A passenger who arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport from Ecuador last week declared various food products to CBP agriculture specialists. During the subsequent examination CBP agriculture specialists discovered various prohibitive food products, which included:
- Sapote (soft, edible fruit) approximately 22 lbs.
- Cherries approximately 4.5 lbs.
- Strawberries approximately 4.5 lbs.
- Passion Fruit approximately 15.5 lbs.
- Tomatoes approximately 4.5 lbs.
- Fresh plants materials approximately 13 lbs.
- Melloco (tuberous root vegetable) approximately 44 lbs.
- Beef approximately 11 lbs.
- Pork approximately 7 lbs.
- One dz. Fresh Chicken eggs
- One Fresh Ostrich egg
“This latest seizure highlights the vigilance and dedication to duty that our CBP agriculture specialists demonstrate daily to ensure that the United States is safe from unregulated food products entering our country that could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economic vitality,” said Marty Raybon, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.
The passenger was released and admitted into the United States without a fine since she declared the food items to CBP agriculture specialists. All the items were seized and destroyed by CBP agriculture specialists in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pursuant to 7CFR319.56 and 9CFR94.
According to the USDA, agriculture is the largest industry and employment sector in the United States with more than $1 trillion in annual economic activity. The greatest risks of success of this industry are exotic plant pests and foreign animal diseases.
Visitors to the U.S. are encouraged to declare all agriculture items they are bringing into the U.S. A traveler who declares an item that is prohibited or restricted may abandon the item at the port; however undeclared items that are prohibited or restricted can result in a civil fine. On a typical day in fiscal year 2020, CBP intercepted 3,091 materials for quarantine including plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil.