Travelers entering the United States must declare all agricultural products on their U.S. Customs forms. U.S. agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements and do not harbor harmful foreign pests or diseases. U.S. inspectors have the authority to make a final determination about whether your products can enter the country. We recommend that you keep receipts and original packaging of agricultural products as proof of their country of origin.
As long as you declare all the agricultural products you are bringing with you, you will not face any penalties—even if an inspector determines that they cannot enter the country.
Scroll down for more information on how to declare items at Customs.
USDA’s requirements for the entry of coffee/coffee beans carried by a traveler differ according to the specific form of the product and location of the port of entry:
Products traveler CAN bring if commercially packaged/prepared (declare all at entry)
RESTRICTED or PROHIBITED products containing herbal ingredients
USDA regulates only honey and beeswax that is being imported for use as feed for bees in apiaries. Generally, travelers can bring in comb honey, royal jelly, bee bread, or propolis if it is intended for personal consumption.
For more information, contact the Food and Drug Administration Center’s for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at (888) 463-6332.
Nuts are allowed entry if they have been boiled, cooked, ground, oven dried, pureed, roasted, or steamed. For guidance on whether certain nuts prepared in other ways (for instance, raw, blanched, or in shells/husks) may enter and under which conditions, please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (Toll-Free) or by email at email@example.com.
Most dried spices can be imported except for orange, lemon, lime, and other citrus leaves and seeds, and many vegetable and fruit seeds. While not explicitly prohibited, we also advise against bringing lemongrass that is not part of a commercially packaged product into the United States. Lemongrass needs to be inspected for plant rusts, which could lead to Customs delays and possible seizure.
If you still have questions about whether a particular plant or plant products (fruits, vegetables, plant parts, seeds, soil, or souvenirs made from wood or plants) can be brought into the United States, please contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (toll-free) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.