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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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Mailing and Shipping Food and Agricultural Products from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland

APHIS Agriculture Inspection Notice
Plant Protection and Quarantine
July 2017

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.

All agricultural items, including fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, flowers, and crafts made from plants or wood, must be inspected by APHIS and found to be pest free before you take your package to an airline cargo office, the post office, or other courier service. People who illegally send prohibited agricultural items through the mail may be subject to criminal or civil penalties.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Shipping or mailing most fresh fruits and vegetables from Hawaii 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 sealed 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 After Inspection:

  • Beach sand
  • Coconuts
  • Commercially canned foods
  • Dried seeds and decorative arrangements
  • Fresh flowers, leis, and foliage (except any citrus or citrus-related flowers, leaves, or other plant parts, as well as jade vine or Mauna Loa)        
  • Hinahina (Spanish moss)
  • Irish or white potatoes
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Treated fruit, such as papaya, abiu, atemoya, banana, curry leaf, dragon fruit, longan, lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, starfruit, and sweet potato*
  • Plants and cuttings**
  • Rocks and stones­­­
  • Seashells, not land snail shells
  • Seed leis and seed jewelry
  • Wood (including driftwood and sticks) and wood roses (dried)

* 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.

Common Items From Hawaii Not Allowed into the U.S. Mainland:

Fresh fruits and vegetables, except for those listed above as permitted
  • Berries of any kind, including fresh coffee berries and sea grapes
  • Cactus plants or cactus plant parts
  • Cotton plant parts, including cotton bolls
  • Fresh flowers of jade vine and Mauna Loa
  • Kikania and fresh screwpine (pandanus) fruit
  • Live insects and snails
  • Seeds with fruit clinging and fresh seed pods
  • Soil or any plants in soil
  • Sugarcane
  • Swamp cabbage (unchoy)
  • Sweet potato (raw)
  • Mock orange

This information is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information, contact your local APHIS office:

  • Honolulu          (808) 834-3220  
  • Kona                (808) 326-1252
  • Kauai               (808) 632-2511
  • Hilo                 (808) 933-6930
  • Maui                (808) 877-5261  

For information on how to certify plants and cuttings, contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture:

  • Honolulu          (808) 832-0566
  • Hilo                  (808) 974-4141
  • Kauai               (808) 241-7135
  • Maui                (808) 872-3848
  • Kona                (808) 326-1077

For more information, please visit APHIS’ Web site at www.aphis.usda.gov/travel.

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