods are not tradable under any circumstances, restricted items are importable under certain conditions with the necessary approvals from the relevant CA.

What is an example of a prohibited act? ›

For example, the federal Controlled Substances Act defines prohibited acts as knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, distributing or dispensing a controlled substance or counterfeit substance, or possessing such a substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense it.

What happens if you send prohibited items? ›

In some cases, the courier services simply take the prohibited items out of the package and continue with the delivery process. They might also ship these items back to the sender. The courier service confiscates the items. In this case, they will likely destroy the package.

Does Royal Mail XRAY parcels? ›

Q: Do Royal Mail X-Ray scan the post? The Royal Mail X-Ray scan post being sent abroad via airmail but they do not scan internal mail before it is delivered to your address. This is not to scare but due to the volumes of mail with the post office this would be a nearly impossible task.

Can I send toothpaste in the post? ›

Liquids, pastes and gels (excluding flammable ones e.g. nail varnish and perfume) such as shower gel, non flammable makeup and toothpaste can be sent on all our standard services (not express), UK Domestic & USA Domestic services. Please ensure there is no possibility of liquids leaking.

How do I send my friend a vape? ›

How to Ship E-Cigarettes and Vape Cartridges
  1. Place the Items in the Original Box. E-cigarettes and vapes come in boxes that are especially designed to suit these devices. ...
  2. Seal the Original Box. ...
  3. Place the Item in Another Box. ...
  4. Provide Internal Cushioning. ...
  5. Seal the Main Shipping Box. ...
  6. Weigh Your Package. ...
  7. Attach Shipping Label.
23 Dec 2019

Do you have to declare vapes at Customs? ›

No, you do not have to declare your electronic cigarette or vape. However, you should remove it from your carry-on and comply with the liquids rule if needed.

Can I mail vape pens? ›

USPS Officially Prohibits Shippers to Send Vapes and E-Cigarettes through its Network. On October 21, 2021, USPS issued a final ruling that prohibits individuals and small businesses from sending vapes through the mail. This ruling also applies to electronic cigarettes and other battery-powered nicotine products.

What does Restricted mean? ›

A restriction is an official rule that limits what you can do or that limits the amount or size of something.

What are restricted words? ›

Define a list of words that, when detected in Distributed Marketing rich or plain text areas, automatically disable sending through Distributed Marketing.

What are the restricted activities? ›

Restricted Activities (RAs) are high risk health services that require additional education, skills, and often, supervision. These activities are outlined in the Licensed Practical Nurses Profession Regulation (LPN Regulation).

What are prohibited goods customs? ›

The expression " Prohibited Goods" is defined in Section 2(33) of the Customs Act, 1962 to mean "any goods, the import or export of which is subject to any prohibition under the Customs Act or any other law for the time being in force, but it does not include any such goods in respect of which, the conditions subject ...

What is a restricted good? ›

These are goods, whose importation require a permit issued by a Regulatory Authority or are subject to quantitative restrictions.

What are the 3 trade restrictions? ›

There are three types of trade barriers: Tariffs, Non-Tariffs, and Quotas. Tariffs are taxes that are imposed by the government on imported goods or services. Meanwhile, non-tariffs are barriers that restrict trade through measures other than the direct imposition of tariffs.

What is a ban or restriction placed on goods from a specific country? ›

An embargo is a government restriction placed on the importation or export of goods, services, or currency to another state. Embargoes are most often directed at a state, a country, or a group of countries. Embargoes can take several forms, such as political, trade, and those that are environmental in nature.

Why are goods prohibited? ›

Prohibited goods are those goods for which importation and exportation have been completely banned for reasons linked to health, environment, protection of endangered species of flora and fauna, security, legislation etc. These items shall be liable to forfeiture by customs and the person may be liable to a penalty.

What does restricted material mean? ›

Restricted materials are pesticides deemed to have a higher potential to cause harm to public health, farm workers, domestic animals, honeybees, the environment, wildlife, or other crops compared to other pesticides.

What do you mean by prohibited action? ›

Prohibited Action means any one or more of a Coercive Action, Collusive Action Corrupt Action, Fraudulent Action or Obstructive Action.

What is prohibited by law? ›

If a law or someone in authority prohibits something, they forbid it or make it illegal. [formal]

Does customs scan every package? ›

Does customs check every package? The short answer is yes. Customs checks all inbound international packages and mail. During this process, a customs officer in the country you're shipping to will review the package to make sure it meets the country's laws, regulations and policies.

What items are prohibited to ship? ›

Prohibited and Restricted Items for U.S. Import/Export
  • Alcoholic beverages*
  • Animal products, non-domesticated (e.g. mother of pearl inlay, snakeskin watchband)
  • Articles of unusual value.
  • Biological substances, Category B and exempt human or animal specimens.
  • Dangerous goods.
  • Electronic cigarettes.
  • Firearms and weapons.
  • Furs.

Does DHL check packages for drugs? ›

Yes they do drug test before the hiring process.

