U.S. Customs and Border Protection Reminds Travelers Certain Agricultural Items are Prohibited in the U.S.

(Live 5)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 1:45 PM CST
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SAN DIEGO, Cali. (KWTX) - The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reminding travelers to remember that certain agricultural items such as raw eggs and poultry from Mexico are prohibited from entry into the United States, and failure to declare these items may result in monetary penalties.

“There has been a large increase in the volume of prohibited food items, such as raw eggs and raw poultry meat, brought by travelers from Mexico.  We would like to remind the traveling public that federal agricultural regulations remain in effect,” said Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego.

The ongoing outbreak of bird flu is being blamed for increases in prices of eggs and poultry according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. The United States Department of Agriculture confirms that this outbreak has caused the loss of over 57 million birds, mainly chickens and turkeys, in the United States alone.

The USDA reports this is the deadliest bird flu outbreak in history, and while the current bird flu outbreak is believed to initially have been spread by wild birds, previous outbreaks of this and other avian diseases like Newcastle disease have been linked to human movement of birds and avian products. Even a soiled bird cage or used egg carton could potentially spread these diseases.

Reducing the outbreak’s impact is of paramount importance, and preventing the spread, including the prohibition of importing items that may spread the disease from other countries.

CBP encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items to a CBP officer upon arrival to avoid penalties.  

Travelers should not attempt to bring fruits, vegetables, or meats into the United States without first confirming they are permitted. Raw eggs and poultry from Mexico are prohibited and will be confiscated at the port.

In an article from CBS News, the number of incidents in which raw eggs were confiscated at U.S. borders jumped more than 100% during the final three months of 2022.

A report found that a 30-count carton of eggs in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico is $3.40.

In addition, travelers may bring permissible food items from Mexico through a passenger port of entry as long as the food items are for personal use only.

Food items imported for commercial purposes (intended for resale or distribution, and not personal use) need to be imported at a cargo facility.