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ekscrunchy Feb 8th, 2006 11:12 AM

That link says "MOST countries." So there are some whose products would seem to be allowed. But it seems this info is hiding someplace!!! One thing I have always been puzzled about is this: Stores in the US are allowed to sell meat products such as proscuitto and mortadella, as well as many Italian (pasturized) cheeses. So one would think that this means that these things are ok to bring into the US, no? Spanish jamon Iberico, on the other hand, is not sold here in the US (yet); a friend of mine was caught with a whole ham in her bag last year!! The customs guys told her that they catch a few a day in NY. No fine last year, just confiscation which really hurt after all that schlepping! Does anyone know what the fines are in dollar amounts, more or less? Are we talking $20? Or thousands. How would they determine this? thank goodness for all the knowledgeable posters here as this info is not easy to find on those official sites.

StCirq Feb 8th, 2006 11:16 AM

I think it's the luck of the draw and the Ag rep you happen to get on any particular day. I always declare all my food, and I always bring back foie gras and sometimes cheese. Only time I've had the foie gras confiscated was when it was in a tin without an official label (it was from my neighbor and had a big old truffle in it - waaaaaahh!). Never had a problem with cheese...

richardab Feb 8th, 2006 11:16 AM

I would avoid bring in any meat products at all. Just because its tinned doesn't mean its legal. As recommended above, don't try to hide it because in most cases you luggage is Xrayed at point of entry to fing these lovely foie gras, sausages and pates! I had a friend who took some sausage from Italy on the jet home to eat. They didn't finish it and stuffed it into one of their bags. They didn't remember it when they hot customs and once the agents located it, they were heavily fined and their leftovers were taken away.

Hide an extra bottle of perfume or wine, they don't care about that. Don't hide the meat or fruit.

Gretchen Feb 8th, 2006 11:18 AM

Your sausage is JUST NOT allowed. Doesn't matter if it was processed within an inch of its life--not allowed. Tinned meats CAN be brought back. What can I say except they don't EVEN look at the tins of foie gras and confit I bring back. I am speaking of France in all this.
When the poster speaks of two years ago having things confiscated, that was when the US and France got into a snit with each other and foie gras, etc. WAS prohibited. That ban has been lifted.

alohatoall Feb 8th, 2006 11:38 AM

First, Gretchen, I'm not talking about the snit of 2 years ago - I know that's changed, but my friend's foie gras was just recently confiscated, on the basis that it was a prohibited meat product. Okay, I have found the Manual: France's status is in Appendix C. Now we just have to figure out the details.

ekscrunchy Feb 8th, 2006 12:03 PM

Again, does anyone know what the fines are, more or less? They may screen the bags, but how can they tell on the screen if the cans are filled with tuna or with cassoulet? Are there airports where they will search you if they see a can in your suitcase?? I had no idea!

richardab Feb 8th, 2006 12:07 PM

The fines are $100 - $500. It doesnt matter whats in the tin, if they see it on the Xray, you will have to show it. These guys are serious and know their stuff.

alohatoall Feb 8th, 2006 12:25 PM

Based on the Manual and its Matrix in Appendix A, cooked (defined on A-1-3) poultry products from France are admissible with adequate proof of origin, which includes labeling. It seems that all other meat products from France are prohibited. Other opinions???

Gretchen Feb 8th, 2006 12:32 PM

The point is about fines, you are not fined if you have declared the item. It is only fined for "smuggling". I'm done. I have brought it back repeatedly with no confiscation. It is TINNED.

Christina Feb 8th, 2006 01:43 PM

This isn't an opinion, because I have brought foie gras from France to US with absolutely no problem whatsoever. It is not prohibited. I declare it, I don't try to smuggle things in. This was in a tin. This was just last summer.

Why are all you people trying to not declare things and sneak them in and worrying about Xrays? Even if you aren't caught, is this really so important to you that you will risk getting in trouble with the customs/Agriculture people at the airport?

Michael Feb 8th, 2006 02:03 PM


I am the one who had goose neck (tinned) confiscated two years ago, but the foie gras passed on the same day. Maybe the rules have changed, but it used to be that anything with pork products was not allowed.


They pass your luggage through a machine, and if they see something like a can, they dig it out of the luggage to see what it is.

alohatoall Feb 8th, 2006 02:43 PM

The point of starting this thread was to be able to point a Customs or USDA/APHIS inspector to the correct regulation/rule IF he tries to confiscate my foie gras, since it has recently happened to a friend. I for one am certainly going to declare everything I bring back - I think you're crazy not to. And Michael, the Matrix I linked above still prohibits the importation of pork products from France. I wish someone would take a look at it and see if they read it the same way I do.

Underhill Feb 8th, 2006 03:50 PM

On the re-entry form you get on the plane you must enter any agricultural and animal products in your possession. Anything that contains mean will be confiscated; foie gras is usually okay, as it comes from poultry.

Pâté does not always contain pork fat; some is made with chicken liver, some with pheasant, some with boar (no longer allowed).

Since cassoulet usually contains sausage, you probably won't be allowed to bring it in.

richardab Feb 8th, 2006 04:50 PM

So why take the chance? It's not easy to argue with a customs officer.

Gretchen Feb 8th, 2006 07:03 PM

OK. IF it is in your luggage and you have declared it, they MAY look at it. They have ONLY looked at my tinned foie gras during the hoof and mouth time. DECLARE it, for heavens' sake. The OP "may" have an additional issue since he is in Hawaii, I'd guess. I have brought back tinned confit. And pate.

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