Customs in San Jose CR airport

Old Feb 10th, 2020, 03:30 AM
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Customs in San Jose CR airport

Hi we are leaving to Costa Rica next week. Online I have seen that you canít bring in fruits vegetables which I expected. I do not see anything saying you can not bring in cooked meat or chicken or cheese ( from the USA) but yesterday a friend flew into Liberia and had her cheese taken away and almost had her deli meat and chicken ( with clear packaging indicating from here). In case you are curious I have food restrictions and allergies so much easier to just bring my own food. Is there a set rule or does it depend who is at customs each day? Anyone flown lately and brought in food with no trouble? Thanks
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 10:32 AM
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I know there are restrictions on fruits, vegetables, seeds, and plants. We've brought in our own sealed snacks like nuts and granola bars without any problems. I believe that if the packaging is still sealed you can bring items in, but I haven't seen it in writing.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 05:50 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by ."cooked meat or chicken or cheese" and "deli meat." I can't picture those things being allowed in.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 04:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff_Costa_Rica View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by ."cooked meat or chicken or cheese" and "deli meat." I can't picture those things being allowed in.
. I meant bringing in things like packaged cheese or cooked chicken ( as opposed to raw chicken). By deli meat I mean things like corned beef and pastrami. sorry for confusion. Not sure where you are from but those are commonly eaten foods here in USA.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 10:09 AM
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Is the issue that you need your food to be Kosher?
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl View Post
Is the issue that you need your food to be Kosher?
yes and I am aware that we can get some kosher food there but I also have food allergies so I prefer to bring as much as I can from home.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 06:36 AM
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Sure. I know what deli meat is. It was unclear how you plan to transport it.

You're going to ask the person behind the deli counter for a pound of corned beef. They will slice it and wrap it in plastic and/or paper and give it to you? No one is going to let you bring that through customs. You can try and declare it, but don't count on it getting through. An individual bringing meat into another country is generally not a thing.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 10:02 AM
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I've read on other travel boards that people have brought in meats and cheeses; some have had it confiscated and some haven't. It seems to help if the package is sealed, but you're taking a risk, and it could be confiscated, no guarantees unfortunately.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 12:19 PM
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I don't think that there is a clear yes or no answer - you might get through or you might not. Lunch meat or cheese that comes in a sealed package like from Hillshire Farms is more likely to get through than meat from a deli - I would expect that meat or cheese from a deli would be a no-go, but that a package sealed from the packing plant might pass. I wouldn't count on it though. Countries tend to be really finicky about allowing meat in.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 05:03 AM
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Thanks for all your input. All food will be prepackaged and have USDA deal. Wish me luck. I will do a full trip report when I get home !!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 04:35 AM
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Customs

When we landed all the bags were x-rayed but we did not see them check a single one. Also it was weird because there were no customs forms in the plane or when landing. BUT if you are going you should know that we may have just been lucky because on the plane they announced that we should beware because sometimes they do not allow food to be brought in so maybe sometimes they are strict.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 10:09 AM
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That's good - that would be a shame to have things confiscated. They zinged me once because they thought I had avocados in my bag. On further inspection, it was a pair of shoes!
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Old Feb 21st, 2020, 08:56 PM
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I'm glad it turned out okay for you, but I really think you got lucky. I don't think the takeaway from this is that it will be all right to bring meat in.
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