USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits or restricts the movement of many agricultural products from Hawaii 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, and lead to expensive eradication efforts, lost trade revenue, and higher food prices.
To prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases, APHIS inspects all passenger bags moving from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, Alaska, and Guam. APHIS officials perform the inspection at the airport prior to your departure.
Please be prepared to open and close your own bags. Do not tape coolers and boxes closed until after inspection. If you have any fresh fruits or vegetables, plants, flowers, souvenirs made from plants or wood, or other agricultural products with you, please tell the inspector. Failure to declare these items can result in delays and possible issuance of civil penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation.
If you wish to ship or mail agricultural items to the U.S. mainland and Alaska, they must be inspected and/or certified by APHIS before you take them to an airline cargo office, the post office, or other courier service.
Shipping or mailing most fresh fruits and vegetables from Hawaii directly or through Alaska or Guam to the continental United States is prohibited due to the risk of introducing certain invasive plant pests and diseases.
However, there are a few exceptions. Fresh pineapple and coconut are permitted after inspection. Fresh papaya, abiu, atemoya, banana, curry leaf, dragon fruit, longan, lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, starfruit, and sweet potato are permitted, but must be treated at a USDA-approved facility and packed in boxes that are properly marked and stamped.
Shipping or mailing processed fruits and vegetables is allowed. Processing methods include cooking, drying, or freezing. If freezing, all fruits must be frozen solid at the time of inspection. Frozen mango must be without seeds.
Please contact APHIS for more information about approved processing methods. Telephone numbers for local APHIS offices in Hawaii are provided below.
Common Items from Hawaii Allowed into the U.S. Mainland, Alaska, and Guam After Inspection:
* Note: These fruits must be treated at a USDA-approved facility and packed in boxes that are properly marked and stamped.
** Note: For certifying rooted plant material, contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Additional Items from Hawaii Allowed into Guam:
For more information, please visit APHIS’ Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/travel.