Do packages get checked for drugs? ›

Illegal to Send Drugs Through the Mail

Postal inspectors can screen packages to check for drugs like marijuana and other substances. Some people may attempt to send drugs through the mail because they believe the Fourth Amendment protects them from having their packages searched.

Does Royal Mail scan for drugs? ›

Yes. With sniffer dogs, and various machines that can detect a wide range of illegal substances. Also there is a duty for anyone working in Royal Mail that if they suspect drugs (or any illegal item) is contained in any package (or letter) they must alert the authorities.

Can the Post Office see what's in your package? ›

The Postal Service's goal is to scan all barcoded mailpieces (flats, letters, and packages) that enter the mailstream and track those items with additional scans up to the point of delivery. Scanning accuracy is critically important to the success of real-time visibility.

Can you post deodorant? ›

(Including deodorants, body sprays, hairsprays, shaving and hair removal creams and medicinal aerosols for prevention or cure such as flea sprays) Packaging guidelines: Valves must be protected to prevent inadvertent release of the contents. Volume per item must not exceed 500ml.

Can I send tea bags? ›

Make sure that things like teabags are in unopened packs and you should be fine.

Can you send hand sanitizer through the post? ›

Hand Sanitisers are classified as dangerous goods and must be transported in accordance with the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods (ADG Code).

Do vapes give second hand? ›

There's evidence that nonsmokers exposed to secondhand vape aerosol absorb similar levels of nicotine as people exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke. Along with nicotine, nonvapers are also exposed to ultrafine particles from secondhand vape aerosol, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Can you catch second hand vape? ›

Secondhand vape exposure was associated with increased risk of bronchitic symptoms and shortness of breath in young adults, even after accounting for active smoking and vaping.

Can Airports See vapes? ›

There should be no need to worry as it's perfectly legal to bring a vape through airport security, and it's unlikely that the TSA will ask you to take it out of your carry-on luggage. It is possible that you will be asked to remove the device to be scanned, but there is no need to worry.

How do you hide a vape through airport security? ›

Just leave it in your purse. You don't have to take it out. You can carry it on no problem, just whatever you do don't put it in your checked luggage. I travel about 3 times a week and just keep it in my purse, not once has security pulled it out and asked what it was.

Do Airports take away vapes? ›

Electronic smoking devices are allowed only in carry-on baggage. Passengers are required to take effective measures for preventing accidental activation of the heating element of the device when transporting the devices. See the FAA regulations for examples of effective measures.

Will FedEx ship vape products? ›

We prohibit the shipping of tobacco and tobacco products.

Even if you have proper licenses and are authorized to ship tobacco products, we will be unable to accept your shipment. Tobacco and all tobacco products cannot be accepted at any FedEx or FedEx Office location.

Will UPS ship vape products? ›

UPS prohibits the shipment of all Vaping Products (as defined below) throughout its U.S. domestic network, including import and export, regardless of nicotine content and destination state.

How do you ship vapes 2022? ›

Unless you were to go via the vape-approved shipping services, you won't be able to simply mail a vape to your friend via the postal service. This PACT Act prohibits that from being possible and so it's better to order online via vape businesses that can ship them legally to your friend's address.

What happens if you ship a restricted item? ›

In some cases, the courier services simply take the prohibited items out of the package and continue with the delivery process. They might also ship these items back to the sender. The courier service confiscates the items. In this case, they will likely destroy the package.

What does restricted to use mean? ›

Related Definitions

Restricted use means that a limit or control has been placed on future use of the facility and the facility is no longer under the control of the licensee, registrant, of holder of the record of possession.

What is restricted items for international trade? ›

Some of the items presently under restriction include live animals, including fish, planting material (seeds), Peas (Pisumsativum) including Yellow peas, Green peas, Dun Peas and Kaspa, melon seeds, stones, metal waste, radioactive material, psychotropic drugs, ozone depleting substances, arms and ammunition, bio-fuels ...

How do you know if a chemical is restricted use? ›

RUPs require an RUP statement enclosed in a box, at the top of the front panel of the label. DUE TO (reason for restricted use classification) For retail sale to and use only by Certified Applicators or persons under their direct supervision and only for those uses covered by the Certified Applicator's certification.

What is considered a restricted use pesticide? ›

Restricted use pesticides or "RUP" are pesticides not available to the general public in the United States. The "Restricted Use" classification restricts a product, or its uses, to use by a certificated pesticide applicator or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.

Does USPS xray all packages? ›

Is Mail X-Rayed? Some of the mail that is sent through the United States Postal Service will pass through an X-Ray machine. There are no specific guidelines as to what may or may not be x-rayed, though mail sent to or through larger cities is likely to pass through an X-Ray machine.

Does Customs scan every package? ›

Does customs check every package? The short answer is yes. Customs checks all inbound international packages and mail. During this process, a customs officer in the country you're shipping to will review the package to make sure it meets the country's laws, regulations and policies.


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