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Houston - Forbidden items

Some foods, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, plants, livestock and liquors are not allowed to be carried to the States. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) leaflet, Travelers' Tips, provides detailed information on bringing food, plant and animal products into the United States. Imported foods are also subject to requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Foods not approved by the FDA may not be entered into the United States.

Food and dairy products
Bakery items and all cured cheeses are allowed.

Fruits, plants, vegetables
Fruits, plants, vegetables, cuttings, seeds, unprocessed plant products and certain endangered species of plants are either prohibited from entering the country or require an import permit. Canned or processed items are admissible.

Meats, livestock, poultry
Meats, livestock, poultry and their by-products, such as paté and sausage are either prohibited or restricted from entering the United States, depending upon the animal disease conditions in the country of origin. This includes fresh, frozen, dried, cured, cooked or canned items. Commercially labeled, cooked, canned meats, that do not require refrigeration and are hermetically sealed, may be brought into the United States.

You will be required to pay duty on liquor that is imported in quantities greater than the exemptions allowed for each category of persons moving to the United States. While there is no federal limit to the amount of alcohol you may bring in, there will most likely be a state limit.

This limit is determined by the state that your goods arrive in, not the state you are moving to.
Alcoholic beverages may not be imported into the U.S. by mail, nor can Customs release liquor in violation of the laws of the state where it is entered. As laws vary from state to state, this information may be obtained from state liquor authorities. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the U.S. Customs Service have concurrent jurisdiction in the area of personal use importations of alcoholic beverages. As a practical matter, usually the U.S. Customs Service and the port director at the port of entry decide whether or not a particular importation is allowed, in fact, for personal use only.

In certain circumstances, ATF may exercise joint jurisdiction with Customs in making this determination. In addition, other state, local or U.S. Customs requirements may apply. It should be noted that some states prohibit the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages to individuals. Anyone interested in importing alcohol for personal use should contact his or her state liquor control agency.

If the alcohol is being imported for sale, you must have an ATF permit in advance of the goods arriving.