At El Paso area ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and CBP Agriculture Specialists made nine agricultural seizures. Violators were fined a total of $2,400 and had the prohibited items seized. Those seizures included peppers and tomatoes, which have been banned from entry since November 2019, and reminded travelers through a statement that they must not cross the U.S. border.
CBP makes inspections of imported tomatoes, peppers and seed lots entering the United States. All to prevent the brown tomato rugged fruit virus from entering the country and to protect the multi-billion dollar tomato and bell pepper production industry. This virus can cause serious fruit loss in tomatoes and peppers. It spreads easily through the use of contaminated tools, hands and plant-to-plant contact.
Travelers are reminded to declare all items they are importing. If CBP determines that an item is prohibited, the materials can usually be abandoned without consequences.
CBP El Paso's Director of Field Operations, Héctor A. Mancha, commented:
Homeland security is the primary mission, yet inspections by CBP officials identify a wide variety of violations every day.
In addition to tomatoes and peppers, these are other items that are also prohibited from entering the United States:
Counterfeit trademark items or improper use of a federally registered trademark.
Fresh, dried or canned meats or meat products. As well as food products that have been prepared with meat. Also, no bushmeat or dishes such as broth and soup mixes are allowed. Also rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, because they can bring pests.
Narcotics and certain other drugs with a high potential for abuse (Rohypnol, GHB and Phen-Phen, to name a few).
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the importation of prescription drugs that were purchased outside the United States.
Some plants, such as orchids or cacti, require a permit to enter the United States. Invasive plants are completely prohibited.
"It is forbidden to buy a monkey abroad to keep as a pet". Most primate species are protected and the United States prohibits their importation.
Several types of ivory are not allowed to enter: Asian and African elephants, whales, rhinos or seals, as they are considered endangered species.
Others that are not allowed to be introduced are: parrots, macaws, cockatoos, finches; snakehead fish, catfish, crabs, brown tree snakes, brushtail possums, rodents and African hedgehogs because they can transport diseases.
Products created with animals:
"It is illegal in the United States to import, export, distribute, transport, manufacture or sell products containing cat or dog fur in the United States"
Also prohibited is the entry of traditional Asian clothing, accessories, or medicines made from animals such as tiger, jaguar, leopard, ocelot, margay, leopard cat, seal, polar bear, and sea otter.
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