Information for Travelers Coming to the U.S. Mainland from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Information for Travelers Coming to the U.S. Mainland from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits or restricts the entry of many agricultural products from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands into the U.S. mainland, including most fresh fruits and vegetables and certain types of plants and flowers. That’s because these items could harbor a dangerous stowaway—an invasive pest or disease. Just one piece of fruit or a single plant that is carrying an invasive pest or disease could cause millions of dollars in damage, expensive eradication efforts, lost trade revenue, and higher food prices. So, before you mail, ship, or carry any agricultural products into the U.S. mainland, please click on the links below to find out what’s allowed and what’s prohibited. For more information, please contact the APHIS offices in Puerto Rico at the numbers provided below.

Travelers: You must present all food, plants, and other agricultural items to the USDA inspector at the airport before you leave Puerto Rico or to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer before you leave the U.S. Virgin Islands. If your items are generally allowed, the inspector will check them to make sure they are free from pests and disease before you begin your trip to the U.S. mainland.

Agricultural Items from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ALLOWED into the Mainland (after inspection):

  • Allium spp. (includes onion, garlic, and chives)
  • Amaranth, Amaranthus spp. (leaf, stem)
  • Anise
  • Annona spp. (leaf)
  • Arracacia xanthorrhiza
  • Arrowroot
  • Artichoke, Jerusalem
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Balsam apple
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Banana (fruit, leaf without stalk or midrib)
  • Basil
  • Bay leaves, laurel
  • Beans, shelled (faba, lima, string)
  • Beans, in pods (faba, lima, string)—have geographic restrictions. For more information, please contact USDA’s offices using the telephone numbers listed below.
  • Beet
  • Bitter melon
  • Brassica oleracea (includes cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and collards)
  • Breadfruit, Artocarpus spp.
  • Breadnut
  • Cacao bean pod
  • Cannonball fruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrot
  • Cassava
  • Celery
  • Chamomile, Anthemis spp.
  • Chayote
  • Chervil
  • Chickory
  • Chinese waternut
  • Chrysanthemum spp. (leaf, stem)
  • Cilantro
  • Citrus, fresh fruit (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime)
  • Coconut (without husk)
  • Collard
  • Corn (on the cob only)
  • Cornsalad, Vallerianella spp.
  • Cucumber (includes Angola cucumber, Sicania odorata)
  • Cyperus corm
  • Dandelion greens (leaf, stem)
  • Dasheen, Colocasia, Caladium spp., and Xanthosoma spp.
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Ethrog (fruit)
  • False coriander
  • Fennel
  • Genip
  • Ginger root
  • Gourd
  • Guava (leaf)
  • Herbs (dried or cured)
  • Honeydew melon
  • Horseradish, Armoracia spp.
  • Indigo, Indigofera spp.
  • Jackfruit
  • Kale
  • Kudzu—if not seed, tuberous roots, or stems with node (must not be capable of propagation)
  • Lambsquarter
  • Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus
  • Leren
  • Lettuce
  • Lily bulb, edible
  • Lotus root
  • Maguey
  • Mangosteen
  • Marjoram, Origanum spp. (leaf, stem)
  • Mint, Mentha spp.
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard greens
  • Oregano, Origanum spp. (leaf, stem)
  • Palm heart
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Parsnip
  • Pepper
  • Peas, Pisum sativum (in pod or shelled)
  • Pineapple
  • Plantain (fruit, leaf without stalk or midrib)
  • Pokeweed greens (leaf, stem)
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Purslane
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Rosemary (leaf)
  • Rutabaga
  • St. John’s bread
  • Salsify
  • Savoy
  • Sorrel, Rumex spp.
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Stinking-toe (pod)
  • Strawberry
  • Sweet potato (leaf only)
  • Swiss chard
  • Tamarind bean pods
  • Taro, Colocasia and Caladium spp.
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Tomato
  • Truffle
  • Turnip
  • Vegetable marrow
  • Water chestnut
  • Watercress
  • Watermelon
  • Yam, Dioscorea spp.
  • Yautia (tanier), Xanthosoma spp.

Note: Commercially canned and thoroughly cooked foods are permitted. All permissible agricultural products are subject to inspection.    

  • Flowers (fresh, cut, or dried)
  • Plant cuttings and plants without soil
  • Eggs
  • Pet birds— Entry requirements vary depending on the origin of the bird. Please visit the APHIS Web site for details on the entry requirements for pet birds.
  • Insects (dried or preserved)
  • Snail shells (if empty and thoroughly cleaned)


Agricultural Items From Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands NOT ALLOWED into the Mainland:

  • Fruits (fresh)—all fruits are prohibited except those on the preceding list
  • Vegetables (fresh)—all vegetables are prohibited except those on preceding list
  • Pigeon Peas (fresh)
  • Sweet potato
  • Citrus leaves (fresh)
  • Cotton, cotton cuttings
  • Cactus
  • Citrus and citrus-related plants
  • Plants in soil
  • Handicrafts made from Palm fronds
  • Insects (live)
  • Seed cotton and cottonseed
  • Snails (land)
  • Seeds or nuts (pulpy)
  • Soil
  • Sugarcane

Additional Information

Lists are subject to change. For more information, call the USDA offices in Puerto Rico:

  • Aguada: (787) 986-7240
  • Aguadilla: (787) 931–7900
  • Carolina: (787) 710-7443 or (787) 710-7282
  • Ponce: (787) 709-4957
  • San Juan: (787) 919-0585
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